Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 Now Available!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 Now Available!

  • Comments 8

Today, I am happy to announce the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13.  We truly feel that this solution marks a turning point in the CRM software solution category, but instead of listening to us talk about, you can now go see for yourself.  Start your trial today:  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-free-trial-overview.aspx

Also, in your favorite app store, you can find Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Windows tablets and iPads.

And for organizations looking for a customer relationship management solution that they can deploy on-premises, we offer you that choice.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for on-premises deployments is available to be downloaded for trial only here.  Please stay tuned for information about the general availability of the on-premises product.

We want to hear from you!  Please let us know what you think of this product, either here in the comments, or on Twitter at #CRM2013.  As they say in Texas, “Please, don’t be shy!”  Over the next few weeks on the lead up to our Global Premiere Event – a virtual event where we will feature stories of customers using this new release to deliver exceptional customer experiences – we are going to kick-off a blog series to examine the state of the market.  We will be exploring how the sales process has changed and why companies need a new type of solution in order to be successful in this new age. 

And do join us for the November 4th event, live from Barcelona, Spain!  Register today:  http://aka.ms/dynamicsglobalpremiere

Bob Stutz

  • What do I think - really Bob?  OK well here goes:

    A bold and welcome vision seriously let down in its implementation by a lack of attention to detail.  The UI change (which is supposed to make CRM easier to learn and use - right?) is full of inconsistencies, ambiguities and bugs that actually make that task much harder than it needs to be.  [Hover here for this but click there; the same icon means/does this here, something else there, a third thing somewhere else; You can navigate to here but not to there].

    The monochrome colour scheme and lack of thin outlines and highlighting is a disaster for anyone with less than 20:20 vision.  [I worry there may be implications for some clients under access legislation unless this gets improved]

    Add to that some significant gotchas (landmines another consultant called them) for people used to CRM 2011 (lack of interactive duplicate detection, auto-save that can't be properly turned off, lead qualification dialog changes etc. etc.) and there are some real challenges, especially for clients on CRM Online who will be pushed into this in just 3 months.

    Oh and it's littered with bugs, hundreds of them - far more than I can possibly submit on Connect.

    So the question is in my mind is this:  In this brave new world of accelerated fixes and releases can Microsoft really fix all this before they push clients over the edge mid January?

  • I am very pleased that the product team has reached another milestone and has shipped a significant version of CRM on the new accelerated product release schedule.  The changes this required in the product team organization to achieve this is substantial.  I look forward to regular new releases.

    Is the new version 100% perfect?  Nope.  Is my software 100% perfect. Nope.  That said, I think the new path we are going down is correct and that any small defects that didn't get fixed for RTM will be easily fixed in a service update.  I am also confident that new functionality will be unlocked as the scope of these investments is broadened with additional releases.  I am just excited that we no longer have to wait 3 years between these releases to see these improvements.  That is my perspective for anyone that has specific issues with the current bits.

    As for my own personal perspective on this release, I am extremely happy that we now have a much better platform from which to customize business rules in CRM.  Workflows can now be run synchronously.  We have PBL to define rules that used to require javascript programming, and it works across all the UIs as well.  We also have the new process model which helps people see where the work is at a glance and surfaces the UI in a way that allows them to move the work along to the next stage with ease.  The new UI is going to take some getting used to for many users, but as an owner of a tablet and a touch laptop, I am happy to see that the new UI is much more ready for this new world of touch devices.  No more popups and multiple windows!  Who could complain about that?  This is also the first version of CRM where we have a first class mobile client.  We even have support for non-Microsoft devices.  All of these features are valuable to me, even if they have a few bugs or limitations.  Those bugs will be fixed.  Those limitations will be removed. The new cadence will ensure that it happens quickly and frequently.

    I would like to leave with a short statement:  "Shipping is a feature."  I am glad the product team was able to complete the development and get this out the door so that we can now start to receive value from the new investments while they focus on improving the features in the next version.

  • @Simon - Though I must admit it is a bit surprising to hear, I am encouraged by the passion of your comments and do welcome your feedback.  In fact, in taking this bold, new design approach, our user experience team has worked with hundreds of people to get their input and feedback throughout the development process.  Overwhelmingly the response has been positive.  To this end, we would like to connect more directly with you if you are open to that.  If so, please let us know how we can reach out to you.

    In lieu of being able to speak with you, I would like to address the perception that we are pushing clients to CRM.  At Microsoft Dynamics we are driving to deliver innovative solutions that our customers’ can use to benefit their businesses.  You are right, this is a brave new world of online services, and customers who make this choice do so because they want to be able to take advantage of these innovations while lowering their IT costs.  If you compare our update process to other SaaS vendors in the market, we have a very generous, customer-focused approach that enables them to take advantage of these innovations in a reasonable timeframe.

    Thanks,

    Bob

  • @Simon:

    Please don't let the perceived quantity of bugs and desired features cause you to turn away from Connect.  It is the best channel by which to have your feedback seen by the Dynamics CRM product team.  No successful software survives long in the wild without a responsive and engaged feedback mechanism.  To that end, Connect is there to serve you and give you a direct line to the people responsible for making the product you want to see.

    Reinforcing submissions with votes is essential to helping the product team understand the scope and impact of a submission--so please refrain from duplication where possible.  Perhaps the original submitter didn't get things *quite* right, according to your own experience.  If the submission is still open or engaged in dialog, simply add your own information to the comments--rather than recreate a submission.  Our efforts to focus information assists their efforts to focus priority.

    I agree that the new version needs work--however its vector is of primary interest to me.  Given many of the enhancements to the platform, I'm excited as a developer.  As for the UI, I see it like Windows 8.  If you force yourself to adapt and look in the new places for the old stuff, you simply get used to it after a while.  Certain behaviors are cumbersome, I'll agree, and with my feedback I believe the product team will iron them out, in time.  However, if I don't take a vested interest in providing that feedback, I allow the damage to remain.  Please, help us all by remaining or becoming engaged in Connect!

  • I've been hearing lots of positive feedback on the newly designed product.  People are really excited that Microsoft hit its date, the product is easy to upgrade, love the reduction in open windows, quick create forms, synchronous workflows, portable business logic (PBL) which looks to be the beginning of a very promising feature, server-side sync, business process flow, cross browser / device support, and delivery of the new Customer Center (rc.crm.dynamics.com/.../defalt) to name a few.

    The clients I've spoken with and those involved in the Training Blitz event and early access programs have expressed genuine happiness with the new user interface.  Although some have stated that they know the change will take a little getting used to, they do not want to go back to the navigation and behavior of 2011 and are eagerly awaiting the upgrade.    

    I'm really happy to see the Dynamics CRM product evolve to what it is today.  It is a solid offering that includes support for all major browsers, IPad, mobile phones, Office integration and a choice of deployment options; OnLine, OnPremise, or Partner Hosted.   Nice work and thanks for listening to your customers!

  • I thought I would add my thoughts as there are some interesting comments here, and after working in the CRM space for the last 15 year not always with Dynamics I have to say CRM 2013 is amazing and you can see the great leap forward, as up to this point the UI for most offering has been the standard left to top navigation.

    As an ISV and product builder for components for CRM we are very pleased with the new approach as the products we build now seem to sit better with the new design.  As for Bugs we had bugs in CRM 3, 4 and 2011 and I'm sure they will be fixed,  in closing I think the team have done a fantastic job

    Alistair

  • Here is a working link to the Dynamics CRM Customer Center

    www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-care.aspx

    Cheers

  • Here is a working link to the Dynamics CRM Customer Center

    rc.crm.dynamics.com/.../default.aspx