Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 Rollout is coming in November

crm_2013_update

Got our notice today – most of our customers will be getting the Fall ’13 update to CRM in November.  Here’s the list of items we are excited about:

  1. Finally – a built-in iPad interface – For too long, Microsoft CRM has “snubbed” the iPad in favor of Surface Pro.  But finally, Microsoft gives in, and CRM (including the customizations) will work as-is on an iPad.  This capability will take the form of an “App” on the iPad, but in practice, it will require a data connection (at all times) to utilize – meaning there will be no offline access.
  2. “Clicky” Interface – The user interface has been a bit redefined (or re-imagined?) to be more touch in nature.  This should bode well as tablets emerge as the go-to device for sales professionals.  In addition, one can imagine that office managers, leveraging CRM’s development capabilities as a workflow tool, can interact easier with employees engaged in work orders directly on the floor.
  3. Process-Based forms – In the Fall 2012 update, Microsoft introduced process-based forms for Leads, Accounts, and Opportunities.  This has been expanded to be allowed for “all” forms.  So, perhaps a Customer Service issues needs to go through a 3-step process, with specific information that must be gathered before  the next stage can begin – this can all be accomplished without writing code.  Here at Traction, we use these types of capabilities to help the software “walk a user through” the process, which requires less training up-front.

Things to note:

  1. There will be no support for Windows XP.  This means that if you are running Windows XP, you will need to upgrade those PCs to at least Windows 7.
  2. Terminal Services 2003 is also no longer supported.  So if you have an older TS farm, you will be required to upgrade.
  3. The new interface will take some getting used to – this update will probably require a training session in order to effectively rollout to your team.