Microsoft has delivered significant innovation and value in customer relationship management (CRM) software over a number of years now. Earlier this year Microsoft released Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, a flexible CRM solution that provides the power of productivity through familiar, intelligent, and connected experiences for organisations of all sizes worldwide.
At the end of August Microsoft released a new "Release Preview Guide" that outlines the next wave of Microsoft Dynamics CRM innovation to be released soon and known as the "Q4 2011 Service Update".
The upcoming Q4 2011 Service Update represents the first release in Microsoft’s new program where additional capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (both cloud and on-premises) are delivered approximately twice yearly with releases targeted for the 2nd and 4th quarter of each calendar year. The functionality detailed in the guide is completely optional for all customers depending on their business needs.
Quick Summary of New Capabilities in Q4 2011 Service Update
- Unified Office 365 Experience: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will begin the process of transitioning customers to a common administration, billing and provisioning platform which Office 365 customers use today.
- Enterprise Cloud – Identity Federation: more options to control user access with single sign-on via Active Directory.
- Enterprise Cloud – Enhanced Disaster Recovery: Investments in additional data centre capacity across the regions and the ability for system fail-over to occur across data centres within a region (e.g. Europe, Asia, Americas).
- Feature Enhancements:
- Dialogs – extended to support lookups, dates and generate dynamic hyperlinks
- Business Intelligence – configure multi-series charts and new chart designer features and new chart types
- Extended de-duplication rule processing – more configuration and duplicate assessment rules.
- Social Investments: Wave 1 of several waves of social technology innovation. This release will deliver Activity Feeds which simplify collaboration across internal communities. Additionally a new mobile client for Activity Feeds will debut and runs on Windows Phone.
I encourage you to read the whitepaper to preview new capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that will provide value for our customers around the world. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team and I believe you’ll agree that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is well-positioned to provide tremendous value to organisations of all sizes and industries going forward.