Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to Offer New Features

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Dashboards, Sharepoint integration, and shared customizations are just three new additions to Dynamics CRM.

Dashboards, Sharepoint integration and shared customizations are just three new additions to Dynamics CRM.

If you have not looked at the new beta for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you may want to consider some of the new features. Microsoft made a number of improvements to make upgrading from 4.0 an attractive idea.

"This is a new era for sales and marketing professionals," says Eli Ritz, marketing specialist and host of the blog Totally CRM. "Alot of people will be wondering if it's worth it to upgrade, and I can tell you my first-hand experience with it has been extremely positive."

For one thing, Dynamics CRM 2011 uses out-of-the-box integration with Sharepoint. More and more offices use Sharepoint, a tool for web-based collaboration, to help make the workplace more efficient. One challenge for sales and marketing professionals is that information put in CRM does not integrate to Sharepoint (where other departments could view select information for financial forecasting). Now, this information can be shared, without any custom development, right inside the Sharepoint environment.

Second, Dynamics CRM will feature a new marketplace--a solutions catalog, integrated with Dynamics CRM, that allows for faster application downloads. In addition, much like with Microsoft Pinpoint, CRM 2011 will help organizations discover new Microsoft partners and find solutions that cater to their specific business needs. For example, an insurance company can now identify which Microsoft partners offer insurance specific functionality through the catalog.

Another great new feature is the dashboards. Dashboards can monitor the overall health and performance of one's business, and report the information in a graphical format. MS built the dashboards to be intuitive and easy to navigate. The new add-on allows users to use BI (business intelligence) to follow customer, prospect and market trends. These features allow one to see a financial forecast, in a graphical format, based on the time frame when potential deals might close.

Totally CRM, a video blog, follows the newest information on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other popular CRM software (such as Sales Force). It is hosted by marketing professionals Eli Ritz and Scott McHale. The website is


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