Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be released in December 2012 -- and will reimagine the way sales, customer service and marketing professionals work with CRM.
"Moving away from the traditional data-centric approach, this service update will add new experiences that simply and visually guide users through their business processes," Microsoft stated.
"New application capabilities in this service update also include pre-defined best-practice sales and service business process definitions, which're highly configurable and will accelerate time-to-value for organizations include:
- deeper connection to Yammer and Skype
- embedded Bing maps
- Microsoft Office 2013 compatibility
- and cross-browser support enabling new levels of communications and collaboration for customers," informs Microsoft.
In addition to features listed below, Microsoft will deliver a Windows 8 version of its Dynamics CRM application by mid-2013.
"Windows 8-based app, will deliver a unique experience for managing sales processes by providing customers with seamless and intuitive access to key information virtually anywhere."
Microsoft says, it'll add support for the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS 140-2) to provide trustworthy computing.
Also, Microsoft announced the acquisition of MarketingPilot -- that will help marketers meet industry demand to drive overall strategy and execution of customer interactions across multiple channels, and to measure ROI on those interactions.
Here is what's coming in this update:
- will introduce new role-specific user experiences that guide sales and service professionals through pre-defined lead, opportunity and case management processes.
- will also add new business process definitions to track and manage leads, opportunities, contacts and accounts, making it simpler for people to understand their customer, and be able to better connect and collaborate with each other.
- prospect and customer addresses will be displayed on embedded Bing maps as part of the new user experiences.
- Microsoft will provide Outlook support for customers in the Office 2013.
- New enterprise social collaboration and communication powered by Yammer and Skype.
"Using Yammer, CRM users can collaborate with colleagues inside their organization or with customers, partners and other stakeholders. And, with Skype, CRM users can now initiate voice and video communications directly from Dynamics CRM, enabling businesses to open communication channels and connect with individuals inside or outside of their organization," Microsoft added.
- Cross-browser support will offer a choice of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari running on PCs, Macs and iPads. "Firefox and Chrome running on Windows-based PCs, and Firefox and Apple Safari running on Macintosh desktop computers. Safari support will also be provided for Apple iPad to deliver a rich experience for sales users, which enables them to manage their customers, accounts and opportunities on the go."
- Enabling customers with increased flexibility for their CRM Online deployment, Microsoft will add "new cloud extensibility options, including support for custom Microsoft .NET Workflow Services and new bulk data APIs that will make it easier for customers to load and modify large datasets."
- No "cross-platform support," at this moment. A spokesperson e-mailed the following statement:
"Building on the updated user experience investments that we will provide in the December 2012 service update, we will be delivering native role and device-specific applications across a range of platforms and form-factors including PC's, Windows 8 tablets, Apple iOS devices such as iPad and iPhone and Google Android tablets and phones. For the first release after the December 2012 service update we will deliver HTML5-based mobile apps for Windows 8 and Apple iPad, these apps will be targeted at sales professionals; other processes and supported devices will be added over time. We will also invest in platform and tools to accelerate development of custom mobile apps."
For more information on the new capabilities coming with the December 2012 service update, download the release preview guide here.
Microsoft alos share screenshots of the coming service update of Dynamics CRM client app for Windows 8.
A mock-up of the sales dashboard:
Here's a look at how the sales-development process on a Windows 8 version of Dynamics CRM might appear to users:
Here is how Windows 8 users will be able to view their contracts and social feeds in new ways with a Metro-style approach: