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

Zach has 11 years of experience as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM System Administrator. He is experienced in planning, directing, and executing projects, software design, development and testing, and data conversion and validation. During his career, Mr. Greenbaum has primarily focused on small- to mid-size non-profits and private equity groups, with an additional focus on Field Service and Insurance and Healthcare over the last few years. Before coming to RSM, Mr. Greenbaum was responsible for managing new CRM implementations, additional customizations for existing implementations, and client support, including project goal definition, prioritization of requirements, and conflict resolution while adhering to budget and project scope constraints. *PROJECT EXPERIENCE State of Indiana FSSA (Family and Social Services Administration) – Zach’s role in this project began during the discovery phase. His responsibilities included leading requirements-gathering sessions with Indiana’s team leads. Once those requirements were gathered, Zach transitioned to the building and Project Management team and finally to Quality Assurance Team Lead. Interamerican Medical Centers – Zach served as lead consultant on this project, helping to automate several manual processes and increasing efficiency and data visibility while redesigning the legacy CRM system for an upgrade. Additional functionality included integration with an EMR system, integration with Medicare capitation files, and Business Intelligence. Universal Insurance Holdings – Working with the VP of Corporate Applications, Zach designed a system with complex integrations into their legacy Policy database, routing and navigation tools for their field team, and high-level automation for keeping in touch with their authorized Agencies. Southern Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – Working with the team, Zach configured the D365 Field Service application to meet Southern’s specific needs. Then, Zach spent several months traveling to each location under the Southern umbrella and training the field team and the administrators at headquarters and in the purchasing departments. Foundation Partners Group, LLC – Zach worked closely with the Director of IT and the PMO Group at FPG to implement a CRM system that included portal integration, ClickDimensions for Marketing Automation, and Geolocation based on Zip Code for automatic assignment. This project is now in a second phase, where Power BI and Power Apps for data are being implemented.

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