PrintVis Tip of the Week #44 – Diving into Dynamics CRM 2016

Tip of the Week #44 – Diving into Dynamics CRM 2016

Late last year Microsoft unveiled what it termed the “most comprehensive upgrade ever for Dynamics CRM.”

CRM 2016 boasts multiple enhancements aimed at boosting productivity across the board, continuing Microsoft’s goal of streamlining business processes throughout the workplace. But in the case of CRM, it is of course intended to improve one’s ability to serve the customer. It’s “Customer Relationship Management,” after all.

CRM’s “Four Musketeers:” Productivity, Intelligence, Mobility and Unified Service.

Productivity

CRM 2016 continues its march toward seamlessness in the use of daily applications such as email, Excel, OneDrive and mobile devices.

Decreasing (and ultimately eliminating) the need to switch between applications while performing routine tasks such as exporting and analyzing sales data can be a great boon to productivity. In its CRM 2016 press release, they cite a rather profound statistic:

“According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, every time a user switches programs or applications, there is a 40 percent reduction in productivity. Microsoft has taken this issue head-on in the new release with a design principle that allows organizations to manage their customer-facing activities in a single experience, with no need to export or switch, drastically reducing the time to completion and saving time by automating fundamental tasks.”

No doubt most of us are multitasking, now more than ever. By incorporating tools such as Excel templates for use directly within the CRM environment, they are eliminating the need to constantly switch between applications, while running sales reports and other data analyses. This becomes even more valuable for a salesperson on the go, using small mobile devices and requiring real-time data.

It should be noted that these and other features are only available for Dynamics CRM Online – further evidence of Microsoft’s push toward the cloud. Indeed, the cloud seems to be the trajectory for the entire Microsoft Business Suite, including Dynamics NAV.

Check out this Cloud Platform Roadmap from Microsoft.

However, for most businesses – and print companies in particular – it’s likely that a hybrid approach to cloud computing and on-prem deployment will be the favored approach. Check out this article. 

I suppose I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, but truth be told the evolution of cloud computing, the security and control concerns associated with it and how such issues are resolved in the coming years promises to have a tremendous effect on PrintVis, our Partners and our customers.

Another quick and useful article on the subject, then back to CRM.

Intelligence

Dynamics CRM 2016 shows us a continued development of integration with Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant Cortana, where they now embed sales opportunities, activities and accounts so that your sales force has immediate access to the information they need on the road.

Ever found yourself arriving at or about to log in to a meeting, and suddenly realizing you were missing some key information that put you at risk of looking unprepared? The video below gives us a good demonstration of how the Cortana analytics suite can be used beneficially across situations, devices and applications (including CRM).

Mobility

The significance of enhanced functionality across all mobile devices has already come up repeatedly. Most of us are using multiple devices on a regular basis. And increasingly we are dependent upon our smartphones for a multitude of important tasks.

Microsoft refers to it as their “configure once, deploy everywhere” model. Users of Dynamics CRM Online will be able to continue to work when connectivity is lost, creating and editing records offline which will automatically synchronize via an automatic playback function when the connection is restored. We’ve all been in situations where the signal is poor; mobile offline support keeps your hands from being tied by circumstances beyond your control.

Unified Service Desk

Microsoft continues to build their unified customer service platform to provide companies with multiple, customer-facing departments with a single interface and shared information. This particularly benefits larger businesses with call centers for intelligent customer service.

Some key features include integration of multiple applications – including CRM – with your legacy applications (Java and HTML), and a highly-configurable user desktop experience which doesn’t require any complex coding.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Like Dynamics NAV, Dynamics CRM is an incredibly robust and multi-faceted system that can be put to business use in a quick and simple or highly-complex fashion. It’s all about access to information and the ability to put that information to use in a myriad of ways to improve your customer experience and streamline your internal approach, for improved organization and awareness throughout your company.

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