1. User Experience
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 introduces an entirely new user experience with a brand new user interface. Say goodbye to those irritating and frustrating pop-ups windows. Get everything that needs on one screen with no flipping and less scroll.
A new horizontal menu bar eases user navigation & frees up screen space by replacing the CRM left menu and ribbon navigation, results in less scrolling and more focus on customer information for the user.
All modules are accessible under main navigation header and their related sub-modules can be accessed by clicking on the Arrow. From Module to Entity to Records to Related Records, flat structured links help the user to navigate between module and records without any hassles or confusion of where the required record can be accessed. Recently visited records also can be accessed easily by clicking on the arrow button on the right side of the button for the respective entity.
Selecting a record requires a click on the search icon. For creating a new record and attaching it, no need to open the Lookup view as “+New” button is available in the same in down-left most corner of this view.
Record Headers highlights key information i.g. lead source, status, rating, record owner to grab the user attention.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 replaces the cluttered ribbon with simplified design by displaying the most used buttons on it and make the others available through a drop down.
2. Data Entry
Any of the updated forms, now have autosave enabled by default. With autosave enabled there is no Save button displayed in the command bar on the form. Records that have changed data are automatically saved every 30 seconds or when people navigate to a new record. The autosave behavior can be disabled at the organization level in System Settings under General Tab or at the form level through code.
In an attempt to create a record while working on another, leaving the present screen, going to the correct module, opening and scrolling through the large form in search of the important fields has been very painful for users. Quick Create Button would happen to be one of the best features of MSCRM 2013. One button “Create” on the top pane will allow the user to create a new record of an entity without requiring to leave the present screen and task. A user will be able to create the record on the layer screen that appears on the main screen and contains the only prominent fields defined in the “quick create view”. A user can save the record and start working on the previous task. The entity (both custom and system) whose records which can be created through quickly create button can be configured on customization page.
One of the major drawbacks of earlier versions was that, in attempt to capture Phone Call, Appointment or any activity details regarding any record, the user would require to open a form for it, create the Activity and come back to the main record form. Microsoft has addressed this pain point with giving an ability to the user to create an activity from the record form itself. For example, User can click on the “Create Phone Call” option and enter the call details in the small form that appears on the record form and create the activity without navigating anywhere else.
With Quick View Feature, User can see the key information of any Look-up record on the main form itself. For example, if the user wants to see Parent Account’s only 3 key details i.e. Name, Phone and Email, One quick form with these 3 fields form can be created for the account entity and configured in the Contact form for the Parent Account Lookup Field. When any record is selected in the Parent Account look-up, its details will be displayed in this embedded Account Quick View Form on the Contact Form itself.
Inline Editable Grids:
Now, the product line items on the Opportunity, Quote, Invoice and Order Form can be edited quickly without opening the product record. With inline editable grids, Product details can such as price, discount and quantity can be entered in the grid line itself.
3. Business Processes
This feature makes the system a more process-centric, outcome-oriented and guided experience. The Business Processes let the admin define various guided processes for the users with different security roles. Each stage of a process is clearly outlined, identifying the recommended steps to completion. Users can move forward and backward in a process, and as they do, they will be presented with a new suggested list of steps. Business Process can be spanned on up to 5 entities and can be configured with more than one security roles. More than one Business Processes can be assigned to a Security Profile for an entity, thus one user can be assigned more than one Business Processes. A user can switch among the assigned Business Processes while working on a task. With this, Users always know what has been completed, where he is in the process, and what still remains to be done.
4. Record Image
Image of Customer or Product on the form may help the user in recognizing the record at the first sight without reading too many details from the form and saving her valuable time. An image can be displayed on an entity form, which has been configured to store it. The image attribute can be set up on the entity configuration setting page for any entity.
5. Access Team
Any business assignment, be it solving customer issue or following-up a Corporate Opportunity, may require the collaboration of a unique set of people. With a record-based Access Team, you can add a user to the record and give them access. The Access Team is a new type of team that doesn’t own records, but, has access to records. You can create one or more Access Teams to work on the same record and add team members with different Security Roles, to it. Also, you can define Access Team Templates which define the security access rights and create Access Teams quickly.
6. Business Rules
7. Real-Time Workflows
A very powerful feature that can minimize the need for plugin development. Real-Time Workflows are basically synchronous workflows which execute immediately and provides feedback to the user in real-time. Real-time workflows are not queued, as was the case with asynchronous workflows, but execute immediately on-demand or in response to a message being processed by the execution pipeline. Real-time workflows participate in the database transaction and perform similar functionality to plug-ins, yet can be created by a non-developer through the web application workflow designer.
8. Server-Side Synchronization
Server-Side Synchronization capability which enables the server to server sync of email, tasks, appointments, via integration with Exchange Server. This alleviates the need for using the email router (which had to be installed on always connected servers/PC) or Outlook Client to work with emails in CRM.
Exchange Online is supported or alternatively SMTP/POP3 (Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo / MSN / Live / Outlook.com).