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Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

July 13, 2010
By Brendan B. Read
Senior Contributing Editor
Microsoft has ended the secrecy over its latest version of its Microsoft (News - Alert) Dynamics CRM software, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Formerly code-named "CRM5" it will be publicly available as a beta release in September 2010, beginning with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will build out the product's end-user and customer experiences with a series of enhancements:
  • The solution enables CRM information to take full advantage of native Outlook functionality including previews and conditional formatting
  • New contextual CRM Ribbon for Outlook and browser clients delivers consistent Microsoft Office navigation and user experiences
  • Role-based forms and views ensure business professionals have fast access to the relevant information that they need and are prevented from seeing data that they are not authorized to view
  • Advanced user personalization. Customers can create personal views, add commonly used records and design personal dashboards to measure performance
  • Inline data visualizations. Business professionals using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can quickly create and share inline charts with drill-down intelligence to visually navigate data and uncover new insights
  • Real-time dashboards. Businesses can rapidly configure multiple real-time dashboards to actively monitor business performance and improve decisionmaking
  • Flexible goal management. Businesses can define key performance and business health indicators to track and measure progress against any organizational goal or metrics
  • Guided process dialogs. In addition to automated processes, businesses can provide its employees with step-by-step guidance through any business process or interaction
  • Contextual documents. For organizations with Microsoft SharePoint Server, people can easily provision SharePoint document repositories and embed directly within Microsoft Dynamics CRM
 The software also has enhancements for developers including: 
  • Cloud development. Developers can develop and deploy custom code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online using powerful tools, such as Microsoft Visual Studio. Powered by .NET (News - Alert) Framework 4, they can also incorporate Microsoft Silverlight, Windows Communication Foundation and Language Integrated Query into their cloud solutions
  • Solution management. Solution developers can easily create, manage and help protect solutions from creation to distribution through versioning, dependencies and security features
To streamline solution discovery and distribution, Microsoft will be launching Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace in September 2010. This new online catalog will provide an easy way for partners to market and distribute solutions to Microsoft Dynamics customers.
The marketplace will allow customers to quickly search, discover and apply industry-specific applications and solution extensions from Microsoft and its partners to help them accelerate and extend their CRM and ERP implementations. Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace will be integrated within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, allowing customers to search for applications directly from within their CRM solution.
"We are excited to get the new release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM," said Jason Hunt, Avanade CRM and xRM evangelist. "The new features will give us even more power and flexibility to create and easily customize CRM solutions to meet the unique business needs of our customers and help them be more productive. We are also looking forward to the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, as it opens up new opportunities that will enable us to expand our reach and get our CRM solutions out to a broader, global audience."
Microsoft is also widening the availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. It will be available in 40 markets and 41 languages by the end of 2010. In addition to 32 markets announced in April, the following eight markets are slated to be covered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online: Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cyprus, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.
"Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will further deliver 'The Power of Productivity' through familiar, intelligent and connected experiences for customers and partners," said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. "For customers, it offers new levels of user productivity and collaboration that meet their specific business needs with a low total cost of ownership. For partners, it unlocks new opportunities and provides a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premise deployments. Together, this new release raises the bar in the CRM market."

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet's Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight
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