What's New in Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics has seen tremendous growth with 48 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth reported to September 2016.
This is due to Microsoft’s investment in the application with a series of feature packed releases in recent years. The frequency of these updates can present a challenge when it comes to evaluating all the latest features and understanding how these will benefit your organisation. On this page we’ve provided a summary of the main improvements from the last 5 main releases.
You can also check out the official Microsoft roadmap for a preview of what's coming next.
If you are already using Microsoft Dynamics we hope this is a useful list to check what's new, learn more about the latest features, or to help with your upgrade plans.
We recommend engaging with Preact to regularly review the results you’re getting from CRM and discuss how you can best utilize the latest features.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft is unifiying its CRM, ERP and cloud solutions by introducing a new cloud service, Microsoft Dynamics 365.
As part of the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM several new features will be added as part of Microsoft's 'Fall' 2016 update.
Aside from the licensing and app change this release also includes:
Make inline edits from CRM list views and sub-grids.
Improved app for tracking email and referencing CRM data in Outlook.
CRM Learning Paths
New capabilities and authoring to help with the on-boarding of new users. These promote videos, 'how to' guides and other content to walk them through CRM processes.
New option to match more CRM search terms and rank matching results
Dynamics CRM Online - Spring 2016 Wave
Microsoft begun rolling out its latest update for CRM Online in April 2016:
Guided User Navigation
Customisable guided navigation steps to help on-board new CRM users.
Customer Field on Custom Entities
Resolves a restriction with earlier releases enabling administrators to add customer look-up fields to forms for custom entities.
Includes automated intent tagging that utilise machine learning to identify and automatically tag posts as complaints, sales enquiries, support requests and other forms of action intents. Other improvements include new rules for automated Dynamics case / lead creation.
Organisation Insights Dashboards
Enabling administrators to gain more insight about how users are interacting with Dynamics.
A new add-on module to connect customer web portals with Microsoft Dynamics CRM including options for clients to log service issues, post on forums and find answers by searching knowledge posts.
Dedicated tools for project based organisations to manage their quotes, resources, work schedules and project billing.
The earlier Field One solution is now embedded within the CRM interface as Field Service Service which integrates with the new Project Service module.
Dynamics CRM 2016 - v8 "Ara"
This major update began rolling out in December 2015 for cloud and on-premise editions of Microsoft Dynamics but some features remains 'cloud only'. On-premise clients implementing CRM 2016 also receive the earlier updates that were previously included in the Online Spring 2015 Update.
One Click Document Generation
Create documents such as sales orders, contracts and agreements in a single click using pre-determined Word templates
Extract CRM data into Excel using pre-defined templates
CRM Outlook App
A new app enabling Dynamics CRM Online users to track emails wherever Outlook is used. For the first time this includes Outlook for Mac and Outlook Web Access as well as Outlook 2016, Outlook Web Access on Edge, Firefox and IE 11 on PC.
CRM Mobile Improvements
Includes new mobile optimised controls on CRM forms, offline support and extended mobile security
Office 365 Groups Integration
Collaborate with team members and non-CRM users around specific topics to share emails, conversations and other resources from one central hub.
Hybrid Server Side Sync
Sync between Dynamics CRM Online and Exchange On-premise
Interactive Service Hub
New browser based app optimised for customer service teams
Voice of the Customer Surveys
New survey tool enabling questionnaires and other feedback forms to be distributed from Dynamics to collect customer opinions, ratings and views
New authoring and processes to efficiently share best practice and get contextual help in CRM
Helping organisations improve service delivery by focusing on the scheduling of work orders for field based personnel
Spring 2015 Update 1 - v7.1.0 "Carina"
This CRM Online update for cloud customers was released the second quarter of 2015 and was rolled up as part of wider CRM 2016 upgrade for On-Premise CRM later in the year:
New CRM User Experience
Redesigned navigation menu, recently viewed items list, instant area switch and quick jump form navigation
Personalize the Dynamics with your logo and match the user interface with your preferred colours
Including new turbo form rendering for drastically faster performance and reduced latency
Consistent Mobile Experience
New CRM mobile apps for iPhone, Android & Windows Mobile
Redesigned Excel Export
One click export to Excel that preserves the CRM list view
Works in Excel Online
Write bulk changes back to CRM
Improved Outlook Integration
File emails in CRM using any email application that support Exchange folders including Outlook Web Access
Sync notes, drawings, recordings and images captured in OneNote to CRM contacts, accounts, leads and other records
Microsoft Social Engagement
Updated version of Microsoft Social Listening featuring a new social centre and extended engagement functions to create CRM actions from social posts and respond to posts using your Twitter or Facebook accounts
New Date Field Type
Track dates in isolation without the need to associate hours and minutes.
