Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Latest Microsoft CRM Statement of Direction

Microsoft has published an update to the Dynamics CRM Statement of Direction that was released last year.

The highlights for the next version of CRM include:

New Levels of User Productivity and Collaboration Capabilities
  • Improved view of CRM data within Microsoft Outlook
  • New 'ribbon' user interface
  • Streamlined user interface with fewer pop-up forms, clicks and keystrokes
  • Personalisation of views
  • Greater levels of SharePoint integration
  • Inline reports for better business intelligence
  • More options for balancing workloads and prioritising tasks
Continued Enrichment of Core CRM Capabilities
  • Visualisation of contact and account hierarchies
  • Team-based collaboration
  • Call centre and unified communications improvements
  • Additional revenue recognition, forecasting, revenue management features
  • New team-selling features in sales opportunities
  • Further investment in knowledge management
  • Extended outbound marketing capabilities, particularly email marketing
  • Ability to schedule future recurring activities
Best-of Breed Business Solution Platform
  • Ability for developers to build application packages, called "Solutions", that will provide the ability to easily add, update and remove add-ons
  • Secure code on the server
  • Integration with Windows Azure cloud services platform
  • Data auditing
  • Extended use of Windows Workflow Foundation
  • Global picklists and hierarchical/cascading picklists
  • Improved Visual Studio integration
  • Improved multi-tenanted management for hosting partners (yeah!)
  • Greater leveraging of Windows Hyper-V for virtualisation, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 for business intelligence and Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 for integration
The Statement of Direction also includes a summary of the CRM solution accelerators:
  • Analytics
  • eService
  • Event Management
  • Enterprise Search
  • Extended Sales Forecasting
  • RSS Notifications
  • Sales Methodologies (to be released Q1 2009)
  • Newsfeed Business Producitivity (released March 2009)
It also covers:
  • Mobile Express for CRM 4.0
  • Ten Digits Alliance for mobile CRM on Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices
Still no scheduled release date though. Our money is on Q1 2010, and a name change - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2010, or possibly even Microsoft Dynamics xRM 2010 - who knows?

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