Renew and Save on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13

Microsoft is offering a renewal promo to existing Dynamics CRM Online users who are eligible to renew their user service licenses (USL) from now until January 31, 2014. These customers will make the jump to Dynamics CRM 2013, which recently launched with a new, three-tiered pricing strategy designed to give CRM users more options and make Dynamics CRM Online more flexible. Gone is the simple $44 per user, per month rate as Microsoft has abandoned the one-price-fits-all strategy it has embraced since Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online debuted in 2008.

Create your free, 30-day trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

However, Microsoft wanted to give existing customers a price break to ease into this new pricing transition. There are a few key terms and conditions that existing customers should take note of:

  • This renewal promo is only valid to customers eligible for renewal from now until January 31, 2014. License renewal is an automated process; therefore customers are not able to change their renewal date.
  • If your renewal date is after January 31st, you are not eligible for the promotion and will move to the new pricing model once your current subscription ends.
  • The five Professional licenses minimum does not apply to existing customers. However, existing customers with fewer than five Professional licenses are not able to purchase Basic or Essential licenses until they reach the threshold of five Professional USLs.
  • Customers with less than five user licenses who migrate to CRM 2013 will have to purchase Professional Seats at $65/user/month once their renewal subscription expires.
  • Existing customers will be eligible to purchase Essential and Basic licenses after upgrading to Fall ’13 service update.
  • If you would like to add more USLs to your subscription, you are still able to take advantage of the $44/user/month renewal promo as long as you add the additional seats before your renewal and if your renewal is before January 31, 2014.

Renew and Save on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall 13

For more complete information on the new pricing, here is how Microsoft describes each of the three new licenses:

Professional ($65*) For the core CRM users, who need the full capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM including sales force automation as well as marketing and customer care. We believe most users will find this license best fits their needs.

Basic ($30*) For sales, service and marketing users who need to manage accounts, contacts, leads, cases and access custom applications as well as for business analysts who require reporting capabilities.

Essential ($15*) For light-weight users who need to access custom applications developed in house or by our vast network of partners.

(*) CRM Online list price shown per user per month in USD, actual pricing might vary by geography. Other fees may apply for add-on services such as additional storage, testing and production instances. Prices are exclusive of any fees you may incur to procure Internet connectivity. There is a minimum purchase requirement of 5 Professional licenses.

Source: CRM Online Pricing & Licensing Guide – Review the license type for CRM Online.

To take advantage of this discounted renewal rate, login to your Microsoft online services account and upgrade when your renewal date approaches. If you are eligible, the renewal promo price will be reflected in your account. For more information on transitioning your licenses to Dynamics CRM 2013, visit the Microsoft Billing Transition Center or contact xRM at sales@xrm.com.

Create your free, 30-day trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

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Register to Attend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Global Premier Event

On November 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM Pacific, Microsoft will introduce Dynamics CRM 2013 at its Global Premier Event in Barcelona, Spain. Any excuse to visit Barcelona is a good one, especially if you can get your company to cover the airfare, hotel, meals, drinks, and shopping on Las Ramblas. If for some reason your cheapskate company won’t pay for that,xRM has got you covered.

Microsoft is broadcasting the event live and xRM has your invitation!

During this event, you will see the new intuitive user interface and powerful features of CRM 2013. Perhaps more importantly, you will learn how companies around the world are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to create amazing customer experiences and turning new and existing customers into loyal fans of their brands.

Click the banner below to register to attend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Global Premier Event live from the comfort of your office chair.

Register to Attend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Global Premier Event

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Unsupported Customizations

Microsoft has recently started notifying its CRM Online subscribers that their customizations and solutions may not be compatible with the new release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. If you are a current Dynamics CRM Online subscriber, you may have received an email notification from Microsoft that instructed you to take action.

See below for an example of this email message.

