Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 new look and feel

11 November 2013 by smartimpact team

At last, to great excitement, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has been released, and it is a big change to move things forwards. There are lots of functional changes, some technical differences, but the immediate impression is of the new look and feel which we’ll discuss in this smartimpact CRM article.

 

At last, to great excitement, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has been released, and it is a big change to move things forwards. There are lots of functional changes, some technical differences, but the immediate impression is of the new look and feel which we’ll discuss in this smartimpact CRM article.

The whole interface is much cleaner, more focussed around process and activity. Gone are many of the pop-up windows in favour of a much flatter, Facebook-like screen. Apart from making it much clearer with more space for your data, a key thought behind this interface is to provide far better support for touch screen devices such as tablets and other mobile devices. Microsoft quite rightly sees mobility as one of the fundamental areas in the Dynamics CRM future roadmap.

Single window

The first thing you may notice when you open a similar record in CRM 2013 is that there is a lot less clutter, with no additional windows, menus and toolbars. There is a lot more space dedicated to providing relevant information rather than screen clutter. This single-screen approach also allows more simplified navigation using the normal browser back and forward buttons to take you to a view of the record you are after.

Simpler navigation

The long-serving Windows Outlook-type folder structure on the left hand side, and the Window contextual ribbon are gone, giving a lot more screen space for customer information. The work areas are now accessible from a new top level, command bar…..

….and each of these breaks into sub-menus…...

In Dynamics CRM 2013, the idea of multiple open windows is disappearing, but there is a useful trail directly back to the most recently opened items so you can stick quickly switch between multiple records.

Additionally, other records linked to your currently open record are available from the command bar so you can move to them extremely easily.

More, clearer, relevant information on each screen

So, what does a data screen look like, and what does it show you?

With no ribbon anymore, there are only relevant commands options at the very top, leaving more space for record data. There are plenty of areas where pictures and graphics can be added, with Bing maps embedded to show the location of the record immediately. There is also a lot more focus on “social” updates relating to the record, the activities and the notes.

CRM 2013 also supports fast inline grid editing, Skype and Yammer integration, and allows data from one entity to be displayed on the form of another entity. More of this in later blogs.

Fast data capture with Quick Create

Microsoft have made it very easy to add a new record from scratch – the Quick Create button at the top of the screen. This enables users to quickly get data into the system without having to go through the full process, or leaving the screen you were on. For example while in an account record, you can add a new contact without leaving the account record.

Business process tracking made much clearer

Dynamics CRM 2013 makes it easy to see where a particular record is in relation to various business processes that you have set up. You can quickly move around the whole process but as you enter a particular record, the stage you are in is highlighted so you know exactly where it is in the process. To keep things clear, it also shows only the fields relevant to that stage as you progress through the business process.

Data with Auto Save

Dynamics CRM 2013 automatically saves your updates every 30 seconds or when you move to a new record – you no longer have to press save, or risk losing your changes.

Dynamics CRM 2013 is a very different look and feel from Dynamics CRM 2011. It is designed to give relevant customer information at a glance, much simpler navigation, and be equally easy to use for touch devices as well as keyboards. Added to that, there is more clarity around business process and where a particular record is within the processes that apply to it.

At smartimpact, we like it – we think Microsoft have done a great job and have again moved forwards the benchmark against which all other CRM systems will be measured.

These are just some of the key areas of difference in Dynamics CRM 2013. Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting more detail around the functionality so please keep visiting us at smartimpact.