CRM is nothing really unless it can adapt to business users’ changing marketplace. Microsoft, since the release of Dynamics CRM online last year, committed itself to providing agile CRM and preparing companies for the release by flagging changes 90 days in advance. It has now flagged that it is making Dynamics CRM mobile.
The announcement appears in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM preview, which says it will release its next service update in Q2 2012. This means that users will be able to get their hands on it by mid-May at the latest (but not before mid-April).
With it, users will be offered a new cloud-based, cross-platform, native mobile client service for Windows Phone 7, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices.
It's not clear why Microsoft has decided to go this way now -- seems it should have been done quite a while ago -- but it has been slow with other elements of the Dynamics CRM in the past, and this looks like it is no different. Workforces are going mobile and Microsoft has to follow.
Dynamics CRM Mobile
That said, the mobile version is not going to be a "Lite" version, Micrsooft says. According to the preview of the service update, this will be a complete offering with different functions accessed through interfaces already familiar from the on-premise or online versions.
Dynamics CRM Mobile interface
Users will also be able to sync their information and sales pipelines offline as well as mobilizing their extended CRM applications by having integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile and their existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment.
While it may seem a bit pricey -- starting price of US$ 30 per user per month, and supporting up to three devices per user -- it’s still cheaper than a similar Salesforce offering, which starts at US$ 65 per user per month.
Extended Social Capabilities
The Q2 release also extends its reach with new social capabilities that include Activity Feeds, offering the possibility to "like" and "unlike" status updates and better status filtering with the possibility of viewing all contributions in relation to a particular record view.
Dynamics Extended Social Abilities
In addition to adding mobile support to its platform, Microsoft also is stepping up its cross-browser support for Dynamics CRM users. With the Q2 update, users will have a choice of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari running on PCs, Macs and iPad.
Not directly related, but something that will also help it, will be the soon-to-be-released SQL Server 2012 which, Microsoft says, improves performance, scalability and business intelligence.