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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1,  Microsoft Social Engagement 2015 Update 1 (formerly Microsoft Social Listening)and Parature, from Microsoft 15.2.

Updates are in the works for 2015! Read on for changes coming soon.

On this page:

 New features

 Technical Changes

 Release Timing

 How to get the updates

 How to prepare for updates

 Pricing and licensing

 How to stay informed

 Support

New features

These are just a few of the highlights coming:

Dynamics CRM Online

  • Improved navigation and user interface options: Increase adoption with improved user experience, including new UI themes and faster navigation to records.

  • Immersive Excel experience: Now you can use Microsoft Excel Online to do quick analysis right from CRM Online.

  • Excel export completely redesigned. With a single click, you can export to Excel anywhere, including the desktop version of Excel (2007 and later), Excel Online, and other Excel clients.

  • Embedded OneNote: Capture photos, take voice notes, do free-form drawings, and more. Everything is automatically linked with the record in CRM Online.

  • Track email by folder: Folder tracking provides a new and intuitive way to track incoming email activities on any device that supports Exchange. Now you can track your email directly from virtually any device.

  • Social sales: Define rules for creating or updating CRM records from incoming activities. For example, you can now generate leads or opportunities from social posts.

  • Mobile sales: With the new CRM for Phones app, enjoy the same great mobile experience on your phone as you do on your tablet. Nurture your leads and opportunities through the sales process with the new intuitive interface.

  • Integrated Parature knowledge base: Empower agents with knowledge base integrated into daily service interactions, including the ability to both search and receive automated suggestions.

  • Create Office Groups: Collaborate with team members who don't have access to CRM Online with Office Groups. For example, create a group for your sales team, invite other Office 365 users to join the group, and then share documents, email, OneNote notes, and more.

For more details, see What's new for administrators and customizers and What's New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Dynamics Marketing

  • Separation of service bus namespace for SDK and Connector: You can now configure Microsoft Dynamics Marketing SDK and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM with different service bus namespaces.

  • Microsoft-owned queues for CRM Online integration: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing now provides managed service buses for CRM Online integration. You don't need to have a Microsoft Azure account and service bus namespace for CRM Online integration.

  • Double opt-in for email marketing: Send an opt-in link to incoming contacts to verify them. Double opt-in helps you to maintain lead quality and remain compliant with regional regulations.

  • Duplicate detection in email messages: Configure your instance so that email messages are delivered only once per email inbox and avoid sending multiple emails to duplicate contact records.

  • CRM integration enhancements: Set up the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM with ease. Avoid the hassle of creating a Microsoft Azure namespace and simply leverage the Microsoft managed service bus for integrations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

  • Assets & media improvements: Tag your assets using multiple keywords and use the improved keyword based search to filter them.

  • Enhancements in analytics using Power BI: Build up your analytics capabilities with the all-new, role-specific Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM dashboard widgets. Utilize a range of newly exposed OData feeds related to budgeting, lead management, and settings.

For more information about the update, see What's New in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

Social Engagement

  • User Interface: Completely redesigned UI throughout the application for an even more intuitive and simplified user experience with visual contextual filtering capabilities.

  • Social Center: User-specific configurable and shareable streams display social posts as they come in and allow you to proactively engage with both your fans and critics from Facebook and Twitter.

  • Social Analytics: Richer data with new visualizations, such as cloud tags, top hashtags, and geo-location for greater insights.

  • Language & Geographic Availability:  Microsoft Social Engagement is available in 110 markets and 19 languages.

Parature

  • Omni-portal: Enterprise organizations with a single public-facing brand presence can now easily deliver online support and self-service knowledge for a variety of departments or product lines, all while using a single service desk to consistently manage the brand's customer support.

  • Enhanced knowledge search capabilities: Advanced search capabilities in the Parature knowledge base deliver more relevant results, with added search filters to search for knowledge based on highest feedback ratings, document type, date added or updated, etc.

  • Multi-lingual service and globalization:  Enable assisted service in local languages with routing based on customer language preference and real-time chat translation.  Provide translations for Knowledgebase articles and portal strings to empower customers with self-service in local languages.

  • Portal specific metrics for reports: Create more accurate reports with metrics provided for each Portal Alias. Capture Key Point Indicators to help identify the efficacy of each Portal Alias.

For more information, download the Parature Spring '15 Release Preview Guide.

Technical Changes

From time to time, we must add and remove items from our supported configurations list to keep current with technology and allow us to provide you the best product possible. Stay tuned for important information about any changes to supported configurations.

