Are you as excited for the release of MS Dynamics 2016 as we are? Well, then see our blogpost written by our Senior Pre-Sales consultant Allan Prier will be an interesting read for you!

The next release of Microsoft CRM is planned for the end of this year and will have the official name CRM2016. Great news features are to be expected in this update which includes both CRM, Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Engagement and will have 4 major themes, Productivity, Intelligence, Mobility and Customer Service.


In this short article only highlights concerning Customer service will be covered. This is to be followed up with other news in the next newsletter mentioned at the end of this newsfeed.

Putting the focus on the customer
Microsoft CRM has for a number of years been supporting companies efforts to give solid customer service, however, Dynamics CRM 2016 enables companies with even more options to earn customer loyalty and advocacy for life by minimizing customer effort across self and assisted service channels with targeted, relevant service; by deflecting service issues with the ability to proactively recognize and anticipate issues; and predict service with the ability to forecast service outcomes based on patterns and trends.
Microsoft will as part of the CRM 2016 release deliver the following new features with customer service:

Enhanced Knowledge Management
Enhanced knowledge base and global content model on CRM enables organizations to create a single source of knowledge for the whole organization.  A new content editor and editing experience helps teams keep knowledge articles approved and up to date. The curation process is inspired by a Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) methodology.

Voice of the Customer

Dynamics CRM 2016 includes a new survey designer that creates and sends out questionnaires to collect feedback from customers about products or services. Customers can take a survey on a phone, tablet, or computer.  When a customer completes a survey, rules in Dynamics CRM can trigger follow-up actions that occur immediately. Survey responses are stored with a customer’s record in CRM, so your teams see the customer feedback history as they work a sale or resolve a service case.

Interactive Service Hub
This new online user experience (UX) design provides a modern and intuitive end user experience for customer service roles including:

  • Multi-stream Dashboard

The interactive service hub comes loaded with a multi-stream dashboard specifically targeted at Tier One agents. Users can view and act on their workload across multiple data streams. The streams can show data from Views or Queues (e.g.: My Activities, My Cases, Cases from Queues I’m a member of etc.). Interactive charts provide a visual snapshot of key metrics related to the work items, and also double up as visual filters which allow agents to slice and dice the data. An additional level of filtering is available with Global Filters to bring focus to the relevant items. Customizers/Administrators can choose from four layouts to build these dashboards.

  • Single-stream Dashboard

The interactive service hub also comes preloaded with a single-stream dashboard for Tier Two Agents. It comes with a single data stream on the left which would typically show an aggregate view of the workload. The stream can show data from Views or Queues (e.g.: All Active Cases). Like the multi-stream dashboards, single-stream dashboards also come with interactive charts that can be used to filter data.

  • Modern and intuitive design

The case form design allows agents to find and act on data with reduced clicks and navigation. It unifies customer interactions and pulls together all related information, enabling agents to be productive and view what is most relevant at all times.

The Guided Business Process is further enhanced to show process stage information as a fly out. The timeline (Interaction Wall) allows for rich time and record based filtering capabilities. Quick actions on search result, allow you to perform every day functions with ease, such as marking a task as complete or responding to a customer’s email. The Reference Panel is geared towards a highly configurable experience that allows you to always show relevant related data.  Agents have full access to the customer record and can see recent cases, eligible entitlement, and other relevant information. With integrated Knowledge agents can deliver solutions to customers.

External Party Access
External Party Access is the foundation that allows external parties such as Employees, Customers and Partners to access CRM data with the right level of permissions (e.g. Customer / Partner Portal scenarios).  External Party Access is an enhancement to the CRM API and SDK that allows integration, access and actions by contacts, partners or other third parties you have modeled in CRM. Also note that the recent acquisition of ADX studio will soon provide customer service portal options, with extended self-service options and full insight into history, products etc.

Unified Service Desk
The Unified Service Desk is at the heart of delivering modern service by providing service organizations with the unique ability to deliver a single agent desktop with access to back-end systems and third party applications. This release improves the install experience by enabling upgrades/patches to be delivered through Windows Update / System Center, and distributing custom control DLLs through CRM Server configuration.  Improved auditing and diagnostics settings determines which events and agent actions are logged through the centralized auditing configuration. Out-of-the-box integration is now available with any third party systems such as Azure HD Insights.

Service Intelligence
An interactive Power BI dashboard provides Customer Service Managers (CSMs) with an aggregate view of customer service performance.

Other great news in CRM 2016 to be covered in the coming newsletters from AlfaPeople includes:
SMS Marketing

  • Further enrichment of the Email Marketing editor
  • CRM App for Outlook (tracking of e-mails from browser etc.)
  • Extended Excel Integration
  • OneDrive for Business integration
  • Document Generation (new improved merge and generation experience)
  • Excel templates on top of the immersive Excel already available in CRM
  • Cortana Integration
  • New languages in Social Listening & Social Analytics
  • Intelligent Social (roles based Social)
  • Social CRM (integration from social engagement to CRM)
  • Mobile offline support
  • Mobile Document Management
  • Modern mobile friendly experience
  • Mobile Management (Intune integration)
  • Bulk Data Loader for CRM Online
  • Azure Machine Learning

CRM 2016 is going to provide you with so many tools to enhance your customer service and you can read so much more about it in our AlfaPeople’s newsletter, so stay tuned.