Last month, Microsoft promised the quick release of Dynamics CRM 2015 for cloud and on-premises. Sure enough, it made good on its promise Dec. 1 with the release of both Dynamics GP 2015 and an update to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Dynamics AX 2012 R3.
For digital marketers. the focus of this announcement will be the CRM release — which brings the Cortana voice-command technology to the CRM software for the first time.
Scheduling, Search, Reminders
Dynamics CRM 2015 users will be able to set up meeting and reminders, search for contacts and create new customer data using voice commands (although the latter is only available in English for the moment).
Microsoft has also upgraded the Dynamics Marketing release, offering easier customer engagement with a natural user interface.
In a statement, Bob Stulz, vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, said, "We’ve made significant advancements in CRM 2015 across marketing, sales and service in a way that makes collaboration between roles natural and easy. In addition to a number of new capabilities, we’ve introduced the sales collaboration panel that helps break down the silos between sales and marketing to deliver personalized customer experiences."
Dynamics CRM 2015 helps to integrate sales and marketing and aligns both the on-premises and cloud versions, enabling enterprises to build exactly the kind of deployment they want.
This is a massive upgrade so it is impossible to cover all the bases here, but there are a couple of notable sign posts. In particular and for marketers, Microsoft has added integration with Lync webinars — remember Lync that is about to replace Skype? — a new interactive marketing calendar, new graphical marketing workflows and email editing along with A/B testing.
Equally important from a business point of view is the addition of new languages and geographies, including Japanese and Russian, which will effectively push CRM Online 2015 into 130 languages in 44 identifiable markets.
Sales also got a number of upgrades with the introduction of product families for bundling and recommendation, and visual sales hierarchies are aligned with new dashboards and analytics on mobile.
Finally, Stulz also points out that this release places Dynamics CRM 2015 firmly on the upgraded and rapid release cycles that Microsoft is introducing across its other business products, including Office 365, noting:
We are now firmly on a path for continuous and consistent innovation with a six month release cycle and I am really excited about the capabilities we deliver with the CRM 2015 release, which further establish Dynamics as a leading CRM solution in the industry."
Dynamics CRM 2015 Admin Console
Other Dynamics Releases
As a parting shot, Microsoft is also releasing upgrades to Dynamics AX, Microsoft’s enterprise-grade ERP solution, and Dynamics GP 2015, which offers small and mid-sized businesses a business management solution that is quick to deploy and easy to use.
The combined effect is to offer businesses a way of responding quicker to markets and market changes. In a blog post outlining the combined impact of the releases, Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group, noted that the focus in this set of releases is to optimize the time spent in constructive work.
For those that are using the online of Dynamics CRM, they can select when exactly they want the update to kick in, while on-premises users will get it according to the conditions of their service plan.