Microsoft just announced the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave will be available for online customers in quarter 2. There are some pretty juicy enhancements coming in this release. Here is my list of five enhancements that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

1 – Self-service Portal Solutions

This release will mark the first time that Microsoft offers customers the option for an add-on portal solution. I’ve been awaiting this functionality since I first heard that Microsoft acquired Adxstudio. Portals allow organizations to extend their Dynamics CRM system in a way to collect or surface data directly to their customers or non-Dynamics CRM employees. This initial wave will offer a few out-of-the-box solutions:

  • Customer Portal allows for customer empowerment. This solution grants customers access to knowledge base articles and other support resources. This frees up internal resources to focus those issues that are higher priority.
  • Employee Portal is likely a place that companies can build out an intranet site. It creates a space where employees can have one source of knowledge. It is designed to streamline the process of finding information they need.
  • Community Portal will allow for peer-to-peer interactions by the use of forums and blogs. Content can be provided to the community by internal and external users and can be a great source of knowledge.

2 – Project Service Solution

The Project Service Solution will offer a tool to organizations that work extensively with delivering services over time. I’m excited about this offering because many of the clients I work with are in need of a way to manage projects for their customers. The Project Service Solution will help in the various phases of estimating, planning and managing projects. This solution will have the capability to work very closely with the field service offering that was released previously. It will help those service organizations that have resources and technicians that are assigned tasks in various capacities.

3- Guided user navigation

Users will be offered an in-app experience that guides them through interactive scenario-based guided tasks. This is major because one of the most difficult things for all new software implementation is user adoption. With guided user navigation, users will be able to quickly learn or re-familiarize themselves with their company’s procedures and best practices. This should also make the on-boarding process for new users much easier.

4- Company news timeline for mobile

You will be able to view news articles related to an account, lead, contact or opportunity in the Dynamics CRM app from your mobile phone. This is exciting because it will allow a salesperson access to the latest information at a glance prior to meeting with a client. Even better is that the information comes to you and does not need to be maintained by anyone.

5- Customer Field on any entity

This is probably the least glamorous on my list, but by no means the least important. Microsoft is now going to allow any entity, including custom entities, the ability to have a customer field. A customer field is a lookup field that contains either an account or a contact. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to place two lookup fields on a custom entity because the item could be associated to an account or a contact.

Check out the latest Release Preview Guide for all the latest features, and view the Dynamics CRM Roadmap at Microsoft’s new site http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com.

If you are looking for support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, RSM offers a full range of services from implementation and optimization to development and support. We can also help install updates or make configuration changes. Contact our professionals for more information on our services at 855.437.7202 or via email at [email protected].

By: Jon Angell – Minnesota Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner