The next release of Microsoft CRM is codenamed “Polaris” and will be released in December. Polaris will initially be released to Online customers with the On Premise update to follow. Polaris introduces a Process Driven user interface which is “flat” meaning there are significantly less popup windows. The user experience will better match the look & feel of Office 2013. Cross-browser support originally scheduled for Q2 2012 Service Update will be delivered as part of Polaris. The support for custom workflow assemblies in the CRM Online environment will also be delivered in Polaris.
Additional features included in Polaris:
- Bing Maps integration
- Pre-Defined and Configurable Sales & Service Processes for lead, opportunity and case management
- Enhanced collaborative selling functionality – Leads, Opportunities, Accounts, and Contacts have been updated to provide enhanced collaborative selling such as being able to identify stakeholders and influencers.
- Integration to Yammer
- Office 2013 Compatibility
- Cross Browser Support - Microsoft is expanding the range of browsers supported to include versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome on Windows PCs. Firefox and Apple Safari will be supported on Macintosh desktop computers. There will also be Safari support on Apple iPad tablets
- Embedded Skype Support - Users will be able to initiate outbound calls (both to phones and Skype to Skype) directly from CRM forms
The most significant change in Polaris will be the User Interface. This flatter UI is designed to reduce popup windows by having data in-line. For example currently, opening the Account form and clicking on the Primary Contact would open a new window; in Polaris the contact’s information will display inline on the Account form.
Current CRM Online users can opt to remain on the current UI but new customers signing up for CRM Online will receive the new UI by default.
Stay tuned for more information on the Orion update!