Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 – What’s New?

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 was recently released, with some great new features for CRM users to consider. This new release is available for both the cloud and on-premise versions of Dynamics CRM. 

Microsoft calls this “the most comprehensive upgrade ever for Dynamics CRM”, and states it “includes advancements in intelligence, mobility and service, with significant productivity enhancements”. With such bold statements, C2 Software decided to test-drive some of the new features. 

One Click Document Generation - Users can now generate Word and Excel documents directly from Dynamics CRM. This replaces the existing mail-merge solution, and makes document generation a one-click process. Documents such as letters, quotes, invoices, delivery notes and other documents can now be created with a single click. The template designer is illustrated below, with fields from CRM easily added to a template using built in features of Word.

What New 1-One Click Doc Gen

It should be noted that in this initial release there are some restrictions on accessing related data with the ability only to navigate to 1 level of related records. For more complex document requirements, we would still recommend third party document generators such as Document Core Pack or Xperido. This restriction is likely to be removed in future releases. 

CRM Mobile - The mobile app now includes support for offline updates, including create, edit or delete. Once reconnected the updates will be automatically synchronised with CRM. It should be noted that there are minimum licensing restrictions on this feature. 

The mobile app has also been enhanced to provide access to documents associated with CRM records. This includes documents stored in SharePoint or One Drive for Business.

A range of new user interface controls have also been added to the app, including calendars and sliders, making the app easier to use. 

CRM App for Outlook - This lightweight app will help you view information in Dynamics CRM and track emails from Outlook, this is a handy feature for when you are on the move. The main benefit of using Dynamics CRM App for Outlook makes it easier to track emails wherever you are, which is then synchronised with Dynamics CRM. As illustrated below this new version also improves the CRM information that is presented within Outlook.

Whats New 2-CRM App for Outlook

Enhanced Excel experience - This feature help business executives and sales agents to provide more data such as the sales pipeline, calculating commissions, or create sales quotes from inside CRM. All of this without the need to export data or switch to Excel, keeping everything updated on one platform without the risk of duplicating work.

Whats New 3-Enhanced excel

FieldOne – With FieldOne now available as a free extension, you can optimise your field service technician’s availability, match skills and travel time to the job and manage the inventory carried in all of your warehouses and vehicles. FieldOne is a great feature to have within the CRM for organisations who manage road technicians and engineers, using out-of-the-box features like Accounts, Contacts, Activities, Dashboards Workflows, and Business Processes in order to present field service information and record the worker’s activities live. Field One is included with the Professional Edition and includes a version of the Resco Mobile App.

FieldOne Dashboard

Interactive Service Hub - Designed to simplify customer service interface and interactions amongst fellow colleagues and customers. The Interactive Service Hub shows all the customer information in one place, and lets you focus on things that require your attention through the Case entity within Dynamics CRM. The most impressive feature by far is interactive dashboards for the customer service function to use, and which consolidates crucial information in one place.

Whats New 5-Interactive Service Hub

OneDrive for Business – With the aim of tying everything together, a new feature within OneDrive for Business is that it allows users to open documents in any application, such as Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and SharePoint documents, within Dynamics CRM.

Knowledge Management - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 comes with a new knowledge management solution, including WYSIWYG support. With this new solution you can quickly turn customer feedback and issues into knowledge articles. Content authoring and update of knowledge articles is enabled in the interactive service hub. Videos and images can now be embedded within knowledge articles.

Delve Integration with CRM – This lets users search and discover documents that are commonly used throughout your organisation when stored on SharePoint and / or OneDrive for Business. The main focus of Delve is to connect people and create suggested views of documents that are likely to be of interest to individual users throughout the company: projects, holidays, etc.

Bulk Data Loader – importing large amounts of data into Dynamics CRM no longer requires third-party tools or custom code. The new Data Loader service in Dynamics CRM enables large volumes of data to be imported with minimal effort. This feature is currently in preview and should be available in Q2 2016.

Voice of the Customer – This new feature is also in preview and will be available in Q2 2016. This allows customer surveys to be designed in CRM. On completion the survey response will be linked back to the relevant Contact record. Note: a separate Azure subscription is required for the hosting of the surveys.

More Information

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is described in more detail with Microsoft’s official Release Preview Guide.

For more information on Dynamics CRM 2016 upgrades, please Contact Us for a consultation and assistance.

15 Feb 2016

About the Author

James CTwo is our blogging alter ego for the Dynamics CRM and Web experts here at C2. We have a passion for anything CRM, Web Design or Social Media. We love writing about it! Find us on YouTube & Twitter.

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