Dynamics CRM Keynote Highlights WPC 2013

Microsoft Dynamics CRM momentum, vision, and product roadmap

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC) – Houston

I was not able to attend WPC this year, however, I have been keeping a close eye on the action. In the spirit of sharing I have a few highlights below from the Dynamics CRM roadmap session. If you want to watch the whole video the link is posted below. It’s about an hour so I am giving you the Cliff’s notes version here.


A few Dynamics CRM stats to start with:

  • 3.5 Million Dynamics CRM Users
  • 40,000 Companies
  • 2 out of 3 customers choose cloud
  • 35th straight quarter of double-digit growth

Pretty impressive numbers across the board. Dynamics CRM provides businesses huge value so it’s no surprise to me that adoption rates are so impressive.

On to a few key slides from the presentation…

First up, Dynamics CRM 2013 Key Themes. Microsoft recently announced?we should see Dynamics CRM 2013, previously called Orion, in the “fall” of 2013.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Key Themes

  • Reimagined Experience – Clean, fast, more intuitive interface drives productivity
  • Process Agility – Agile process guidance to respond rapidly to changing business needs
  • CRM on the Go – Access what you need where you need it
  • Social in Context – Work across boundaries to create the right customer experiences

A lot of marketing speak in that slide, so I’ll translate. Dynamics CRM 2013 will have a brand new, totally re-written interface. The online users have had early access to this experience for the last few months. It is a much more fluid and seamless user experience that has a more flat “metro” like look and feel with an emphasis on friendly finger input. Here is an example of that UI.?Dynamics CRM 2013 User Interface

Agile process guidance, think of it as almost step by step guides built into the experience. The great news is that multiple processes will be supported to better fit the business need. E.g. one can quickly select between a Lead to Cash process, or a Lead to Quote process or a Qualify a Lead process. Each process has it’s own stages and steps associated with it. Even better, very simple input and data updates. For those that have multiple environments or divisions, the processes will be “package-able” to make it easy to move them from one instance to another.

CRM on the Go, is the first attempt at a more mobile device friendly experience. The bad news, initial release will not have offline access, however the connected experience is a great step forward.

Social in Context is mostly about having Yammer inside of CRM and connected with related records and entities. This is a bit of new paradigm for a lot of people but I highly recommend you have your

users try it out.

Dynamics CRM with Yammer

It allows for much faster and efficient internal communication and collaboration on leads, accounts, opportunities and pretty much any other entity in CRM. E.g. instead of sending out?an email to the entire company that you need a reference for a client, simply post that in the related Yammer feed and see the entire thread of conversation at a glance. This gives you an idea of that…


I’ll now switch to a more visual post and show you some of the more pertinent updates in screenshots.

First up are a couple of more screenshots of the new UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) changes coming. All of the left side navigation has been moved to the top, essentially replacing the old, but familiar, ribbon toolbar. I happen to like it. As you can see below, if click or tap on the Sales link, it shows you the related entities for Sales.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Sales

As you can see here, you can more easily and quickly get to any of the other entities. Selecting any of the buttons will show you the most recentlyopened records.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Navigation

There is a now also a Quick Create link that you can access to quickly add any records. Notice there is no popup, per se, rather it is a “drop down” form that provides quick and easy data entry. Definitely much faster than before.

Dynamics CRM 2013 - Quick Create

As mentioned in the key themes, multiple process support is included. it’s fast and easy to switch between processes. This really helps with a consistent process for all users. It’s almost a built in user guide for CRM.

Dynamics CRM 2013 -  Multiple Process Support

Dynamics CRM 2013 -  Multiple Process UI

Nest up is the CRM on the Go, or mobile device support. The initial focus is on tablets, and frankly, that makes sense to me. CRM is really meant for a larger screen. Here are the Windows 8 mobile and iPad screenshots.

Dynamics CRM 2013 - Windows Mobile

Dynamics CRM 2013 - iPad

Next up are a couple of screenshots from the upcoming Netbreeze integration.

Dynamics CRM 2013 - Netbreeze

Dynamics CRM 2013 - Netbreeze - 2

The bad news it seems there is a slip of the MarketingPilot and Netbreeze integration. That’s a shame because we have been hearing all along it would be included in Orion. These will now be included in the Mira release in Q1 2014.

Dynamics CRM Release Plan

Finally, a peak into what the future releases will focus on. I am happy to see a long overdue update to Customer Service enhancements. No details but at least they are thinking about it.

Dynamics CRM Roadmap

All in all, some pretty exciting updates! As more details are learned I will pass them along.

Notes from WPC?Day 2

High energy at Air Canada Centre. Cloud topic #1.

Connected devices, continuous services. Cloud OS.

  • Windows Live
  • CRM Online
  • Xbox Live
  • Office 365
  • Bing
  • MSN

73% of businesses planning to use public/private clouds in next 3 years

37% say investing in modern apps a critical priority

In next 5 year number of smart devices to grow 3x

Azure and windows server 2012

  • Scalable & elastic
  • Always up, always on
  • Shared resources
  • Automated and self-service important

Azure Supports

  • 64 virtual processors per images
  • 1 TB of memory per vm
  • World leading performance
  • 1 million OPS per vm
  • New capabilities in azure and portal
  • Much easier user interface.  Finally!