The email from Microsoft also comes with an attached text report (.txt) that lists the customizations that you have made to your CRM Online organization that have modified the organization in a way that is no longer supported or that reference a feature that has been removed from CRM Online. Microsoft encourages companies that receive this email message to contact their Microsoft Partners and solution providers to modify the customizations to ensure compatibility with CRM Online Fall ’13.

xRM would like to extend an offer to review the unsupported customizations report that you received from Microsoft. Our CRM developers will provide a free analysis of the report and suggest a course of action to ensure that you can upgrade to the latest release of CRM Online without difficulty.

Click here to obtain your free customization analysis.

You can read more about how to prepare for the CRM Online Fall ’13 upgrade and check your own code by visiting the links below.

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 is here!

Like many, we at xRM have eagerly anticipated the arrival of the newest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online since Microsoft formally announced it in July. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 is finally here, and we’re excited!

Get your free Microsoft Dynamics CRM Fall ’13 trial here.

The CRM Online Fall ’13 release is a dramatic departure from traditional CRM applications. Microsoft has reimagined the way that CRM functions and how users interact with it. CRM applications have traditionally been form-based tools that allowed their users to access information about their customers. With this release of CRM Online, Microsoft has switched the focus of CRM from accessing information to achieving outcomes, such as a sale, with its new process-driven approach.

The navigation paradigm has completely changed. Microsoft has removed the navigation window and links that used to appear on the left-hand side of the screen as well as the context-sensitive ribbon that used to appear at the top of the screen. The rationale behind this major change was to free up screen real estate that could be better used to display important information about your records. The UI is now much flatter than it used to be, but all of the different areas and functions of Dynamics CRM are still present. The change allows Microsoft to deliver a much more consistent experience across devices than it could with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. It also makes it easier for new users find what they are looking for. This change should also make it quicker for seasoned Dynamics CRM users to reach functions and records that they need as well, once they get used to the change.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Sales Activity Dashboard Screenshot

Other major changes include increased mobility and collaboration features. CRM Online now comes with better mobile functionality at no extra charge. Native apps for iPad and Windows 8 tablets will be released probably by the end of October. You can see from the user interface of CRM Online Fall ’13 that the application was designed with touch screens and mobile devices in mind from the beginning. Microsoft has also promised to release mobile clients for iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android devices in the near future, but no release date has been announced yet.

Microsoft has also made a major commitment to making collaboration easier and more efficient. CRM Online now features full Yammer integration, Activity Feeds, and Lync presence. It is now easier for colleagues to communicate about records within CRM. The advantages of this approach become clear when you have multiple people invested in a particular client or case. Conversations centered on making a sale or solving a customer service case are recorded and accessible within CRM, which keeps everyone that is invested in that particular sale, case, or whatever contact informed about what is happening.

It will take us a while to get used to the radically different appearance of CRM 2013, but we’re excited about the new features, capabilities, and process-driven focus. We think that you will be too.

Read More about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Fall ‘13

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 Pricing and Licensing Explanation

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Center

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Release Preview Guide

Bob Stutz’s blog “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 Now Available!”

In-depth Preview of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

If you are not ready to upgrade your CRM Online account to the Fall ’13 release, read our post on rescheduling your CRM Online upgrade. The latest upgrade date has been extended until 2/15/14.

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 15

Microsoft has released Update Rollup 15 (UR15) for on-premises and partner-hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. This Update Rollup does not apply to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 or to any version of CRM Online.

The version ID for UR15 is (05.00.9690.3731) or (5.0.9690.3731), depending where you read it.

UR15 introduces one new feature in advance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 that should improve performance for anyone who uses the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Outlook Office client, which is Process Isolation for the client-specific workload. Process Isolation moves the CRM for Outlook client workload to a separate process so that it no longer shares memory with the Microsoft Office Outlook process. UR15 also includes several other fixes and improvements. Read the primary source pages for more information.

