Microsoft Dynamics CRM Revamp Followed by Tablet Apps, UI Updates
Microsoft has revamped its Dynamics CRM platform for 2013, but for users, the most apparent changes are reflected in the user interface.
In a series of blog posts outlining the updates included in both the on-premise Dynamics CRM 2013 software suite and the cloud-delivered CRM Online Fall '13 product, Microsoft staffers highlighted what users can expect when they log in. One major new development is the availability of new Windows (Windows 8 and RT) and iPad tablet apps.
Microsoft began rolling out Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2013, formerly Orion, in select regions starting in early October. According to Simon Hutson, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales team member in the United Kingdom, the product has been reimagined to help organizations better engage with today's informed, social-savvy consumers.
"At Microsoft Dynamics, we have reimagined our CRM solution to address these shifting fundamentals, giving your people the tools they need to be successful. To us, this means making business personal," he said in a statement.
Now, nearly two months after the Dynamics CRM 2013 Online was made available worldwide, the company continues to fine-tune the software.
New versions of the Dynamics CRM apps are available at the Windows Store and the Apple App Store. They now offer expanded language support (Chinese and Japanese). The iPad app has been updated for iOS 7. Although the app will work fine on tablets running Apple's latest version of its mobile OS, those using the iPad's built-in browser to access Dynamics CRM may want to exercise caution.
Andrea Bichsel, a technical writer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, warned on the company's blog that "CRM is not currently supported in the iOS 7 version of the Safari browser, so if you plan to use CRM in both the app and the browser (or just the browser), your iPad should be configured with iOS 6." Currently, the Dynamics CRM Web application supports Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT with Internet Explorer 10, Safari in iOS 6 for the iPad (third and fourth generation, excluding the iPad Mini), and Chrome in Android 4.2, specifically the Google Nexus 10.
To leverage the apps' capabilities, on-premise CRM server implementations must be updated with Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1. CRM Online has already received the update.
Dynamics CRM's new dashboard was enhanced to streamline role-based workflows, according to the company. "For example, when salespeople sign in, the first thing they see is a dashboard with charts highlighting important details for their job, such as their open opportunities and the status of deals in the sales pipeline," wrote Microsoft staffer Garima Jain in another blog post.
New customization options enable administrators to control "which of these role-based dashboards is set as the default" via an optional property affecting the SubArea node called DefaultDashboard, added Jain. "Admins and customizers can set the default dashboard for each core module by changing the value of this GUID in the SiteMap XML," Jain said.