Get ready for CRM 2013 with Synergy Software Systems

August 29th, 2013 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

Dynamics CRM 2011 was released in 2010 and, in line with Microsoft’s other products, has had a facelift to enable it to continue to be a market leader. With the range of new laptops, tablets and phones available to users, the Dynamics CRM user interface had evolved to support these devices more natively. The new release includes an always online with cached offline mode for Windows 8 and iPad devices. The mobile user interface is dynamically created based on the same forms non-mobile users utilise. This will provide a great tool for the mobile workforce to engage in CRM wherever they are. Integration with Bing Maps, Skype & Lync is also provided

The new user navigation is designed to free up screen space and will remove CRM pop-up windows enabling new records to be created in a single pane. The updated UI will automatically be applied once the CRM 2013 upgrade is applied. The only exception will be the CRM administration area which continues to use the traditional ribbon menu and navigation.

Existing CRM forms will be upgraded and displayed in the new interface enabling customers to first explore and test the new process oriented interface before choosing to apply this. The updated process interface features several improvements since the Polaris release: Process bars will work across all standard and custom CRM entities. Whereas Polaris only supported 1 process per entity CRM 2013 enables multiple processes and administrators can define additional sales, service and other processes as required. CRM users can switch to another process when best suited but individual processes can be made role specific to correctly apply defaults and control user access to individual processes. Processes can also now flow through multiple entitles.

CRM has always enabled leads to be converted to opportunities and now the new process extends this. For example, convert a lead to an opportunity and when the sale is won convert the opportunity to a custom entity such as a project in the same window.

The process bar supports stage-gating to prevent users progressing records to the next stage when one or more steps haven’t been completed e.g. when a sales timeline isn’t set, or when a budget isn’t confirmed, or when a case origin not selected.

The new UI includes a form auto-save function. Users will no longer need to manually click a button to save CRM field updates. This simplifies data input by automatically saving field entries but will require changes to automated CRM processes that currently rely on the legacy manual ‘on-save’ function. CRM workflow processes should be reviewed and amended if they are currently triggered by users clicking the ribbon save button because this process will no longer exist in CRM 2013. The auto-save can trigger plug-ins on save and with separate scripting CRM can identify between auto-save and on-save methods when required.

Contact us for guidance to ensure your ‘on-save’ processes work correctly after upgrading to CRM 2013

Early adopters of the Polaris UI encountered restrictions when attempting to migrate CRM form customisations that involved custom code. For CRM 2013, Microsoft has stated that all supported CRM 2011 scripting and customisations will be migrated and supported when moved to the new UI. However, no legacy CRM v4 API customisations will be supported in this process.

These changes will have an impact on the user experience and on your configuration . Because the new UI reflects a major shift from the traditional ribbon based forms it presents both challenges and opportunities for existing Dynamics CRM customers so careful planning is strongly recommended before CRM 2013 is rolled out to end users. Please contact us to help you to put in place a plan to manage this change.

A new, server side Exchange sync replaces the email router for CRM to improve the sync of activities, contacts & appointments with remote users.

New Business Rules enable more native controls to be applied that currently require custom javascript. These are client side enforced condition and action-based rules including options to hide fields and enforce field entry when a related field value is set. The rules work across the web, Outlook and new mobile apps and are managed in the form editor. Synchronous CRM Workflows can also be configured using native functions to reduce the need for custom code.

To be eligible to upgrade to Dynamics CRM 2013 on-premise users must be running either Dynamics CRM 2011 or Version 4 and hold active Microsoft Software Assurance.

Note the licensing prices are changed for CRM 2013.

Version 4 users will first need to upgrade to 2011 before installing Dynamics 2013.

Legacy systems that will not be supported after upgrade to Dynamics CRM 2013:

• NO Windows XP to run either Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook or the web application.
• NO Microsoft Office 2003
• NO Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 for email routing and tracking.
• NO Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 WebDAV protocol for email routing and tracking.
(Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Web Services (EWS) will still be supported)

Review any third party add-ons that you might have installed and check with vendor that they are supported on CRM 2013, if they will not be at time of upgrade then you best option may be to request a different upgrade date.

CRM 2013 Transition offerings:

System Health Check. We start with your server and database set up and maintenance. Then we will review the code in your environment to ensure that it meets the CRM 2013 standards to support a fully automated upgrade. The review will also identify opportunities to simplify code utilising some of the new features of CRM 2013 including synchronous workflows and entity business rules, which we believe will offer opportunities to remove customisation from the system.

Key User Training. Training to your key users on how the new user interface works and how users can navigate easily around the user interface.

Form Re-design – post the upgrade your CRM 2011 forms will continue to work within the new refreshed user interface as scrollable forms. With the redesign comes an opportunity to take advantage of the new layout options and to re-design your forms to be more user friendly.

Guided Business Processes Enablement – CRM 2013 introduced business process flows created via the process configuration area of Dynamics CRM. Synergy Software Systems consultants can give you aguidance on the best way to utilise this new feature to increase user adoption, to drive consistency and to reduce on-going training costs.

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