If you’ve been following along the Microsoft Dynamics CRM rumor mill, you already know Microsoft’s got a space theme going on. With recent and upcoming updates for CRM that have codenames like Gemini, Orion (that’s Orion pictured above, in case you didn’t notice), Leo and Vega, users are expecting not just the world but the universe, too. And–spoiler alert–I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.
For some background, here’s a timeline of Microsoft Dynamics CRM releases:
- January 2003 – Microsoft CRM 1.0 released
- December 2003 – Microsoft CRM 1.2 released
- December 2005 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 released
- December 2007 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 released
- February 2011 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 released
- July 2013 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 expected???
Yeah, that’s not a mistake… They completed skipped CRM 2.0. So what’s coming in this rumored release in mid-2013? Here’s my top three rumors:
Space-Age Modern UI
Much like SharePoint 2013’s new look and feel, Dynamics CRM will certainly have to follow suit, possibly even before the full CRM 2013 release comes out. Expect CRM to have a more flat and modern Windows 8-style look. Who said Metro? This will be a pretty big change, similar to how the look of CRM 4.0 drastically changed when CRM 2011 came out. The new SharePoint look has gotten praise, and I think you’ll like the way the new CRM style ends up.
Super advanced marketing features are coming, via the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing pilot set of features. This will pump up the marketing capabilities of CRM big time. If you’re using CRM for marketing right now, you know it gets the job done but it’s not quite superb unless you use a 3rd party plugin or extension. The new set of marketing features is going to change all that. We’re talking things like enhanced social media integration, campaign planning, market analytics, behavior tracking and strategy management. Prepare to be blown away. We may get a peek at some of those features this Spring leading up to the release.
Rocket up to Mobile
Yes, Dynamics CRM is coming natively to iOS. Best guess is it will be available on the iPad first, then in a later update to the iPhone. We’re talking native apps, full and rich functionality, kids. Look for sales-related features to become available first, with other features trickling in across app updates. Oh, and don’t think they’ll forget about Android…. Watch for an Android app to come after iOS support gets rolling.
Set Phasers to Fun
Word on the street is customizations will automatically port over to the new and improved CRM 2013. Great news for those of us following the rules and using supported customizations! For those using unsupported hacks…. As usual, I’m sure there’s no guarantee. But you wouldn’t be doing that, would you??
I’m excited for what we’ll see coming out in 2013 and into 2014. Do you know another rumor I missed? Let me know in the comments!