Hands-On Impressions of Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Release

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We’ve had access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Release for a few months now. During the lead-up we were swooning over some of the new features but, now that we’ve been using it for a while and have seen a few clients upgrade, I wanted to circle back and see what our users really thought of Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Release.

Improved Navigation

This was the single biggest win for most people, internally and externally. It preserved the design-forward look Microsoft was going for while making navigation quicker, easier and more intuitive. Users we’ve upgraded love it and the questions about modifying navigation we regularly got during demos have disappeared.

Recently Viewed Items

The ability to quickly switch between records you’re working with – without resorting to the back button – is another major time saver. However, the ‘Recent Views’ is just as useful for a lot of users. The ability to jump across entities and records, without expanding the navigation bar is the kind of thing people don’t ask for, but they love it once they have it.


In our experience, this is one of those features that’s cooler in theory than in practice. The ability to include your own logo is an easy way to brand the CRM and we’ve been doing it by default for most organizations. However, setting a completely new color scheme isn’t typically a high priority item and requires, at least, a moderately skilled designer to produce results that look good. Of course, if you have one of those on hand, it’s a really simple process.

Export to Excel Redesign

We knew this was going to be a hit when we saw it announced and it hasn’t disappointed. Downloading the records from a view with a single click is great and, even though I’ve never had to do a 100,000 record export, knowing that it’s possible is oddly reassuring to people.

In addition to easier exporting, the ability to open that spreadsheet directly in Excel Online is a win for two reasons. First, you no longer have dozens of single-use spreadsheets accumulating in your Downloads folder. Second, the ‘Save Changes to CRM’ option makes editing things like Est. Close Dates and Probabilities on multiple records much easier. In the past we’d recommended something like PowerGrid, but the immersive Excel experience fills that role nicely.

Folder-Level Email Tracking

Some people love this features, others don’t see what all the fuss is about. Personally, I love it. I always organized my emails by project, so mapping those folders to CRM is a simple change that fit my preferred workflow. Other (not so organized) folks prefer to stick with Track and Set Regarding to get their correspondence into CRM, but this is a feature that can be adopted – or not – on an individual basis.

This was hardly a deep dive into some of the technical improvements – and I haven’t had any hands-on time with OneNote integration – but the general consensus is that Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Release is a big step forward for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and I’m inclined to agree.

What have you or your clients seen from Microsoft Dynamics 2015 Spring Release? Let us know in the comments!

- Cody Pierson, Marketing and CRM Practice Manager, Prophet Business Group

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