This April, a group of our experts travelled to Madrid to attend eXtreme CRM Europe, the premier event focussed purely on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Here are the top 10 key insights our experts gained from the event in one easy post:
1. Customer Relationship Management is gone! It’s Customer Engagement!
CRM is centre to the ‘customer engagement’ framework. Customers are now more informed than ever before, therefore an impersonal approach to selling is no longer acceptable. Customers do not engage in interactions that are felt to be unnecessary and untailored to them. Customers want highly personalised interactions so companies need to use their systems intelligently to achieve better productivity.
2. Microsoft continue their unparalleled investment in Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will receive an update every 6 months (spring and fall), on-premise every 12 months (fall only). Now is the time to bring customers on board with a cloud first approach.
3. Power BI and Dynamics CRM Insights
Microsoft have announced clear future investment and intentions for reporting in Dynamics CRM with a particular emphasis on closer compatibility with Power BI. The main theme that was picked up was about using the vast amount of data CRM produces, and using it smartly to identify patterns and trends. Clients can then react more intelligently.
4. Dynamics CRM SDK, Development and Deployment Best Practice
The release cadence and versioning difference in Online/On-Premise has some great new features. Partners and customers alike must consider a number of additional things when developing or extending CRM, such things as being aware of SDK and product features that can be utilised online only.
5. CRM Preview Instance
CRM Online customers will now qualify for a ‘Preview Organisation’.
This additional Sandbox CRM Organisation can be used to review the latest release of Dynamics CRM, all without consuming any paid storage!
The organisation can be reset at any time and customers can optionally choose to:
– Vanilla CRM or current customisations
– With or without their existing data (or trial data)
– CRM Version (including Beta releases!).
6. Unified Service Desk (USD) for Call Centres
Microsoft clearly sees that this configurable framework application continues to have relevancy in the customer journey. Particularly as it allows call centre agents to get a unified view of all available customer data, and supports a positive service desk experience.
7. Mobile Security
A major point picked up is that a vast proportion of users are using their own devices to access work data (BYOD). ‘Good’ is a 3rd party app that Microsoft are pushing as their primary way to access Dynamics CRM 2015. The app allows an IT department to centrally manage security and data, regardless of device users are using to access.
8. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Biggest Release Ever!
Building and further enhancing new features from the previous spring 2014 release, partners and customers can now enjoy developments centred around five core areas: Build once, deploy everywhere (re-imagined phone client); Productivity focus (office web applications, particularly O365 integration & roadmap); Rich native development (mobile SDX, Azure mobile services connector); Role-tailored experiences (Sales & customer service) and Enterprise ready (mobile application management).
9. A long awaited Integration
Microsoft is to allow CRM integration with OneNote enabling users to take and store rich contextual notes.
10. And finally!
Excel will also be integrated into CRM improving the user experience by allowing any view in Excel Online, bulk editing of data and the ability to save the document that will automatically import into the system.
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