Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is out and the new version brought along a lot of new and exciting feature enhancements.
This article provides an overview of some of the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.
- Productivity Features
- Mobile Features
- Service Features
- CRM Online 2015 Update 1 Features now Apply to CRM 2016 (on-premises)
Track Email from Anywhere with New CRM App for Outlook
Microsoft Dynamics CRM App for Outlook is a lightweight email tracking app that surfaces contextual information from Microsoft Dynamics CRM right inside your Outlook Inbox.
You can use Dynamics CRM App for Outlook together with:
- Outlook on the web (included with Office 365) from a desktop or on your phone
- The Outlook desktop application
- Microsoft Outlook for Mac
Track incoming or outgoing email, add contacts from an email message, or even create CRM records. You can also track an email message to a new or existing CRM record.
More information: CRM App for Outlook User’s Guide (lightweight app).
Use Pre-Formatted Excel Templates to Create Excel Documents Directly from CRM
If you find that you frequently create the same Microsoft Office Excel documents in CRM, you can use Excel templates to speed up document creation. For example, use a pre-formatted template to forecast sales, or to monitor sales and project cash flow (pipeline analysis). After a template is uploaded by a system administrator, it can be shared with team members.
More information: Analyze your data with Excel templates.
Use Word Templates to Quickly Create the Documents Your Organization Depends on
Standardized documents are a cornerstone for business dealings—from quotes and contracts to work orders and invoices. Now you can automatically generate standardized documents from CRM data using Microsoft Office Word templates. Use Word templates to enhance productivity, reduce human error, and ensure consistent communication across the company.
More information: Create Word and Excel templates from CRM data
Store and Manage Your Private Documents in OneDrive for Business, Directly from CRM
Now you can use the right storage option for the right situation. For example, store your private documents using the new OneDrive for Business option. For collaborative storage, use Office 365 Groups (introduced in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1), and for documents you’ll share more widely, or with the whole company, use Microsoft SharePoint.
More information: Use OneDrive for Business to manage your private documents.
Let CRM find Trending Documents for You (CRM Online Only)
Get content that’s most relevant to what you’re working on, and what’s trending around you. Add Office Delve to your dashboards to automatically search through documents and find that one document that helps you close the sale.
More information: View relevant and trending information with Office Delve
View SharePoint Documents in CRM for Phones and Tablets
If your organization has integrated SharePoint with CRM, you can now open your SharePoint documents from the mobile apps.
More information: TechNet: Integrate SharePoint with CRM.
Export Data to Excel from CRM for Phones and Tablets
You can now export data to Excel from the mobile apps. After you’ve exported the data you want to work with, you can open it in the Excel app on your mobile device.
Email a Link to a Page from CRM for Phones and Tablets
Want to share information about a client with one of your colleagues while you’re out on the road? Email a link to a page.
Mobile Apps now Support Windows 10 and iOS 9
The mobile apps are now compatible with Windows 10 and iOS 9 for Apple iPhone and iPad.
New Interactive Service Hub Dashboards and Forms Help You Prioritize Workloads
CRM 2016 includes a new interactive service hub with completely redesigned dashboards and forms that help you prioritize your workload and complete your most urgent tasks. Interactive charts provide a visual snapshot of important metrics related to work items, and also double as visual filters. You can add an additional level of filtering through global filters. You can also take action (for example, reassign a case) directly from a dashboard.
Important: this release of the interactive service hub is optimized for customer service scenarios and use cases. Because this is the first release, not all customer service scenarios are covered.
The new interactive service hub forms help you maintain context while addressing customer issues. For example, use the following sections on the Case form’s Summary tab to quickly find the info you need:
- General Information section. Get a quick summary of the case and customer contact information, such as email address and phone number.
- Timeline section. See all activities related to a record and take action on an activity.
- Related section. Search for knowledge base (KB) records. The search pane shows suggested KB articles based on case title. You can also use this section to quickly find and open related cases. The related record opens in a new tab within this section so you don’t lose the context of the case you’re working on.
When you select a particular stage in the process bar, the stage opens as a popup. You can fill in details required for that stage, and then click Next stage to move to the next one.
If you’re an administrator, you can customize the interactive service hub dashboards and forms, or create dashboards and forms.
More information: User’s guide for the new interactive service hub
Reduce Case Call-Handling Time with Rich Knowledge Management Articles
With the new interactive service hub, you can also turn customer feedback and issues into rich knowledge articles that include embedded videos, images, and more. The rich text editor offers common word-processor features like advanced styling, linking, paste from Word, find and replace, and tables.
Make sure your articles are accurate by moving them through the review and approval process, and then use versions to track changes. You can work on multiple revisions while the currently-approved content stays published. When you’re ready, make the team-approved content available to all CRM users.
