Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 News from Convergence 2011

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Here is a good summary of the cool things our CRM team learned at Convergence 2011 about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.  There is a lot of really good information here!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Release Schedule Changing and Other News from CRM User Group.

At the Microsoft Dynamics CRM User Group General Session we learned that the release schedule for CRM will be accelerating to an update every six to nine months for those that would like to take advantage of the enhancements to the application. The next releases are scheduled for the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012. Several other interesting items from the CRM User Group general session include:

  • The next releases will have enhancements to mobility for any device, more social collaborations capabilities, and optimizing business decision making capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • They also announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM now has more than 1.7 Million Users and 27,000 customers in 80 countries.
  • There is a Forrester Research paper coming out this month on the Total Impact of Dynamics CRM 2011 on companies utilizing on-premise or the online versions of the application. The study found some interesting statistics of how companies are benefiting from Dynamics CRM 2011: 50% sales efficiency gains, 1 FTE in service savings, $200k + savings in marketing, and 16+/hours/month IT productivity savings.

 The Developers Guide to Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

CRM 2011 now allows for Fetch XML to be used for writing reports. Any Advanced View can be the basis for writing reports. Create an Advanced View then use the export to Fetch XML feature the results can then be used in the report design tool. Requirements are CRM 2011, BIDS 2008 and R2 is recommended, CRM 2011 Report Authoring Extensions, and CRM 2011 SDK.

 Complex Business Process Management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.  

A new feature for CRM 2011 are DIALOGS. A DIALOG is an interactive form which can be launched from any record to facilitate information gathering, record creation, script/process adherence or it can be used to simplify complex forms! DIALOGS can be used to standardize processes, enforce repeatable processes, easily apply special handling of information for customers, and gather all the required information during prospecting in a conversational format.

 Reasons to Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

The new CRM Outlook Ad-In provides much of the same functionality of Outlook with the CRM records; creating email rules, marking emails for follow up, and creating tasks from emails. With CRM 2011 you also get:

  •   Dashboards and Visualizations
  •   Audit Tracking
  •   Data Filtered Views
  •   Native Integration to SharePoint
  •   Multiple Forms - provides the ability to present the same form to multiple audiences differently.
  •   Inline Visualizations - graphical representation of Advanced View which is dynamic and changes result set depending on which part of the visualization is selected.

 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Management Best Practices.

CRM 2011 provides new functionality for handling the importing of data:

  •   Multiple Excel spreadsheets can be placed into a zip file and imported all together.
  •   All the fields in to be imported into CRM do not need to have been created in CRM they can be created dynamically on the fly. 
  • Export to Excel now allows data to be marked for reimport. Accounts as example could be exported and the Territory field updated in Excel then reimported into CRM.

By Ken Jacobsen and The TM Group Microsoft Dynamics CRM team at The TM Group, a Michigan Dual Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft SharePoint

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 News from Convergence 2011”

  1. I find Microsoft CRM to be bloated and grossly incomplete. It's amazing that it will not let a user schedule a re-occurring phone call to a contact; or do a simply query of looking up a phone number without going into advanced find. And speaking of Advanced Find, if one does not know the names of the field and in which database they may reside, you won't find anything... advanced or simple!

    Everything takes way too many mouse clicks and opens way more windows than it should. It may software for a sales manager, but lousy software for the sales person.

    Why dont you write an HONEST USERS review instead of authoring one to make Microsoft happy?

    1. Thanks for your comments, Jeff!
      We certainly understand your need for scheduling recurring phone calls. Microsoft has acknowledged this feature may be supported in a future release. However, if you would like to schedule recurring phone calls in CRM 2011, a workflow or dialog would be able to assist in doing so.
      As far as searching by a phone number, as long as the phone number field has been configured for quick find, you will be able to use the search box on the top right of any view (active contacts, active accounts, etc.) to be able to find your account or contact by a phone number. Your system administrator should be able to easily configure this for you. Your system administrator should also be able to setup Advanced Finds as personal or system views for you in order for you to find information that you need on a consistent basis. That way, you do not have to build an Advanced Find every time you must look up information.
      There are many things that can be done to minimize mouse clicks, one of which involves customizations on the forms, such as sub-grids to be able to view related information on a form. For example, on the account and contact forms, an activity sub-grid can be added so you are able to view pertinent activity information directly from the account or contact form. This, again, is a feature that your system administrator should be able to easy configure for you.
      Thanks again for your comments!

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