In the upcoming KTL User Conference 2016, we will have a session on the benefits of moving to CRM Online. You will get all the details on the ease of the move, plus details on the additional features you will get just by choosing CRM Online. As I type this blog, Microsoft has already released the preview guide for what’s coming as an update to CRM in Spring 2016.
With the release of CRM 2016, Microsoft brought a lot of these new features to CRM on-premises, and also introduced a lot of new features for CRM Online. I will not go into the obvious difference and benefit of CRM Online versus CRM on-premises, that of leveraging MS infrastructure rather than investing in your own hardware plus the cost of maintaining it. Let’s talk about CRM Online and the other benefits of using it over an on-premises implementation.
- Access to the new CRM App for Outlook – being able to access CRM data right within Outlook without installing the CRM plugin for Outlook. You can access CRM data and track emails right from accessing it in Office 365. The CRM app is available as an add-in in Office 365.
- Integration of CRM Online with Excel online – you can edit multiple records by exporting a list view from CRM into Excel online, make changes in Excel online and save back the changes in CRM. All this without leaving CRM, and the whole process is seamless.
- Trending documents using Office Delve – if you have bought into the whole Office 365 ecosystem, then CRM can work with all the other data and documents you have stored in Office 365. A dashboard can be created in CRM to view trending documents that exist in your Office 365 SharePoint.
- Voice of Customer – create surveys and collect customer feedback from CRM, create customer surveys upon case completion. These surveys would be hosted in Azure and the responses are then collected within CRM.
- InsideView social insights – with a minimum of 10 CRM online professional licenses, you are eligible for CRM insights from InsideView. That in itself gives you additional functionality just by going to CRM Online.
- You may have already heard of the different acquisitions by Microsoft: AdxStudio, Voice of Customer, and FieldOne. The licensing on all these acquisitions is still not clear, but some or most of the features and functionality from these acquisitions would be incorporated into the existing CRM licenses. With CRM Online you can easily add or remove licenses to acquire these new functionalities
- Leveraging the ecosystem of Office 365 – CRM Online has dedicated integration to MS cloud platform Azure. The possibilities of deploying different business applications and use cases can easily be created with CRM and Azure.
- CRM Online instance management – you can easily create sandbox environments, create a copy of your production CRM into sandbox, and control updates to your CRM instance.
- A major disadvantage discussed about CRM Online is non-access to the database and not being able to create reports with direct access to your CRM SQL data. There have been a few solutions released by partners available as add-on solutions to extract CRM Online data and replicate to on-premises database, so that you have a copy and will also be able to do reporting in-house.
- CRM as a platform is also providing features like change data capture, which allow you to query changed data through API or leverage the Azure integration to replicate/report from the Azure cloud solution.
- New features defined in Spring 2016 preview would be first available with CRM Online; here is a video to get you excited about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uy5Ql30tQc
The journey with CRM Online is surely exciting and provides lot of growth as a platform. You can follow CRM roadmap and the new features and its future journey at http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/
|DAVE VORA |Senior Business Software Consultant and CRM Lead
Dave is responsible for leading KTL’s CRM consultants, assuring that our solution scoping, architecting and delivery meet and exceed customer expectations. Dave has built lasting relationships with clients by understanding their business needs and providing value by leveraging their existing resources. Along with his consulting team, he has delivered effective solutions beyond traditional CRM constraints. Dave has more than eight years of experience in implementing business software for a variety of industries including service, government, distribution,not-for-profitand manufacturing. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Computer Science and also a specialization in Management fromUniversityof California at Irvine. His experience includes helping companies embrace technology to fulfill their organizational needs and creating innovative solutions using CRM, GP, Scribe and other Microsoft products.