Tuesday, 15 November 2005

The new Crm_logo_adMicrosoft Dynamics CRM v3.0 packages and and an early SDK version have been released to MSDN's subscriber downloads, as the product reached RTM status just recently. This new version of CRM (which stands for Customer Relationship Management) is substantially improved over previous versions. The robust features and functionality are way too many to describe here in complete detail. Suffice it to say that among other great things, highly-configurable interfaces, web-based configuration tools, business workflow (escalation and routing, yay!) and the ability to do customizations to meet business needs without any programming are all really nice to have.

The SQL Reporting Services interface is terrific and there are a large number of reports shipped right out of the box with the product. Pivot tables in Excel leverage live CRM data and can be quickly and automatically created by clicking an icon right there in the web interface, no complex connectivity configuration needed. Integration with Outlook for both the Service and Sales/Marketing components of the system are terrific. The seamless experience between Outlook and the CRM server, as well as the ability to work offline in Outlook to do your work on the road and then sync back up later is great. Being able to link emails straight to CRM cases, to schedule appointments in both CRM and Outlook and have them synced two ways, and to manage contacts in both places (among many other things) is a huge time saver. The web interface is rich and functional. For the IT staff, deployment is simple and reliable and the set of back-office tools for configuration, management and maintenance is very useful and saves time.

Here's what's been released on MSDN's Subscriber Downloads: 

The CRM v3 product launch "mantra" (and you can expect to hear more and more of this over the next few months) will sound something like "it works the way you do, the way your business does, and the way IT wants and needs it to." No secrets there, it's on the web site. And I have to agree with those catch-phrase messages - this product hits those nails on the head pretty well.

You can check out the official MS Dynamics CRM v3 data sheet here.

And if you're wondering what all this "Microsoft Dynamics" stuff is about, it's the new Business Solutions product line brand name. You can read about that here.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2005 19:56:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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