As Microsoft's Convergence -- its annual Dynamics CRM and ERP conference -- fast approaches, it seems like a good time to update the Dynamics team's codename list and roadmap.
The Dynamics CRM engineering team is seeking input from Convergence attendees (who agree to non-disclosure agreements) on prototypes they're building in the salesforce-automation, Yammer/social media and marketing campaign automation. Microsoft bought MarketingPilot last year to beef up its marketing-automation capabilities.
The Dynamics CRM roadmap to which these future technology tweaks will be made is already largely in place. I found a few references on various sites to Microsoft's codenames for the next few versions of CRM updates coming down the pike.
(It looks as if Microsoft has been sharing its CRM roadmap with its Dynamics partners and allowing them to go public with it. When I asked officials for comment on these latest codenames and roadmaps, I was told Microsoft hasn't announced any of these officially. Official or not, it seems to me like this information is coming from Microsoft.)
"Polaris," the CRM update Microsoft released to manufacturing in December and rolled out broadly in January 2013, was the first of the coming refreshes. Up next, according to a February post on the blog of Microsoft CRM partner Tr@viata:
Gemini (due in Q2 calendar year 2013): This is the updated MarketingPilot technology, which may be officially branded as "Microsoft Dynamics Marketing." This addition is expected to include a revised UI with the "flat" Office 2013 look and feel; integratin with Dynamics CRM; new social media capabilities; updated digital-asset management and more. Microsoft officials said last year they'd be sharing publicly plans for MarketingPilot integration at Convergence 2013.
Orion (due in Q3 calendar year 2013): This update is supposedly a major one and may be released as "Dynamics CRM 2013." It will feature the flat "Office 2013" look and feel for both Online and Offline; changes to Classic Forms: Direct Exchange integration (bypassing Outlook) based on the Exchange "Agave" framework; and the on-premises version of Dynamics CRM for iPad.
Leo (due in Q4 calendar year 2013): Classic Forms should be fully dropped. iphone and Android support should be live
Vega (due in calendar year 2014): Should add mobile offline support and hybrid marketing application changes
As MSDynamicsWorld noted last fall, the Dynamics CRM team is moving the same way that the other Microsoft Business Division teams are, in terms of cadence. The Online version of Dynamics CRM will be getting regular (at least twice a year) updates; the on-premises Dynamics CRM product supposedly will be getting an annual update only, going forward, according to MSDynamicsWorld.
Microsoft Convergence 2013 kicks off in New Orleans on March 18.