With the new version of Dynamics CRM, Microsoft is expanding the functionality with some new powerful features. In the following, the highlights of the new features are listed from the user’s perspective:

a) Template management:

Microsoft has finally managed to implement a clean and logical integration of word templates. Series printing is thereby also understandable to normal Word users, because only now does creating templates really work as it does with other data sources. At the same time, the template functionality has also been expanded to Excel. Thus complex evaluations, analyses and reports can be created in Excel in the future and easily be made available as templates in the system.

Gone are the days when creating Word template scared away simple users and Excel reports had to be provided somehow outside of CRM.

b) FieldOne:

The FieldOne integration closes the gap in services and integrates a powerful field-service solution for your sales team. Whether work planning, service management, mobile storage, management of returns or collecting the customer signatures directly on the mobile end device, FieldOne expands the service with essential components.

FieldOne is currently distributed as a component of the professional licence and in fact is simply one solution which is provided like others too. Following that, a new main menu appears and in the case of some units, new functions in the menu appear. FieldOne allows the creation of a work order for the technical field team from emails, service requests or sales opportunities. In addition, complex templates can be created for this, which then supplement the work order with a check-list depending on the type and also adds products and services. But work orders can also be automatically generated from the respectively stored templates and thus support the providing of proactive maintenance processes.

The work planner can plan the work deployment both manually as well as automatically. The automatic algorithm then tries to plan the optimal routes.

The mobile FieldOne client supports technicians onsite with a route planer/navigation, camera to document damages, to-do lists, barcode scanner and much more. Moreover, new deliveries are also promptly entered into the respective device overview of the customer when needed.

FieldOne bring new functionality for the service and for the first time now enables professional technical field teams without further add-ons or additional interfaces to respective peripheral systems.

c) ADX portals:

New channels directly in the CRM. With the help of ADX portals, Dynamics CRM now enables the direct integration of websites into the CRM. ADX portals are provided with content directly from the CRM. So you receive a complete Content Management System to support the company portal editorially. The ADX portal includes multiple templates which especially cover 3 areas in addition to the pure portal websites:

1) E-shop:
A web shop based on the CRM product catalogue including a shopping cart and function to pay by credit card.

2) Customer self-service:
A protected area for customers. Customers can generate support requests, search a knowledge database and view the status of support requests that have already been submitted.

3) Events:
Publish your events incl. the option to receive registrations and, if needed, settle participation fees directly via credit card.

Everything in the ADX portal is stored directly in the CRM database. Interfaces to the data exchange are thus a thing of the past.

There are plenty of other innovations and improvements in CRM 2016 which we will examine more closely in other parts of this blog.