In Part One I talked about what has now been released in Dynamics CRM, according to the Dynamics CRM Roadmap. In this part I will review what is coming up or in preview (as well as a few predictions of my own).
The CRM Roadmap is a great resource. Not only does it talk about new features but the stuff being developed. Let us dive in.
Bulk Data Loader (Dynamics CRM Online)
Built on Azure, this reads like a more enterprise-ready version of the Import Wizard with staging tables and recurring imports. Microsoft tried this a few versions back (maybe version 4?) but it was too hard to use and fell into the shadows. While I am sure it has a long way to go before it starts competing on Scribe or KingswaySoft’s turf, it is one to watch.
Next-Generation Search (Dynamics CRM Online)
The universal search (now called Categorized Search) which allows you to do a Quick Search across multiple entities has had a revamp. It is now called Relevance Search and shows all results in one list, based on relevance.
Mobile Goes Corporate
The mobile clients will be integrated with Intune Mobile Application Management (MAM) for iPhone and Android meaning corporate data can be managed, even in BYOD scenarios. Another step in the right direction for the CRM mobile clients.
At this time nothing has been postponed, which is great news.
Predictions for Dynamics CRM 2017
The article is a bit short because the roadmap does not talk about too much coming in the future so here are my non-NDA violating predictions.
LinkedIn Lookup for Dynamics CRM
The low hanging-fruit in the acquisition will be CRM data cleansing. Similar to InsideView, it will be possible to review a CRM Account against LinkedIn and get a richer set of details as well as Contacts.
Some of the portals left behind in the initial transition will be added to the list of available portal templates. Improved documentation and wizards will appear for things like Entity List and Form creation.
Customer Field Made Generic
This might be beyond 2017 but if I say it enough times it will happen. A generic polymorphic lookup.
Field Service and Project Service Automation Get Closer
While sharing resources and allocation already, the products will get closer together and begin to dominate the CRM Service Cloud offering. The current out-of-the-box Service Scheduling will still be available but used less than it is today (if that is possible).
Interactive Service Hub Will Become More Feature Rich
I can see a day when the default client for Dynamics CRM is the ISH client. This may be father off than 2017 but I think it will happen.
Even if Microsoft are not saying too much there is plenty of opportunity to innovate with what they have today. I expect consolidation of acquisitions will be a big part of the next 6-12 months but I am happy to be wrong if they bring out another great home-built feature like Project Service Automation. Perhaps announcements will be made at the Worldwide Partner Conference in a couple of weeks. As usual, we are living in exciting times.