So in the last twenty four hours the web has been alive with tweets welcoming the announcement of what will be in the Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 update codenamed R8. Titled CRM Anywhere it includes two major highlights allowing CRM systems to be accessed from as many devices as possible in as many different places as possible plus four other “enhancements”. What does it all mean for you?
- There will be a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices
- It will support other web browsers than Internet Explorer, such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari
- More social network integration (improving the activity feeds introduced in R6)
- Industry templates to get new customers started quicker
- Support for SQL 2012 including its new Power View BI tool and links to Azure
- More security certifications for CRM Online such as SAS70 Type II, Safe Harbour & DPA
Well we were at the announcement in person at ExtremeCRM conference in Berlin so got the detail that is maybe not highlighted in the official announcement document..
There is no doubt the most exciting bit is that Microsoft is launching their own Mobile app. This is in fact a version of the CWR mobile application that's been available for some time and now we have the full detail we know that despite communicating through Microsoft’s data centres it will connect to both our hosted and clients on premise applications that have been setup with an Internet Facing Deployment. It costs $30 per month per user but you can access it from as many devices as you like so those with a phone and a tablet will not have to pay twice.
A few will like the ability to use other browsers and the same for the ability to filter, like and unlike activity feeds but for me the best news is the early support for PowerView which is a really strong Excel add in for analysing data. Reporting in CRM is already strong in 2011, made stronger in R6 with more graph possibilities including 3D out of the box but will be unbeatable by any application in my judgement once PowerView is in the mix.
The good news in that this announcement is making all the mobile partners like Resco look at their pricing and most are likely to match Microsoft’s price point if not better it, bringing down the slightly prohibitive entry level costs to date. Even better ones Resco can support all the standard entities such as service cases which appear missing on the MS option as well as allowing customisation to a far higher level. That means the tailoring you’ve had done to make your CRM fit your business will be possible on the whatever device your using too.
And finally you don’t have to wait, either the CWR or Resco options are available now rather than waiting till Microsoft release in the the October/November timeframe (their Q2 is our Q4) so if you’d like to try it out give us a call.