Microsoft have been thinking sales, marketing and customer service with their new update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM this Christmas. There are some fantastic enhancements and new features that will push your productivity through the roof. Which ones would be in your CRM Christmas stocking?

New Interactive Dashboards

The new dashboards enable users to pull data from multiple entities, so that all relevant data is in one place, users are able to drill down to the data they require from within the dashboard. These dashboards are far more feature rich than their traditional counterparts, in terms of the data that is shown and the way that users interact it. They now have visual filters where data can be sliced and diced at a granular level. Actions can be performed from directly within the dashboard, as opposed to opening the case record, going to the form, and then performing the necessary actions. The overarching philosophy is about providing users with the relevant information, in one easy to navigate environment.

Multi Stream Dashboard

This dashboard is designed for Tier One agents. The user is now able to view their workload across multiple data streams i.e. views or queues and act accordingly. It is now possible to create interactive charts that provide insight in real-time of the key metrics, these charts also act as visual filters, which allow agents to manipulate the data. It is also possible to create global filters, which bring focus to the relevant items.

Single Stream Dashboard

Single stream dashboards are designed primarily for Tier Two Agents. A single data stream on the left shows an aggregate view of the workload. This dashboard shows data from queues or views. Much like the multi-screen dashboard, the screen can show data from views which is fully interactive, and data can be filtered using the same criteria as the multi-screen dashboard. The tiles on the right hand side gives users an insight into specific records by selecting the relevant tile.

Unified Service Desk

Microsoft recognised the need to modernise their current customer service infrastructure. Microsoft Dynamics CRM fall update, has introduced a consolidated solution which includes self-assisted and field service. The introduction of the Unified Service Desk which provides service organisations with the unique ability to deliver a single agent desktop with access to back end systems and third party applications. The install process has been greatly improved by enabling upgrades and patches to be delivered through windows update/system centre. Improved auditing and diagnostic settings dictate which events and actions are logged through the centralised auditing configuration. Third party systems, such as, Azure and HDInsights is now available out of the box. The spring update saw the integration of Parature knowledge management. This is being supplemented with a new role orientated agent experience, a centralised Knowledge Management solution and CRM surveys to capture customer opinion on case specific scenarios with Voice of the Customer. The acquisition of Field One has enhanced field service capabilities.

External Party Access

Another massive improvement brought about by the Fall Update is External Party Access which allows third parties to access CRM data with the right level of permissions. It allows integration, access and actions by partners, contacts or any other third parties that have been modelled in CRM. It is a role based permission model for external customers to access CRM data through any channel. Multiple roles can be modelled that a customer may have against an organisation.