Microsoft's Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 CRM line-up revealed

Microsoft is readying a barrage of both on-premises and cloud-only CRM deliverables, rolling out in Q4 2014 and Q2 2015. Here's the list of what's coming, by the codenames.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is readying both on-premises and a few cloud-only updates for Dynamics CRM as part of its next two waves of updates.


Information about what's coming appeared on September 4 on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community site via the "xRM & .Net Development" blog from a Microsoft partner, Marc Sallin. 

Update (September 5): Sallin has since removed the roadmap details from the site, noting that he did so after a request from Microsoft because the information is not allowed to be made public.

Microsoft's Dynamics CRM team has been using constellation codenames and is sticking with that theme as it moves toward its 'fall' release wave.

The next major version of Dynamics CRM, a k a "CRM 2015," is codenamed "Vega." (The CRM "Vega" codename was first revealed over a year ago.)

Based on information from the aforementioned blog post, it seems Vega will be the next version of both Dynamics CRM on-premises and CRM Online. The Vega release is due in the fourth calendar quarter of 2014, according to a roadmap slide from that blog post, which I've embedded above in this post.

Vega will add support for 29 new languages and include support for "any device," according to a feature list from Sallin's blog. The new release will be include new features optimized for high-tech enterprise sales scenarios, including external pricing, attribute inheritance and cross-sell/upsell features, as well as the ability to do offline drafts.

Sallin's post notes that there will be an "online first focus" with the release, listing simpler sign-up, provisioning, faster self-service and multi-geo tenant functionality as key to the coming update. There's a mention of "Power BI in CRM Web client," on the list, as well. (Power BI is Microsoft's Office 365 business intelligence service.) Multi-entity search is included among the updates to the "user experience" in the product.

The coming CRM 2015 release will support Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2; Windows 7 and Windows 8; and SQL Server 2012 and Outlook 2010 and 2013. Support will be discontinued for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2; Windows Small Business Server; Windows Vista, plus IE 8 and IE 9; SQL Server 208 and 2008 R2 and Office 2007.

What else is coming before the end of calendar 2014? According to the roadmap posted by Sallin, there will be new, cloud-only version of Microsoft Social Listening (codenamed "Hydra"); Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (codenamed "Electra"); and a new version of Parature, codenamed "Phoenix."


The roadmap also shows the codenames for the next spring wave (Q2 2015) for a number of Microsoft Dynamics CRM deliverables. There will be another new core CRM release -- which I'd think will be both on-prem and cloud -- codenamed "Carina." The cloud-only line-up for Spring 2015 includes another Microsoft Social Listening release (codenamed "Corvus"); Dynamics Marketing ("Spica") and Parature ("Taurus").

Social Listening, which is hosted on Azure, is based on social-analytics technology Microsoft bought when it purchased Netbreeze in March 2013. Dynamics Marketing is based on technology Microsoft bought in October 2012 when it bought marketing-automation firm MarketingPilot. Parature provides "customer care" functionality to Microsoft CRM users. Microsoft bought Parature in January 2014.

A "post-Fall wave" infographic from Sallin's blog (which I've embedded above) shows some of the features likely in calendar 2015. Among them: A "state of the art" phone client, forecasting based on Excel integration, Parature integration and more.


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