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Top Five Takeaways from eXtreme CRM 2016, Newport Beach, LA
By Matt Brown, Lead Consultant, Pythagoras.
Between the 5th-8th December, attendees descended on Newport Beach in Los Angeles for eXtremeCRM 2016, the premier Microsoft Dynamics CRM event attended by Partners across the world. The purpose of the eXtremeCRM conference is to help the Dynamics CRM (now formally known as Dynamics 365) community better effectively sell, deploy and develop the Microsoft solution.
The 2016 agenda was headlined with the Intelligent Business Cloud and the Dynamics 365 roadmap, with the Application Platform (PowerApps, Power BI and Flow) and Common Data Model also being key themes.
I have put together my Top Five takeaways from eXtremeCRM, they are as follows:
1. eXtremeCRM will become eXtreme365
This will reflect the changes at Microsoft with the wider scope.
2. Highlights of Dynamics365 fall (v8.2) release include:
a) Generic resources and scheduling. With the new unified scheduling experience, users can schedule anything. For example, turn it on to schedule marketing visits for an opportunity or to book time to work on a case, work orders, bookings, and more.
b) Relevance search – Using the power of Azure Search to deliver fast results from multiple entities, in a single comprehensive list, sorted by relevance. It finds matches to any word in the search term in any Relevance Search enabled field, in any Relevance Search enabled entity.
c) Data Export – Now supports data replication to Azure SQL Server, which opens a huge window of opportunity for advanced data warehouse requirements, providing an effective solution for typical enterprise reporting requirements, even for small or medium-size businesses.
d) Editable data grids controls – One of the most highly requested features for Dynamics 365 – provide rich inline editing in main grids and sub-grids so users can update the information they need with fewer clicks. Customers, ISVs, and partners can easily configure editable grids using the Editable Grid custom control.
e) Mobile and Outlook apps. The Mobile app includes new colours, a new look and feel. Layouts are more compact, and optimised to provide essential information at a glance with minimal scrolling.With the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, people can tap the power of Dynamics 365 from their familiar Outlook environment, across multiple devices. They can view rich information about recipients in the context of an email or appointment. With a single click, they can link a contact, email, or appointment record to a Dynamics 365 record.
3. Create your own custom apps within your Dynamics 365 instance
Users can create their own custom apps within the Dynamics 365 instance with multiple sitemaps. Using the new app designer, users can quickly create complex multi-entity modular apps where they simply pick the required set of components such as forms, views, dashboards, charts, and process flows, and create simple or complex apps.
4. Azure Logic Apps and Flow
Azure Logic Apps and Flow can now connect to Dynamics 365 and the Common Data Service, with many potential uses. This is a rapidly developing area with more functionality and templates expected soon.
5. Changes are coming with the spring release (v9.0)
Larger changes are coming with the spring release (v9.0) with a new user interface and greater separation for the Dynamics 365 apps. Keep an eye on the Dynamics 365 Roadmap for further details.
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