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Dynamics CRM 2013: New Functionality

This fall, Microsoft will be releasing version 2013 of Dynamics CRM, code-named Orion. A new version means brand new features aimed at improving every aspect of the application. In this series of articles, we will take you from user experience and new functionality through technical improvements to the upgrade process to demonstrate that the wide range of transformations make this release notably compelling.

In this article, we will show you how the new functionality aligns CRM with real business processes and how team collaboration and social networking becomes part of CRM.

Process Agility

CRM’s new process modeling function changes the application from a place to capture data to a guide that drives outcomes. It is now about working the deal instead of working the lead, opportunity, quote, etc. Each process serves as a roadmap to tell you step by step what you need to get a measurable outcome.

Processes functionality in Dynamics CRM 2013

The new characteristics are:

  • Processes can span entities. One process might include a lead and an opportunity, another might start at the opportunity progress through a quote and go back to the opportunity.
  • Processes can have stages. Rules can be setup so that processes cannot move through stages until all necessary steps are accomplished.
  • Users can switch from one process to another. Flexibility can be created to accommodate any situation because business sometimes doesn’t moves in a straight line. For example, a cross sell opportunity that got put on hold because the customer was being acquired might get revived as a new lead because the new company has to be re-qualified, but we don’t want to lose the history.
  • Stages can be linked to stage categories. Process stages can be assigned to independent stage categories so reports can be created across all processes.
  • Roles can be assigned to processes. Users can be limited to which processes they can follow.
  • An entity can belong to multiple processes. Opportunities can have different stages per process, for example, which was difficult to achieve in prior CRM versions.

Access Teams

CRM’s new access team function provides the ability to create different types of collaboration teams for one entity record. For example an Opportunity might have a list of stakeholders, a sales pursuit team, a support team and an implementation team. All these can be defined and the people engaged in each team can be included.

Access team function in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Social Networking

Yammer and Activity Feeds are now imbedded into the user experience to encourage conversations around people and objects. The idea is to drive cross collaboration to increase productivity.

You can follow people and objects like opportunities. With Yammer, documents can be shared. With Activity Feeds, changes to objects can be posted, like opportunities won or lost.

Social networking is now a part of the user experience

Other articles in this series: