Microsoft Dynamics CRM spring release “Carina” highlights — mmm…CRM.

By - March 20, 2015

Microsoft Convergence 2015 just wrapped up in Atlanta. There were many exciting announcements…almost too many to absorb. The pace of innovation at Microsoft has hit warp speed and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is no exception. Microsoft has released several blogs and help articles regarding these new features and capabilities. With all of these announcements, you might be asking yourself “What are some of the more exciting features coming in Carina, the Spring Release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM?” Here are just a few of the features I am really looking forward to using.

  • User Interface (UI) – Have you found it challenging and time consuming to navigate Dynamics CRM’s menu? Have no fear: an update is here, making it easier and faster to get where you need to go.
  • Business Process Flows – Have you wanted to “skip back” to a previous step in a process flow? How about change the active step in the process flow? Consider it done!
  • Mobile – Do you find the disjointed UI across devices confusing? An updated mobile app will provide a more consistent experience across your PC, tablet, and phone. As an added bonus, you’ll now be able to work with charts and graphs on your phone.
  • Branding – Has your client ever wanted to change the Dynamics CRM UI colors and logo to match their brand? (AND do so in a manner that is supported by the product team?)  At last, themes will be introduced that will allow for changes to the Dynamics CRM color scheme. Marketing departments (and the IT departments that support them) around the world rejoice!
  • Channel Engagement Framework – Have you wanted to integrate Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks and manage incoming message feeds like phone calls and emails? Channel Engagement provides the framework, including rules and routing, to handle these types of interactions now. (Note, you still need to do some of the underlying plumbing to connect these channels to Dynamics CRM.)
  • Office Integration – Would you like to…
    • Collaborate on a sales deal with someone in your organization who is not using Dynamics CRM?  Now you can, with Office Groups.
    • Enhance your productivity with integrated OneNote? Check that off your list.
    • Have you found Export to Excel lacking? How about the ability to use Excel within Dynamics CRM? Microsoft has completely overhauled the Export to Excel feature along with Excel embedded within Dynamics CRM.
    • Kick Dynamics CRM for Outlook up a notch?  Updates now allow you to track emails via a designated folder.
  • Developer and Platform – Wishing for updated developer and platform features for your large enterprise Dynamics CRM deployment?  Many new developer features that will be available via the API such as:
    • Optimistic concurrency (If two users update a record in Dynamics CRM and the value on the screen doesn’t match the value in Dynamics CRM, then the update can fail gracefully)
    • Change tracking (Grab all the records that changed since the last request), and
    • Transactional batching (Rollback an entire transaction when a failure occurs).

Wow! These are just a few of the updates coming with Carina… and to think it used to take a few years to deliver this much innovation.

As an aside, Jujhar Singh also made an amusing announcement during the Dynamics CRM keynote; they are running out of easily pronounceable constellations to serve as code names for their releases. What theme do you think they’re going to start using next?  I, for one, am hoping for The Simpsons. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Fall Release “Homer” anyone? Mmm…CRM.

Want to stay in the know on when this release will be available? Then subscribe to our quarterly Dynamics Community News publication. If you are looking for a Dynamics CRM partner, RSM offers a full range of services from evaluation and implementation to development and support. Contact our professionals for more information on our services at 855.437.7202 or crm@rsmus.com.

By: Brad Beumer – Great Lakes Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

Additional Resources:

Bob Stutz’s Spring Release Update: https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog/archive/2015/03/13/intelligent-customer-engagement-with-microsoft-dynamics-crm.aspx

Spring Release “Get Ready” Overview: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx

Convergence Recap: https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog/archive/2015/03/16/convergence-2015-day-1-recap.aspx

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