Release Timing

The upcoming releases for Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics Marketing, Social Engagement, and Parature will be available in the second quarter of 2015. Please visit this page periodically to get the most current information about the upcoming versions.

How to get the updates

Dynamics CRM Online

Dynamics Marketing

  • The listed administrator within your organization will be notified by email about the specific timing of your update to the next version. Microsoft will send several reminder communications as the scheduled update approaches.

  • Should this scheduled date not be suitable for your organization, you will have an opportunity to reschedule the date through a service request.

  • Keep looking for emails with more specific instructions for updating Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

Social Engagement

  • The listed administrator within your organization will be notified by email about the specific timing of your update to the next version. These updates will happen automatically and Microsoft will send several reminder communications, with the details, as the scheduled update approaches.  

Parature

  • The listed administrator within your organization will be notified by email about the specific timing of the update to the next version. Microsoft will send several reminder communications as the scheduled update approaches.

How to prepare for updates

Test the updates in a sandbox environment. We always advise that you preview and test new versions in a non-production environment before you update your live production instances. This will give you the opportunity to verify the compatibility of any customizations that you may have made, or any third-party customizations that are installed. Additionally, testing will also allow you to assess the impact of the upcoming changes on your organization and your users. If you haven't already done so, we strongly advise obtaining a non-production instance.

Browser support for Parature. Parature supports all major browsers and their latest versions, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. To make sure that you can take advantage of all the enhancements to the Service Desk and Support Portal, make sure that you update your browser to the latest version.

Upgrading to a new version of Dynamics Marketing. We have designed the upgrade process to be as quick, easy, and trouble-free as possible. When there are major version updates, you have some flexibility in choosing when your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing instance should be updated and avoid unexpected feature changes, unavailability, or downtime.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update, and Parature, from Microsoft.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update, and Parature, from Microsoft.

The 2015 updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing have arrived! Updates to Parature, from Microsoft are soon to follow in early 2015. These updates add enhancements to sales, marketing, and customer service functionality, and will also add features to facilitate marketing and sales team collaboration.

Products updated

These products will be affected by the 2015 update:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM online and on-premises versions

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM for tablets

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM for phones

  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  • Parature, from Microsoft

New features

These are just a few of the highlights in the 2015 update:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • Create product families: Boost selling effectiveness with the ability to bundle products and recommend related products for cross-selling/up-selling opportunities.

  • Use sales hierarchies:  Manage and report on your sales data in a way that maps to your business. New hierarchical visualizations and roll-ups bring real-time territory and forecasting data to your fingertips.

  • Mobile sales improvements: Increase field sales productivity with flexible, role tailored dashboards and analytics, personalized home pages and the ability to navigate by hierarchy. This version of the tablet app also includes improved support for disconnected scenarios.

  • Access CRM records on the go via voice commands: Cortana is now part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM! For customers with Windows Phone 8.1, you can now use conversational voice commands to seamlessly create follow-up appointments, tasks, and phone calls; quickly find information; view your customer lists; and more. Note: This feature will be available in English only in markets where Cortana is available. Read about Cortana voice commands for CRM in the topic Take a tour of CRM for phones.

  • Enhanced sales processes: Guide sellers toward desired outcomes with enhanced branching logic within your sales processes. Increase impact via automation of business processes and enforcement of business rules across all devices.

  • Expanded case management functionality: Enable agents to provide differentiated levels of support with flexible Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Gain insight into service effectiveness with the ability to track and analyze key metrics like SLAs and thresholds.

  • Microsoft Social Listening availability: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers with a minimum of 10 Professional users automatically have access to Social Listening as part of their subscription at no additional charge. Customers who have an Enterprise subscription also have access to Social Listening but with no minimum user requirement. You can add Microsoft Social Listening subscriptions from the Office 365 Administrative Portal.

  • Microsoft Social Listening for on-premises CRM customers: You can now access Social Listening directly from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 - even as an on-premises customer - and may also be eligible for a discounted rate. Contact your Microsoft Dynamics partner for more information.

  • Improvements in CRM for Outlook: Set up CRM for Outlook quickly and easily with the completely redesigned Configuration Wizard. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 for Outlook, users can sync assigned tasks and appointment attachments. Admins can control synchronization between pairs of fields, which provides confidence about where data is coming from and how it's shared. For more information, see Set up CRM for Outlook.

