In case you missed WPC this year, here is the bullet summary of 8 major enhancements announced for Dynamics CRM. An exact timeframe wasn't spelled out for each of these, but my expectation is that all of these will be in place in the next 12 months, with several coming online before the end of the calendar year. Each of these apply to all deployment models of CRM – Cloud and On-Premise alike.
- Let's start with the biggest first: Cross-Browser support (Safari, Firefox, and Chrome browsers). Obviously this opens up many possibilities for Dynamics CRM customers. Microsoft announces support for these browsers to be released first half of next calendar year.
- Social capabilities will be added to the product, via Outlook, web, and mobile (on Windows Phone). This will add a "FaceBook-like" look and feel option to CRM, including an activity feed format.
- More data quality functionality – specifically more duplicate detection/data cleanup.
- Improvements to Business Intelligence. Dynamics CRM already has the most feature-rich Dashboard and Visualization tools available in the CRM world, but they are about to get better!
- Upgrades to the Dialogs feature – Dialogs is a tool that allows wizard-driven, scripted dialogs. This is not a feature we see used on most deployments today, it will be interesting to see what the updates are.
- Better integration with Office 365 including centralized administration. Microsoft is moving toward a consolidated Office 365+CRM offering, and this is the first step. Timeframe is Q4 of 2011.
- Federated authentication enabled for CRM Online – this will allow you to authenticate via Active Directory even if your CRM system is hosted in the Cloud. Many of our customers are anxiously awaiting this feature.
- Dynamics NAV (a sister product to CRM) will be released in a Cloud offering early next year.
We'll be writing more about these enhancements. A lot of exciting times are ahead. CRM is always an enjoyable industry to call home, and knowing how our customers will benefit so directly by these enhancements, it's a good day to be working on behalf of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Hope to see you at WPC2012!