Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Phones

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I was recently at Convergence 2014 in Atlanta, and in talking to some experienced users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, I was surprised to learn that they were unaware of all of the improvements in CRM for Phones.

CRM for Phones is based on Mobile Express, which was first introduced in CRM 3. In previous versions, many users ignored Mobile Express due to its very limited feature set; however it has come a long way in CRM 2013. If you haven’t taken a look at what is new, it is definitely worth a look.

  1. Searching works—you can type in the search box and click enter or the lookup button. In previous versions, clicking enter didn’t work.
  2. Lookup fields—In previous versions, lookup fields were rendered as text fields, and you had to save the record to resolve the lookup. Lookups now work the same way as they do through other user interfaces.
  3. Date and option sets work like any other user interface
  4. You can assign records.
  5. Entity icons are the same as in the full application
  6. Click to dial phone numbers works on all major smartphone platforms
  7. Apps are available for IOS, Android, and Windows Phone, and CRM phones can also be used via browser. The apps provide a richer user experience and are faster to launch than using mobile browser, while the browser provides an alternative way to launch the app on any device.
  8. Fonts are consistent with other CRM user interfaces
  9. Windows phone app includes activity feed “what’s new” wall.
  10. Windows phone app includes the ability to click on an address of a contact or account and launch the Bing map of the address.
  11. Real time business logic is possible using real-time (synchronous) workflows.

All this adds up to a very usable CRM phone client. Some use cases where CRM for phones works especially well:

  • Launching CRM record from email notifications: A company has a process where when a case is created and assigned, the owner of the case is emailed a link to the case so he can start working on it. If he is not in front of a computer, the link will open in his smartphone browser using the CRM for phones form. He can now start working on the record.
  • Managing record assignments: A sales manager assigns accounts that are created to the appropriate sales manager. Using CRM for phones, when he is traveling, he can monitor accounts being created and assign them the the appropriate account executive from his CRM for Phones app on his iPhone.
  • Alternative to synchronizing contacts: A sales executive covers a large territory and does not wish to fill his Exchange contacts with thousands of CRM contacts. He can use the CRM for phones app on his smartphone and easily access any contact in CRM, click on the phone number to dial, and log a phone call activity from the contact’s record.

We covered the process of deploying CRM for Phones in Day 9 of our 12 days of CRMas

by Customer Effective, Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

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