Links

Microsoft Download Center: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40346

Microsoft Support article 2843571: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2843571

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) blog article:http://blogs.msdn.com/b/emeadcrmsupport/archive/2013/10/08/microsoft-crm-2011-update-rollup-15-has-been-released.aspx

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 are Almost Here

The action has been ramping up since Microsoft first announced plans to release the newest version of Dynamics CRM in Q4 FY2013. As a Microsoft Partner and Hosting Provider, xRM (www.xrm.com) is watching closely and preparing for the updates to our own instances and to our customers’ instances. Microsoft also announced that a new three-tiered pricing system will take effect at the same time (more on update schedules and prices further below).

Features

Dynamics CRM users have been wishing for improvements in mobility, marketing, analytics, and social-media integration, and Microsoft has granted those wishes. It is vital that businesses actively engage their customers, and this new version represents the customer-centric approach Microsoft is taking to develop and deliver streamlined business solutions. The main changes focus on connecting Dynamics CRM users with their customers on a social level—making business personal and giving them the tools they need to be successful. Microsoft aims to deliver more personal experiences to sales, marketing, and customer care professionals so that they can tap into customers’ needs.

“[Customers] are knowledgeable and are interacting with their social and professional networks to make their buying decisions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps people connect with these customers in a way that is personal — giving them the information they need to choose the right solutions, engage to drive sales, and nurture relationships to deliver amazing experiences,” said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Interface: A new outcome-driven “process flow” user interface helps sales teams move from lead to close faster than ever before. It removes some pop-up windows and frees up screen space, enabling multiple records to be created and manipulated in a single page that guides the user through the steps.

Mobility: There is a great demand for mobility, and the new release gives Microsoft a huge opportunity to push into the mobile marketplace. The new release will provide users better access to Dynamics CRM through a wide range of devices. Also in the works are new mobile client apps for iPad and Windows 8 tablets, giving users access on the go. Shortly after, Microsoft plans to offer new touch-optimized mobile experiences for Windows Phone 8, iPhone, and Android. You can see in the look and feel of the 2013 interface that it is geared for touch users. Best of all, Microsoft is including mobility at no additional cost. Microsoft Dynamics CRM users can go mobile without having to pay additional fees to access third-party solutions.

Skype: Lync-Skype Connectivity integrates Microsoft Lync with Skype. Lync already integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Together, these integrations allow users to reach out to their customers in Skype in real time from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, nurturing enduring relationships and fostering brand loyalty.

Yammer: Another social improvement is the integration of Dynamics CRM with Yammer. Users can post messages from Dynamics CRM to Yammer and vice versa, allowing coworkers to collaborate with each other and share customer knowledge, all within their CRM solution.

Microsoft made some acquisitions during the past year to strengthen the social and marketing capabilities of Dynamics CRM in response to customer wishes, showing that it’s all about the customer.

Marketing Pilot: In the past, rich constomer-behavior insights were only available through external, third-party vendors. Microsoft committed to improving the Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) capabilities of Dynamics CRM with theacquisition of the marketing-automation solution, MarketingPilot, creating a powerful alternative to Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud. The integration of MarketingPilot enables businesses to improve the efficiency of customer engagements by monitoring marketing campaigns across social and digital channels and identifying which people are the most interested in their products and services. By understanding their customers’ digital footprints, Dynamics CRM users can focus their resources in the right area, wasting less time searching for customers and spending more time serving customers.

Netbreeze: Microsoft will be offering a limited beta release of Netbreeze, a recently acquired social-media monitoring and analytics service, with the 2013 release of Dynamics CRM. Netbreeze contains powerful data-mining and text-analysis capabilities that provide Dynamics CRM users with an essential tool for the in-depth analysis of customer preferences. Microsoft has not set a date for when the full functionality of Netbreeze will become part of Dynamics CRM.

Deployment

The names and update schedules are different for the online and on-premises deployments of the new 2013 versions.

