A lot of work has gone into this next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM…officially called the "December 2012 Service Update". This week a significant amount of new information was shared about the release and the timing of it so we want to get that information into the hands of our customers. The team at Zero2Ten has had the opportunity to work with pre-released versions of the solution and the functionality is very promising! This blog is going to build on the blog that Gus Gonzalez wrote back in November titled "Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update Release Preview".
Couple of points that I will stress:
- None of the functionality will be intrusive to your business operations. The product team has taken a lot of care to ensure that functionality is delivered in a way that you can consume it at the speed you want.
- You will also get a proactive email from Microsoft 3 to 5 days prior to your CRM instance being upgraded.
In summary, this blog covers a few key questions that everyone has had regarding the new functionality:
- What features are being delivered?
- How will it be delivered? (ie Automatic update, Upgrade Process etc.)
- What will this feature cost if anything?
- When is it coming?
|Functional Area||How Delivered||Additional Cost Considerations|
|Updated User Experience||This will require the Administrator to step through a simple "Upgrade" process first to enable these new Process Forms so that the timing of the release of these new forms to end users is controlled by the organization.||Included|
|Browser Support||This capability will be available as soon as Microsoft upgrades your CRM instance. Simply put, you go home one night using Internet Explorer; you wake up the next day with multiple browser options to access CRM.||Included|
|Yammer Integration||This will require the Administrator to step through a simple "Upgrade" process to enable Yammer Enterprise to work with CRM.||Integration Included. Organization must be running Yammer Enterprise = $3/User/Month|
|Skype Integration||This capability will be available as soon as Microsoft upgrades your CRM instance. The user will need to have Skype installed on their device||Integration Included. All regular Skype charges apply.|
|CRM on an iPad||This will require the Administrator to step through a simple "Upgrade" process first to enable these new Process Forms so that the timing of the release of these new forms to end users is controlled by the organization.||Included|
|Multi Instance||You will be able to purchase this as an add-on SKU either on a MSFT Agreement or through an Online Subscription.||$549/instance. No additional user license costs for already licensed users in the initial instance|
|Bing Maps Integration||This is a part of the New Process Forms upgrade above.||Included|
|Platform/Compliance||This capability will be available as soon as Microsoft upgrades your CRM instance.||Included|
|Online Customers||December 2012 Service Update||Yammer/iPad Functionality|
|Existing Customers - Online||January 1st to 31st||February 1st to 28th|
|New Customers - Online - North America||January 14th||February 1st to 28th|
|New Customers - Online - EMEA and APAC||January 16th||February 1st to 28th|
|On-premise Customers||Update Rollup 12||Availability|
||MSFT Download Center – January 10thMicrosoft Update – January 22nd|
Here is an overview of "What's Coming"
Updated User Experience
To start, the CRM Product will have a "Sales" and a "Service" processes for Lead, Opportunity and Case Management.
The new process forms include:
Focus will be on these record types:
Updated process forms have 2 modes:
- Process: where the Process Bar is rendered
Edit: a more "classic" view of the form that supports scripting:
- Web Resources
- Process Bar (see below) can be edited to meet your business process and steps
- Supports sub-grids similar to how they are used on "Classic Forms" today (like Sales Team, Stakeholders, Competitors)
- If you place script on a form event then the form will always open in "Classic Forms"
- Some Web Resources and client-side API is supported in the new process forms and is documented in the SDK
- Using Connections to provide Stakeholders and Sales Team areas
- 1 Process per Entity to start with in this release
- Orion (Q2 2013) will enable multiple processes
- The Process Definition will NOT be "Solution" aware, therefore cannot package in a Solution in this release. Will need to manually configure in each instance.
Here is a list of what is supported:
Here are some additional notes on Browser Support:
- Unsupported browser requests will be redirected to Mobile Express forms
- Windows 8 RT IE10 Desktop will NOT be supported
- Firefox will NOT be supported on OS-X
- IE7 NOT supported in December 2012 service update
- IE7 will continue to be supported for on-premise until Orion (Q2 2013)
- The entire app is cross –browser including all admin forms
- Cross Browser is NOT opt-in, as soon as the service is upgraded then cross-browser is enabled
- UR12 needs to be applied for on-premise customers to have cross-browser support
Note Safari on iPad support
- This will be an experience for sales roles only in the December 2012 service update. It will be expanded over time.
- Additionally, this will be available for online customers only. On-premises support will be added in Orion (Q2 2013)
- Safari on iPad Mini is NOT supported
The acquisition of Yammer is a big step forward for Microsoft as it puts them into the Leadership Position for Enterprise Social Collaboration. In summary, Yammer = "Facebook for Business".
In CRM terms, you:
- Post updates on prospects and customers, partners and competitors
- You collaborate on deals and even documents
- You follow users, Companies, Contacts, Opportunities that interest you
- Search across posts and other CRM records to find information
- Ultimately, you can even collaborate with Customers and Business Partners if you have added them to your Yammer instance
The acquisition of Skype was also a huge step forward for Microsoft as literally millions of people every day use it for Instant Messaging, Video and Voice Calls.
In CRM you will now be able to:
- Trigger a Skype call from any phone number field on the form (requires Skype credit)
- If the phone number field has a Skype handle then a Skype to Skype call will be initiated (does not need Skype credit)
- Phone numbers will be hyperlinked and clickable
CRM on an iPad
In this release you will now be able to access CRM directly on an iPad for Sales Functionality. This functionality will be added to in future releases. The product team is focusing on specific business processes (ie Sales) and specific devices/OS to deliver some very seamless user experiences. A very touch oriented Windows 8 Sales experience is coming in the Q2 2013 Release (Orion).
Specifically for the iPad
- Opportunity (Process Forms Only)
- Charts are supported
- Portrait and Landscape mode supported
In this release you will now be able to have multiple instances under 1 Organization ID. Many customers want to have a Development and/or test environment and now they will be able to add this to their subscription.
- Additional instance add-on license required for Multi-instance
- Provides flexibility to add one or more production-ready Dynamics CRM Online instances to an existing subscription
- $549 per month for each add-on instance
- Licensed users can access the default instance and every additional instance associated with the same subscription at no additional charge
- SKUs will become visible on MSFT Volume Licensing
- Will be an additional SKU in O365 environment only
Bing Maps Integration
In this release you will now have out of the box integration to Bing Maps.
- Mapped off of the location
- Click into the map to get directions
Available on the new Process Forms only
Finally, here are some additional features and certifications that Microsoft will be providing.
- Support for FIPS 140-2 & FISMA
- Support for Office 2013/ IE 10 / Windows 8
- Support for custom .NET workflow assemblies
- New bulk data load API's for large datasets