Search by 'Older Than'
New advanced find search criteria
New Admin Performance Dashboard
Assess the performance of entity components, measure trends and enable recommended system optimisations
Connect Parature knowledge base functionality with Microsoft Dynamics Unified Service Desk
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 - v7.0.0 "Vega"
This update for CRM Online and On-Premise editions began rolling out in December 2014:
New global search box and advanced find functions added to the CRM navigation bar
View accounts, contacts or products in a relational hierarchal view
Product Family Enhancements
New functionality to bundle products, set product properties and cross sell using new CRM suggested items
New field type for automated field calculations using numerical and date values
Show roll up values from child to parent records, e.g. total value of all open opportunities on an account
Improvements to Business Rules
Featuring rules to set default field values and if/else, and/or rule criteria
Branching Logic for Guided Processes
Define branches based on field values entered in each process flow
Client API for business flows
Hierarchy Security Profiles
Quickly define robust CRM user access permissions using role based hierarchy structures
Field level security
Apply field security profiles to control user permissions to all fields including standard entities
New functionality enabling users to pause case service level agreement timers
Replace Microsoft generic help pages with custom help resources personalised for your database and processes
Nested Quick Create
Create additional records in the same quick create experience
Spring 14 Update SP1 - v6.1.0 "Leo"
Primarily focused on enhancing Microsoft Dynamics service capabilities this update included:
Control what level of support each customer is entitled to receive
Service Level Agreements
Define customer service levels that apply for new support cases
Automatic Case Creation
New workflow case creation rules
Case Routing Rules
New native functionality to automatically route CRM cases to queues and users
Countdown timers to see remaining time available on opportunities, cases and other records where an expiry or performance KPI has been defined.
Improvements to CRM Queues
New Queue view detailing how many items are assigned to each queue + new private queue option
Define parent and child relationships for inherited case properties and link frequently encountered service issues
New option to merge duplicated service cases
Case Status Transitions
Define which case status reasons that CRM users can select based on the current status for each record
Unified Service Desk
Desktop application for service teams that pulls customer data from multiple data sources including CRM
Microsoft Social Listening
Track keywords and phrases that matter to you across social networks and measure sentiment trends
Microsoft CRM 2013 - v6.0.0 "Orion"
A major upgrade released in November 2013 featuring a reimagined CRM user interface:
New User Experience
New navigation menus, auto-save function, quick create function and add images to each record header including contacts and accounts
Removing CRM pop-ups to complete CRM functions in a single browser window, enables back / forward button navigation
Prescriptive guidance to help CRM users progress cases, leads, opportunities and other workflows in line with your rules and methodology
New native CRM functions that dynamically enforce process rules based on field values
Real Time Workflows
Configure synchronous CRM workflow processes in real time
Additional rules that prevent users progressing any process including cases and leads if one or more conditions haven’t been met
CRM for Tablets
Free tablet apps for iPad and Window 8 tablets
With Bing Maps, Yammer, Skype and Microsoft Lync
Read more about the Dynamics CRM 2013 release...
A preview of the new interface was released earlier in 2013 in a update codenamed ‘Polaris’.
December 2012 Update
Cross browser CRM support with Firefox and Google Chrome browsers in addition to Internet Explorer.