5 Dynamics CRM features in development that will change the entire CRM sector!

The Dynamics CRM roadmap provides a snapshot of what the Dynamics CRM development team is working on. I have highlighted 5 of the new features in development which will truly change the entire CRM sector!

The Dynamics CRM roadmap provides a snapshot of what we’re working on in the Dynamics CRM business. Use the roadmap to find out what we’ve recently made generally available, released into public preview, are still developing and testing, or are no longer developing.

#1: Project service (in development for Online organizations)

Project service capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM offer an end-to-end solution that empowers organizations to deliver professional engagements on time and within budget. Project Service helps you:

  • Estimate, quote, and contract work
  • Plan and assign resources
  • Enable team collaboration
  • Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing

Project-based contracts: Project contracts relate quotes and orders to project plans, financial estimates, labor pricing, and billing arrangements, like time and materials or fixed price. The contract highlights key metrics, including profitability and feasibility.

Project planning: Visual project planning and estimation includes predecessors, automatic task scheduling, and views of sales and cost information for time and expenses. You can use the resulting plan in quotes and project contracts.

Resource management: Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right projects. You can also track resource utilization and forecasting metrics.

Time and expenses: Team members can use the web or mobile apps to record time and expenses for multiple projects. Managers can easily approve new entries while understanding the financial implications of the newly-approved items.

Project billing: Project invoices reflect the terms of the contract and the approved work and expenses. The financial impact of project work, including costs, unbilled revenue, and invoices, is recorded for use in analytics and integration into financial systems.

Why am I excited for this feature?

More and more customers are asking for HRM or project functionalities in the CRM system. With this new feature, companies will be able to leverage their current environment to a higher level of usability. Moreover the role of the CRM organization will become more important. Until now these kind of extra functionalities were developed on demand or by employing a third party (vertical) solution.

#2: Field service (in development for Online organizations)

Field service is an end-to-end solution that delivers advanced scheduling, inventory tracking, and asset management for service depots and highly-mobile, in-field specialists fulfilling work orders and providing preventive maintenance across multiple sites under complex service agreements.

  • Characteristics and proficiency ratings: You can define proficiency and competency levels and set them as requirements for a work order. Proficiency and competency levels are also part of the worker profile, so you can make an appropriate match when scheduling resources.
  • Detached schedule support: Field Service now supports time allocation outside of a work order. For example, a field tech can schedule time for lunch or supply provisioning without having to associate that time with an empty work order.
  • Shared resources across Project Service and Field Service:Field Service and Project Service share a resource pool, with resource schedules appearing in both.
  • Out-of-the-box business process: A firm handshake between CRM incident management and work orders creates an alignment between these two processes, and if a field service work order originates from a case, the originating case is visually part of that workflow, which spans from case creation through the completion of the work order.
  • Mobile enhancements: Drip scheduling enhances and de-clutters the user experience by displaying fewer upcoming work orders. It also improves dispatch control by limiting the number of declined work orders or change requests by field techs.

Why am I excited for this feature?

Fields service uses the technology of Resco Mobile CRM to deliver end-to-end customer service. This combination of forces can only result in a good solution for the current customer need of a feature that enables the use of work orders.

#3: Mobile Offline enhancements (in development for Online organizations)

Mobile offline support

The mobile offline capabilities of the Dynamics CRM app initially launched as a preview feature with CRM 2016 will be generally available for CRM Online customers. The new mobile offline capabilities provide a richer offline experience for end users, allowing them to view, update, and add records while using the mobile apps offline–without having to save changes or additions as drafts first. In addition to the general availability, the new mobile offline experience will be enhanced to support conflict detection.

Why am I excited for this feature?

I blogged earlier about the offline feature as I am curious to see what the response of Resco Mobile CRM will be on this new feature of the standard Dynamics CRM app. For a lot of customer this functionality is long overdue, but nonetheless, Microsoft finally brings it.

#4: Portal Framework (in development for Online organizations)

This release will introduce the first Microsoft-published* version of portal capabilities for CRM. We will extend CRM to the web to engage an external non-CRM audience by leveraging:

  • Profile management capabilities
  • Configurable business components
  • Rich web content configuration capabilities
  • Responsive design for desktop, tablet, and mobile

Customers will purchase portal instances as a CRM add-on in the Office 365 admin center. These portal slots can then be configured to work with their CRM Online instances. The provisioning system will automatically deploy the portal solution to Azure.

*integrating the acquisition of Adxstudio Portals

Why am I excited for this feature?

We haven’t seen a lot yet about the portal capabilities for CRM, but Adxstudio Portals has the knowledge and experience to bring a good solution to the Dynamics CRM eco-system. I am looking forward to the first examples in which this functionality will be used.

#5: Server-side sync enhancements (in development for On-Premises organizations)

Server side sync enhancement

You can use server-side sync to automatically synchronize email, tasks, appointments, and contacts between CRM and Microsoft Exchange. With this release, you can connect CRM on-premises with Microsoft Exchange Online. You can also manually track emails by using CRM App for Outlook, folder tracking, or CRM for Outlook.

Why am I excited for this feature?

More and more companies are going to the cloud, but those who didn’t were left outside of the Exchange online functionalities. With this new development they will also be able to use the Exchange online instead of being bounded to the Exchange on-premises scenario, which allows for a different approach concerning the entire “Hosted Exchange or not” dilemma in a company.

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