With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM Online Fall ‘13 now available worldwide, xRM has created a series of video tutorials so users can familiarize themselves with the new features and dramatically improved user interface.
Together Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM Online Fall ’13 are 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 these new releases, Microsoft has switched the focus of CRM from accessing information to achieving outcomes, such as a sale, with its new process-driven approach. The shift in focus accompanies a dramatic change in user experience. Fortunately, xRM has created a serious of videos in its Success Portal to help CRM users adjust.
What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013?
In this video, we outline the key principles behind the application, and explain how it works. When Microsoft designed Dynamics CRM 2013, they wanted to focus on a few key principles, one of which is usability. User adoption is a huge challenge for any business that implements new business practices or software. People don’t always have the time or resources to stop production and learn a new way of doing things. CRM 2013 is a simpler, yet more powerful reimagining of Dynamics CRM 2011.
Another core concept of CRM 2013 is modernization. The User Interface (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 2011. It also makes it easier for new users to find what they are looking for.
In this video, we also explain that CRM 2013 is a framework. It is an application designed to work from day one, but also designed to be flexible enough to match the needs of your business. Any business software should work the way your business does, not the other way around. Once you understand what it is designed to do and how it is designed to work, you’ll be able to fully leverage the powerful application.
Understanding CRM 2013
This lesson is designed to help beginners understand Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 by learning how the application is structured. The next lesson in the series, “Navigating CRM 2013,” will teach you how to move around the application and access critical functions.
When you place your cursor over “Microsoft Dynamics CRM”, five tiles appear: Sales, Service, Marketing, Settings, and Help. With the exception of the Help tile, these are all of the different modules. If you want to see Dynamics CRM through the lens of a marketing user, you click the Marketing module. If you are a customer service representative, you might want to work through the lens of the Service module.
What is important to take away from this lesson is that CRM 2013 is organized into different areas or modules, the lenses from which to interact with the application and view your data. There are various entities in each module. In an entity, there can be numerous Views, or filters, that organize records. As you navigate CRM 2013, you can always refer to the breadcrumb in the navigation bar to get your bearings. To learn more about some of these navigational features, please watch the next lesson, “Navigating CRM 2013”.
Navigating CRM 2013
In an effort to get you CRM 2013 ready, this video demonstrates the basic navigational structure, including modules, entities, and views. In the process, it illuminates some of the key features of CRM 2013 and how it differs from CRM 2011.
The video starts with the most glaring change for users familiar with CRM 2011: there is no longer a navigation pane. The pane has been replaced with the navigation bar at the top of the window. It is a thin, dark blue bar where users can see their display name, user name, and user picture. Another handy feature in CRM 2013 is the back button. If you are working in the application from a web browser, you can now click the back button on your browser or mouse to return to a previous screen. This action was not supported in previous versions of the application.
As the video explains, the guiding principle for moving within CRM 2013 is breadcrumb navigation. As you drill down into a module and an entity, a breadcrumb will be present in the navigation bar showing your path. This is especially helpful when opening related records from another open record. When you open a record in CRM 2013, it doesn’t open in a new window; it refreshes on the same window. This is nice because you don’t have to deal with tons of open windows in a single browsing session. However, you do have the option to manually open records in different windows if you so choose. Since records open in the same window, having a breadcrumb to show you where you are is quite useful.
To learn more about what you can do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please refer to other lessons in our Success Portal. The Success Portal is a library of hundreds of Dynamics CRM training videos that are arranged in six different courses covering: setup, configuration, use, customization, etc. Success Portal accounts are free for companies thatname xRM.com as their partner of record.