New in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Microsoft announced another new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 last week!  Read below for highlights and videos on all of the features included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. For a complete list of new features in Dynamics CRM, see What’s new or the Roadmap.

New PRODUCTIVITY features included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Get in-app help tailored just for you (CRM Online)

We’re introducing Learning Path – a new guided user experience that’s tailored just for you and your role. For example, if you’re a salesperson, you’ll see guided help just for sales people. If you’re a Customer Service Rep, you’ll see the appropriate content for your role. Learning Path leads you step-by-step through specific tasks while you work in CRM and provides videos, eBooks, and Help topics in context just when you need them.

In this release, we’re providing in-app guidance for what’s new, common tasks such as lead management in the web and mobile apps, and onboarding an organization.

Watch the video of in-app help included in Dynamics CRM 2016

Collaboration gets better with Office 365 Groups enhancements (CRM Online)

In CRM Online 2015 Update 1, we introduced the integration of Office 365 Groups with CRM. With Office 365 Groups, you can share information related to accounts or opportunities with team members even if they don’t have access to CRM Online.

With this release, we made enhancements to Office 365 Groups in CRM. For example:

  • Prior to this release, you needed to create a new group for each CRM record you wanted to collaborate on. Now, you can set and connect an existing group to different records.
  • Project team members added to a project will be automatically added to that project’s group.
  • We let you know when a group is deleted so you can connect the record to another group.
Add email signatures to your web client email

Save time on your email correspondence and add a professional touch by adding an email signature. Use a default signature for everyday replies and new email messages, and then create other signatures for those special cases. You can also assign a default signature to a queue. When you change the From field from a user to a queue, the default signature changes automatically.

Display multi-entity search results as a single list (CRM Online)

Search for records across multiple entities (record types) by using Relevance Search. The results from this search are returned in a single list, sorted by relevance.

You can continue to use multi-entity Quick Find, which is now called Categorized Search, to view the results grouped by entity types, such as accounts, contacts, or leads. To find records of one record type only, use the Quick Find view from the entity list (grid).

New SERVICE features included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Manage project-based sales (CRM Online)

Project service automation capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provide an end-to-end solution that empowers organizations to deliver project-based engagements on time and within budget. Project service automation capabilities help you:

  • Estimate, quote, and contract work
  • Plan and assign resources
  • Enable team collaboration
  • Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing
Project service automation capabilities include:

  • Project-based contracts. Project contracts relate quotes and orders to project plans, financial estimates, labor pricing, and billing arrangements, like time and materials or fixed price. The contract highlights key metrics, including profitability and feasibility.
  • Project planning. Visual project planning and estimation includes predecessors, automatic task scheduling, and views of sales and cost information for time and expenses. You can use the resulting plan in quotes and project contracts.
  • Resource management. Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right projects. You can also track resource utilization and forecasting metrics.
  • Time and expenses. Team members can use the web or mobile apps to record time and expenses for multiple projects. Managers can easily approve new entries while understanding the financial implications of the newly-approved items.
  • Project billing. Project invoices reflect the terms of the contract and the approved work and expenses. The financial impact of project work, including costs, unbilled revenue, and invoices, is recorded for use in analytics and integration into financial systems.

Both project service automation capabilities and field service capabilities (see below) share a resource pool, with resource schedules appearing in both.

Watch the short video on the NEW Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Project Service features

Manage your field service workforce (CRM Online)

Field service is an end-to-end solution that delivers advanced scheduling, inventory tracking, and asset management for service depots and highly mobile, in-field specialists who need to fulfill work orders and provide preventive maintenance across multiple sites under complex service agreements.

Both field service capabilities and project service capabilities (see above) share a resource pool, with resource schedules appearing in both.

Watch the short video on the NEW Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Field Service features

Create SLAs for any custom entity and other system entities

In previous releases of CRM, you could only create SLAs for the Case entity (record type). Now you can create SLAs for any custom entity and for any of the following system entities:

  • All activity entities (such as Email, Task, and Appointment) except recurring appointments
  • Account
  • Contact
  • Invoice
  • Opportunity
  • Quote
  • Lead
  • Order
Interactive service hub enhancements

We introduced the interactive service hub in CRM 2016. Interactive service hub dashboards and forms help you prioritize your workloads and solve cases faster. In this release, we’ve enhanced the interactive service hub to support more customer service scenarios.

New MOBILE features included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Rich mobile offline experience (CRM Online)

If your CRM system is configured for it, you now have access to a richer offline experience with the CRM mobile apps. You can view, update, and add records when you’re disconnected from the Internet, and you don’t have to save changes or additions as drafts first.

Mobile enhancements

In this release, we’re making the following enhancements to CRM for phones and CRM for tablets:

  • Service reps can now search for, view, create, and edit knowledge articles.
  • Sales professionals can now manage quotes, orders, and invoices.

We also made improvements to reduce start-up times whenever your CRM admin makes changes to the system.

Keep up with company news from your mobile device (CRM Online)

Stay on top of all the news related to an account, lead, contact, or opportunity right from your CRM mobile app. The latest and most important news articles from Bing news are organized by time (Today, This Week, Last Week) and contain the headlines, date/time, and source of the news article. Important events are detected and categorized, including management changes, earnings releases, new offerings, cost cutting, growth, legal issues, acquisitions, and partnerships.  You can:

  • Filter news articles by category
  • Tap a news article to open the original at the source website

New ANALYTICS features included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Enhanced Power BI integration

Enhanced Power BI integration lets you discover, analyze, and share data-sourced visualizations with colleagues. Power BI provides information workers and everyday business users with data analysis and visualization capabilities to get better business insights.

Features available in this release include:

  • New Service Content Pack includes several key indicators such as cases created, cases resolved, satisfaction percentage, top agent leaders, and most used and viewed KB articles.
  • Improved Sales Manager Content Pack includes OData (Open Data Protocol) version 4.0 support.
  • The ability to embed Power BI tiles directly into CRM user dashboards. This allows you to launch an interactive report from Power BI tiles directly from a CRM user dashboard, without having to switch to the Power BI service.

How do you get all of these great new features?  According to the “Get ready for the next release” Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 page:

Also, check out (and download) the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave Release Guide!

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