  • Customizable help: Personalize the user assistance by tailoring the in-product Help content to match the specifics of your Dynamics CRM implementation. You can modify what displays under the Help question-mark icon at either an entity-specific or organization-wide level. Please read Customize the Help experience.

For more detailed information about the update, see What's New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  • Sales and marketing collaboration: Strengthen your marketing and sales synergies with the new Sales Collaboration Panel, which allows sellers to provide input into campaigns and targeting.

  • Manage multi-channel campaigns: Streamline campaign creation and improve segmentation with graphical email editing, A/B and split testing, integrated offers, and approval workflows.

  • Improve B2B marketing: Deepen your lead management capabilities with webinar integration and improved lead scoring, including the ability to introduce multiple lead scoring models. 

  • Enhanced marketing resource management: Gain unprecedented visibility into your marketing plan with the new Interactive Marketing Calendar and improve collaborative marketing with Lync click-to-call and webinars.

  • Gain social insights within Microsoft Dynamics Marketing: Display social information collected with Microsoft Social Listening about your brand, campaigns, and more, all within Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

  • Additional language & geographic availability:  Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is now available in Japanese and Russian, bringing the total to 12 languages and 37 countries currently supported. Find more information in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Translation Guide.

For more information about the update, see What's New in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Parature, from Microsoft

There are many exciting new things coming in Parature, from Microsoft in early 2015, including:

  • Knowledgebase management and reporting improvements

  • Comprehensive service desk configurations

  • Support ticketing enhancements

  • Insights into customer self-service/portal usage

  • Mobile service desk enhancements

  • New social channel monitoring

  • Real-time chat translation

  • Further integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • And more

For more information, download the Parature, from Microsoft Spring '15 Release Preview Guide.

Technical changes

Not only do we want to keep you apprised of new features in the 2015 release, but you also need to know about technical changes that could have an impact on your organization as well as additional resources available to you.  For example, as with previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we add and remove items from our supported configurations list to keep current with technology and allow us to provide you the best product possible.

For more information, please read:

Release timing

The 2015 updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing are available now. Stay tuned for Parature, from Microsoft updates in early 2015. Please visit this page periodically to get the most current information about the upcoming versions.

How to get the updates

Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

  • Updates for online customers: You'll be able to schedule the specific date when your update occurs. We call this a customer-driven update since you “drive” the timing of the update to be the most suitable for your organization. It will be necessary for the CRM administrator to formally approve the update before the update can occur. If you haven't yet updated to the Spring '14 version, features that were added then will also be enabled during this update.  For more information about how this works for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, read Manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online updates or watch a short video about the Update process enhancements with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update (3:33).

  • Updates for on-premises customers: Customers who are current on their Microsoft Software Assurance Plan or Business Ready Enhancement Plan will be able to get updates after the final product release. Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics Service Plans.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing:

  • The listed administrator within your organization will be notified by email about the specific timing of the update to the next version. Microsoft will send several reminder communications as the scheduled update approaches.

  • Should this scheduled date not be suitable for your organization, you will have an opportunity to reschedule the date through a service request.

  • Keep looking for emails with more specific instructions for updating Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

Parature, from Microsoft:

  • The listed administrator within your organization will be notified by email about the specific timing of the update to the next version. Microsoft will send several reminder communications as the scheduled update approaches.

How to prepare for updates

Test the updates in a sandbox environment. We always advise that you preview and test new versions in a non-production environment before you update your live production instances. This will give you the opportunity to verify the compatibility of any customizations that you may have made, or any third-party customizations that are installed. Additionally, testing will also allow you to assess the impact of the upcoming changes on your organization and your users. If you haven't already done so, we strongly advise obtaining a non-production instance.

Manage customizations for Dynamics CRM. Three deprecated form scripting methods have been removed; you'll want to make sure your code isn't using those methods before you update. There's also a tool that a developer can run before an update to identify scripts that should be evaluated. For specifics, see Deprecated form script methods removed (part of What's new for Developers).

Browser support for Parature, from Microsoft. Parature, from Microsoft supports all major browsers and their latest versions, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. To make sure that you can take advantage of all the enhancements to the Service Desk and Support Portal, make sure that you update your browser to the latest version.

Upgrading to a new version of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. We have designed the upgrade process to be as quick, easy, and trouble-free as possible, but you should still be aware of the process and some possible issues. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, find out what to expect by reading Upgrading from an earlier version.

How to stay informed

Have questions?

Connect with Support Resources or browse questions/answers in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forum—or you can always contact your partner.

For questions about Parature, from Microsoft, please contact Parature Support.