Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 - Coming Soon!
Microsoft publicly pulled the wraps off the next version of Dynamics CRM at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference which was held July 12th to July 15th in Washington, DC. Originally code named "Dynamics CRM 5", it was officially announced that it will be known as CRM 2011 upon its release. Dynamics CRM 2011 will first be "released to the web" via Dynamics CRM Online before the end of this year! The product will be "released to manufacturing" during the first couple months of 2011 for on-premise customers. The policy of releasing to the web first is a change from the past and Microsoft executives made it clear that this will be the policy going forward for CRM, and possibly many of their other products that are also available on-line.
Dynamics CRM 2011 is a significant release with numerous new features and functionality. One of the major changes for CRM Online customers will be that many of the prior limitations that had limited adoption of CRM Online will finally be removed:
- Ability to customize– previously the ability to customize was very limited since no server side code was permitted. This severely limited the number of ISV add-on products that could be utilized with CRM Online. This limitation has been completely removed and now server side code is fully permitted. We expect that all the major ISV products will be available at release or shortly thereafter as many have been working closely with Microsoft for several months now preparing their products.
- Ability to integrate – Microsoft will be providing, at release, connectors for Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV. Additionally Microsoft will now support custom integrations and third party ISV solutions that provide tools for integrating any solution.
Numerous changes are coming for both Dynamics On-Premise and Dynamics Online customers. There are so many I will focus on a few of the top updates:
- Dashboards that can be created and modified by user and provide full drill down capabilities to the details behind each chart!
- User Interface has been significantly improved by introducing the Office Ribbon and providing for sub grids within a frame which reduces the number pop-ups and windows you need to have open at one time.
- Numerous enhancements to the Dynamics CRM Outlook client!
- More of a native Outlook experience when working with CRM including user customizable lists, views, and reading panes.
- Convert an email to Opportunity, Lead, or Case
- Insert CRM email templates, articles, and literature while creating an Outlook email.
- Ability to develop scripts that prompt the user for information. This is great for creating a telemarketing script or, for example, for creating wizards to help a salesperson through the process of creating an opportunity.
- Multi form support and field security by user role
- SharePoint directly integrated inside Dynamics CRM
Here is a link to a recording of the actual session held at WPC that goes into quite a bit of detail of Dynamics CRM 2011.
We at BCG Systems are really excited about this coming release, please let us know what you think.