Introduced in the November 2011 service update, Activity Feeds were a solid first step in bringing more real-time collaboration and social aspects to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The key idea is that entities in Dynamics CRM have a social dimension. CRM records can have their own wall or stream of posts, either automatically generated by a workflow or manually submitted by users. With the upcoming 2012 Dynamics CRM service release--the same one that will introduce Mobile CRM—Activity Feeds will share even more features with consumer-oriented social networks.
Activity Feeds have been a convenient way for MS CRM users to quickly get up to speed at a very granular level. Instead of scanning through unrelated emails in their inbox to find relevant information, they can instead go directly to the appropriate Activity Feed.
If they're interested, say, in news about a new lead,
Besides workflow generated posts, the marketing and sales team can post status updates and comments, just as they would on other social media platforms. Activity Feeds are especially practical in distributed work environments with remote users, where the weekly conference call may not put everyone on the same page.
With the new 2012 update to Dynamics CRM scheduled for Q2, Activity Feeds will have more in common with social media. There will be a new capability to like or unlike a status—same as in Facebook--and Dynamics CRM will also be introducing more extensive filtering capabilities.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM users will be able to filter status updates in which their name is referenced—similar to Twitter's @connect timeline. This is a great way for sales and marketing team members to find out what they need to focus on.
Another convenient filtering option displays selected record types in the timeline. That's a powerful tool for cutting through the noise and returning only relevant information. There will also be a general filter capability that lets users search across all Activity Feeds, regardless of whether they're following the record.
Additionally, all this new Activity Feed functionality will be available in the Dynamics CRM mobile app for Windows Phone 7.5.
by MIG & Co., New York Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner