What’s new for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015?

By - January 14, 2015

In December, Microsoft released the newest edition of Dynamics CRM, which they call Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.  This is the seventh version of the software, and includes even more updates to keep Dynamics CRM current with evolving business needs.  I’m going to look at some of the new features and how they impact the way you do business today, and in the future.

One of the more interesting new feature is on the mobile platform.  We’ve had clients request the ability for field reps to make a change in their Dynamics CRM app on their phone or tablet while on-site, but without data access.  This becomes practical when you have people in either remote locations, or large warehouses where signal strength cannot be counted on.  In previous versions, there was nothing we could do for them, but in Dynamics CRM 2015, changes will be saved as drafts that will synchronize automatically as soon as the device reconnects to data services.

Another major change is the addition of rollup and calculation functionality.   In previous versions of Dynamics CRM, having on-form calculations required the use of a plugin to add, subtract, or multiply numbers.  In Dynamics CRM 2015, these fields are available out of the box, and can be placed on reports, charts, views, and forms.  In addition, using the newly introduced hierarchy functionality, you can use the calculated fields to calculate the values for child relationships, looking at General Motors and seeing total sales for Chevrolet and Buick, for example.

The Quick Find feature in Dynamics CRM is one of the most useful tools in the system.  Simply type in the name of the record you’re looking for, and any records matching your entry will be displayed.  The only drawback is that you need to be searching in the right entity.  For example, if you were looking for John Deere the Contact in the Account entity, you’re going to get the wrong results.  However, for version 2015, Microsoft expanded the Quick Find to be expanded to search through multiple entity types, so you’ll see both John Deere the Contact, and the Account on the same screen so you can quickly search for the desired records from anywhere in the system, without needing to use the Advanced Find feature.

For the salespeople in your organization, Business Processes are one of the most useful tools available.  They help guide you through the sales process, depending on the stage, even allowing you to add custom requirements in order to move onto the subsequent stage.  For 2015, Microsoft took that one step further, and is now allowing you to add logical branches to the process, so you can have multiple Qualify stage outcomes, depending on the product type, for example.  This allows the system to be much more flexible, and cuts down on the amount of customizations required.  Now, instead of designing two Business Processes, you can design one with a logical branch to handle exceptions instead.

Continuing the theme of improved logic, Microsoft enhanced Business Rules (a topic I’ve written about in the past, Why Business Rules are the biggest change to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013,) so that you no longer have to create two opposing Rules for the same job.  For example, in previous versions you would be required to make two Rules, one to fire an action when a value equals yes, and one to fire the action when the value equals no.  There was no implied relationship between the two Rules.  In version 2015, however, the Business Rules engine has been enhanced, and now functions similarly to the engine used to create Workflows.  Now, you can use And/Or operators with your If/Then logic in order to create one rule that covers all eventualities, again lowering your required development time and allowing you to focus on your business.

If you have more questions about Dynamics CRM 2015 or you are looking to upgrade your system, contact RSM at crm@mcgladrey.com or by phone at 855.437.7202.  [Tweet this post] if you like this announcement.

By Zach Greenbaum – Mid-Atlantic Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

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