Microsoft has made its "spring" Dynamics CRM update, known officially as CRM 2015 Update 1, generally available.Microsoft also has made available its accompanying spring release of Dynamics Marketing available, company officials said last week.
The spring CRM update is for CRM Online users only. Microsoft plans to bring the features that are part of this update to its on-premises CRM customers by the end of this year.
New features in CRM 2015 Update 1, which was codenamed "Carina," include a new CRM app for Outlook that makes easier navigation and discovery of records from inside Outlook. It also includes embedded OneNote and the ability to use Excel directly inside Dynamics CRM (instead of having to switch apps).
There's also a redesigned phone app introduced with CRM Online 2015 Update 1 that Microsoft is now calling "CRM for Phones." (Here's a good guide to Microsoft's new naming conventions for its CRM releases.) The app is available for iPhones, Android phones and Windows phones.
On the Dynamics Marketing front, new features in Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1 (codenamed "Spica") include new email marketing and lead-management capabilities; better campaign-management functionality; and overall improvements to performance and maintainability, according to Microsoft officials.
More complete information on all the new updates in Microsoft's spring wave of CRM releases is available from the Dynamics CRM Help & Training site.
Microsoft is making some licensing change as part of its spring wave of releases.
Last week, officials said Microsoft has completed the integration of Parature, the "customer-care" vendor Microsoft acquired in January, 2014. The Integrated Knowledge Management capability, based on Parature's knowledge-base technology, is now part of Dynamics CRM Online's case-management user interface. The Parature knowledge-management functionality also is available in Web-portal format to all CRM Online Essential and higher customers.
Microsoft also is making Social Listening social-networking functionality -- which has been rebranded as Microsoft Social Engagement -- available as a standalone license available at no additional cost through Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise.
CRM Online is part of Microsoft's "Commercial Cloud" businesses -- along with Azure, Office 365 business and Power BI. Microsoft officials have said they expect Commercial Cloud to reach an $20 billion annual run rate in fiscal 2018.