Microsoft Business Services $ 1B run rate. 3k Dynamics partners attending WPC in Toronto.

Delivering vertical expertise is key to growth

Global ISV?s are joining MS Dynamics community.

Office 365 (O365) and CRM online together incredible platform.

  • Dynamic business vision.
  • Demo impressive.  (Ask us if you would like a personal demo of this.)

Tom Gruhler – Windows phone 8 GM

  • Flexible app distribution, enterprise app store
  • Enterprise device management.
  • Shared windows core , accelerates innovation
  • Easier to build and maintain Window?s solutions
  • Combined with 1.3 billion windows users and it’s unmatched.

I have to say the interface, usability and functionality of Windows Phone is quite impressive. I firmly believe it will be a contender. If you haven’t checked out a Windows Phone out lately, I highly recommend you do. http://www.windowsphone.com/

New Metro UI CRM Interface Coming!! In a word IMPRESSIVE!

UI/UX will be critical to creating successful apps and experiences using them. We have a UI/Design gap and should look for resource/partners to help in this area. A couple of screenshots below.



Quick Note on R9 /  Q2-2012 Dynamics CRM Release

R9 was not where Microsoft wanted it to be. Preview and beta feedback not as high as it should have been. Quality is highest priority. New VP of Engineering has taken over and after seeing feedback and the desire to deliver compelling and quality releases, they decided to push delivery of cross-browser support and new mobility to Q4.

New Engineering head is still committed to the new release cadence and expects to improve it. Expected to have Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer releases.

The Day?s Big Announcements:

Windows Server / Azure: A new community technology preview (CTP) of new technologies that enable hosting service providers to use their Windows Server data centers to deliver the same great web site and virtual machine capabilities recently announced for Windows Azure.
Switch to Hyper-V Program: Microsoft announced a new program to help customers transition from VMware infrastructure to Microsoft. The ?Switch to Hyper-V? Program provides partners with guidance, training and software tools, including the Virtual Machine Migration Toolkit, to more seamlessly migrate virtual machines to Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.
Microsoft Dynamics: Several new global independent software vendors are choosing Microsoft Dynamics or extending their solutions across the Microsoft Dynamics platform, including: Campus Management Corp., Cenium, Inc., Cincom Systems, Inc., PROS Pricing and Technosoft.
Windows Phone: Showed off new hardware capabilities coming to Windows Phone 8 and some of the powerful features Windows Phone 8 will deliver through integration with Windows 8. They also showed off some of the most interesting new apps coming to Windows Phone, including: Words with Friends, Draw Something, Audible, Chase and PayPal, and games including Asphalt 7: Heat, N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
What?s Your Cause Challenge: Microsoft wants to know: What?s your cause? Between July 10 and August 31, 2012 Microsoft Partners are challenged to nominate 500 eligible nonprofits serving youth in their communities to receive a software donation from Microsoft. Read here for more information!


Notes from Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC)?Day 1

I finally have a few moments to update you on the major themes from Microsoft?s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) that was in Toronto, CA The week of July 9, 2012.

As this is a partner focused event, a lot of the information was focused specifically to that audience. There are some good nuggets thought end users as well.

Key highlights from Keynote:

  • 16,000 partners from 156 countries attending, additional 17,000 watching keynote online
  • 20 percent of partners have reached new gold CRM status (yes, Infinity is one of them!)
  • Verticals and industry focus are key to growth.
  • All new CRM online trials and customers to use O365 admin portals.
  • CRM online going extremely well, 31 quarters of double digit growth.
  • 60 percent of all new seats sold in last year are online.

Steve Ballmer talked about entering the New Era and how partners are at the core of this story. Kurt DelBene shared his thoughts and insight about being partners in productivity and announced Office 365 Open. Tami Reller highlighted Windows 8 and showcased how it adapts to the user experience and how far Microsoft has come since first talking about Windows 8 ? it meets expectations around mobility, battery life, and getting information everywhere. Some impressive stuff here.

Windows 8 RTM/GA: Windows 8 is on track for release to manufacturers (RTM) during the first week of August, and the product will reach general availability (GA) at the end of October. Enterprise customers can get Windows 8 by August, and the product will be available in 109 languages in 231 markets.

Office 2010 / Windows 7 momentum: There are now 1 billion people using Office worldwide, and licenses for Windows 7 have reached 630 million worldwide.

Microsoft acquires Perceptive Pixel: You probably know their technology?they make those cool, huge HD touchscreens TV?s that weather channel, the various news and political commentators have been using lately. ?The acquisition of PPI allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we?re excited to accelerate this market evolution,? said Kurt DelBene, president, Office Division for Microsoft. ?PPI?s large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration.?  Microsoft expects to push this technology to smaller and more devices. Demo was of an 82? HD TV?very cool?.I want one for my media room!