The CRM Online deployment receives the moniker “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13”. The software update is mandatory for existing CRM Online organizations. Each organization is issued an update date which appears in alerts in the interface and which is also emailed to the primary user. Each organization can choose to postpone the update, but not indefinitely. We’ve already seen update alerts in our own CRM Online organizations and in customer organizations ranging from October 2013 to December 2013, which fits exactly into the Q4 FY2013 plan.

The on-premises version takes the name “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013”. The on-premises updates will come after the CRM Online updates, and the code bits will be made available through the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update. On-premises deployments are not required to be updated, however they will need to be updated to continue receiving the mainstream Update Rollups (UR15, UR16, etc.).

It looks like Microsoft plans to support on-premises organizations that choose not to take the 2013 version immediately. There is already a critical update for on-premises organizations that are constrained to UR11 or earlier “for compatibility reasons, such as unsupported JavaScript customizations.” Details:http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=2855319

Caveat

In the past, Microsoft Dynamics CRM customizations took advantage of some things that could only be done in Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Cross-browser support was one of the main thrusts of Polaris and the December 2012 Service Update. At that time, Microsoft introduced new methods for customizations that work in multiple browsers instead.

The 2013 version completes that effort—and closes the gate. In the 2013 version, Microsoft no longer supports the older (mono-browser) customizations. That means that any customizations using the old methods will have to be tweaked to support the new methods. Fortunately, Microsoft released some tools to help customers and partners do that.

The caveat is that any tweaking must be done before updating, or some existing customizations could break.

Here’s a good Microsoft technical document for on-premises deployments: How to Prepare for the Upgrade to CRM 2013 (on-premises).pdf

Pricing

The new three-tiered pricing strategy offers greater flexibility and value. Multiple license types can be consumed by different users within the same organization, letting customers save money on licenses for users who don’t require full access. The license types are listed below:

Essential ($15 per user per month) is the best option for users who only need to read and write data of custom line-of-business applications implemented in Dynamics CRM, developed either in-house or by a Microsoft Partner such asxRM. This license type also provides Activity management and Activity Feeds.

Basic ($30 per user per month) provides everything in Essential, plus reporting, personal Dashboards, and visualizations, as well as the ability to read and write Accounts, Cases, Contacts, and Leads.

Professional ($65 per user per month) is the complete-access license. It provides everything in Essential and Basic plus all other available functions, including Sales automation, Service automation, and Marketing Lists and Campaigns, as well as customization and administration of Dynamics CRM. It seems that Microsoft intends the Professional license to go toe-to-toe with Salesforce.com Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

Summary

Microsoft executives continue to actively seek out new technology with a primary focus on functionality. The 2013 version of Dynamics CRM brings a smoother interface, new functionality, increased integration with other technologies, and versatile pricing, but make sure your old customizations are ready before updating.

We will continue to follow the story on blog.xrm.com.

xRM specializes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and private cloud services. For more information, visit www.xrm.com. To inquire, email sales@xrm.com or call +1 (800) 836-5147.

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Quick Tip: Add Columns faster in Advanced Find

Here’s a quick tip that will save you some clicks if you want to edit or create a View in CRM Online. You can dictate the insertion point of a new column, thus skipping having to manually move it into place with the green arrows. I’ll show you what I am talking about.

If we open the Advanced Find window for a View, we can click Edit Columns in the ribbon in order to add, remove, and move columns. Normally, when you add a column, it will be added as the last column to the far right, and you then have to click the green left arrow a number of times to move it into place.

Instead, before you click Add Columns, you can select the column that is to the left of where you want the new column to be inserted. In the example below, notice I select the Name column first, and then click Add Column. The Add Columns window opens, I select the Created On column, and then click the OK button.

Quick Tip Add Columns faster in Advanced Find

Quick Tip Add Columns faster in Advanced Find

 

The newly added column is inserted immediately to the right of the Name column.

If you’re a Success Portal subscriber, check out this related video for more information about Modifying a Public View.

If you’re not yet a subscriber, here’s a sample of the same video.

Hope this tip helps!

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