You can add the knowledge base search component to any entity to give salespeople, account managers, and customer service representatives access to a single source of product information, sales coaching documents, FAQs, troubleshooting steps, and solutions. When knowledge is shared with customers, it’s automatically recorded so you can see top content easily.
More information: User’s guide for the new interactive service hub.
Enable Service Level Agreements (SLAs) on Demand
With new SLA enhancements, you can now apply SLAs to case records manually. You can also apply SLAs automatically to cases based on business logic by using workflows or plug-ins.
For example, if your customers are spread across geographies, you may have multiple SLAs with different business hours and holiday schedules. Set up business logic to apply SLAs on case records based on customer region to make sure the SLA time calculation happens correctly for their region.
More information: Define service level agreements (SLAs).
Get Around and Find the Info You Need, Fast!
With the new navigation bar, it’s easier and faster to find the information you need. When you click the Main Menu from the nav bar, you can get to your work areas, records, or other items with less scrolling and fewer clicks than before.
Use the Recently Viewed Items button on the new nav bar to get back to your most recently viewed and pinned items. With this global tool, you can access recently viewed records, views, and even dashboards. Pin the items you use all the time to move them to the top of the list.
If you’re working in a complex form with lots of fields, the new form navigation drop-down list makes it easy to get to just the data you need. Click the drop-down list next to the form title, and then select the section of the form you want to go to.
Add a Logo or Change the Color Scheme Using Themes
Create a uniform look and feel across all your applications with themes. For example, add a company logo or change default colors for entities or links. Preview your custom theme, and then publish it for the whole team when you’re ready. No code required! You must be a CRM administrator to create a custom theme.
Track Exchange Email Activities Automatically with Folder Tracking
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 provides a new and intuitive way to track incoming Exchange email activities. You can set up a tracking folder—use any Exchange folder in your Inbox—and then drag an incoming email message to that folder to track it. You can associate a tracked folder with a specific record, such as an account or opportunity, so when you move a message to that folder, it’s automatically linked to that specific record.
Tracked folders work with Exchange Inbox rules, which makes it even easier to manage and track incoming email. For example, you could set up an Exchange Inbox rule that automatically routes email from a Contoso contact to a tracked Contoso folder, linked to a specific opportunity. Tracked folders work on any device that supports Exchange, so you can track email from virtually any device.
To use tracked folders, your organization must use server-side synchronization as your email synchronization method. Tracked folders must also be enabled by a system administrator.
- Track Outlook email by moving it to a tracked Exchange folder
- TechNet: Tell me more about server-side synchronization
- TechNet: Configure folder-level tracking
Export to Excel Completely Redesigned
We’ve redesigned exporting to Excel from the bottom up to provide for a much smoother experience. With a single click in the web client or in Dynamics CRM for Outlook, you can export your data as an Excel document, which can be opened anywhere, including the desktop version of Excel (2007 and later), Excel Online, and other Excel clients. When you export, all formatting is preserved, so you can do your calculations in Excel, and then reimport the data to CRM. You can export up to 100,000 records at a time (previous limit was 10,000).
More information: Export data to Excel.
Enjoy the Same Great Mobile Experience, whether You’re Using a Phone or Tablet
The CRM for phones app now provides the same process-driven experience as CRM for tablets. Nurture your leads and opportunities through the sales process with the new intuitive interface. If you have a Windows Phone, use Cortana voice commands to get to your CRM data hands-free.
More information: CRM for Phones and Tablets User’s Guide.
The previous version of the CRM for phones app is still available in app stores, but it’s now called CRM for phones – Express.
Secure Your Mobile Data with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Good
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Good app works with the Good Technology mobile security platform to protect your CRM data even if you lose or leave your tablet somewhere. For example, if you leave your tablet in a taxi cab and can’t get it back right away, your CRM data is protected by Good encryption. If you lose your tablet, your admin can remotely wipe your CRM for Good data from your tablet.
More information: Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Good
Speed up Customer Service with Default Entitlements
Customer service representatives use entitlements to verify the type of support a customer is eligible for and to provide the correct level of support. Now service managers or admins can set an entitlement as the default entitlement for a customer. When a rep creates a case, the default entitlement is automatically associated with the case, saving time for the rep.
For cases where service organizations do not want entitlement terms to be deducted (a faulty part is installed, for example), service reps can also credit back entitlement terms so the customer isn’t charged.
Define Rules for Creating or Updating CRM Records from Incoming Activities
In previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Service Managers could set up rules to automatically create cases from incoming email or social channels. Now sales, marketing, and service teams can use these same rules to automatically create or update one or more records from any single incoming activity, such as an email, social, or custom activity.
More information: Set up rules to automatically create or update records in CRM
Want to Learn More?
- Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Preview Guide.
- See Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016: Release Timing and New Features
- Contact FMT consultants with the form below. FMT is a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner and consulting firm.