Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Review – what’s new?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, released to the market at the beginning of 2011, it has great new functionality building on the success of Microsoft CRM version 4.  In January 2011 there was a lot of reviews about how the new release was more comprehensive, easier to use and more flexible.  Now in May 2012, Caltech CRM would like to update these review, and share comments of users, prospects and leads.

Here is a short but useful Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Review

There was massive interest in Microsoft CRM during 2011; and this has not ebbed.  In fact, Microsoft CRM is as popular as ever.  With the new strapline, “The Power of Productivity,” Microsoft CRM 2011 continues to go from strength to strength.  There are more than 1.7 million users, with 27,000 customers, in over 80 countries.

At the release of Microsoft CRM 2011, Microsoft included 500 functional improvements from MS CRM 4.  Many of the changes originated from customer and partner feedback.  And 18 months on, they have been a huge success for the product.

Major feature changes that have made the difference include:

  • The user interface; which included a ribbon effect and removal of the old tabbed views.  The ribbon effect is the toolbar – which you may find in Word or Excel, for example.
  • Reporting and graphs are now included in “Dashboards.”  Users can employ the pre-built reports or they can easily create their own custom reports.
  • Marketing lists can now be dynamic. This is significant, as before in Version 4, a list was created but did not self-update.  Using dynamic lists has saved users so much time as they don’t have to save advanced finds – but can keep using the same, relevant, targeted list over and over; easily.
  • Role based user experience – This means a view can be specified depending on the users role; meaning they only see what is meaningful for them, and thus improves user adoption; a fundamental factor of any CRM system.
  • Another favourite addition has been custom activities.  Users are able to create their own activity types.
  • SharePoint integration is another favourite feature of MS CRM 2011. SharePoint is used to manage documents; and documents can be accessed from SharePoint from any ‘entity’ (folder) in the system.
  • Microsoft CRM 2011 is available in over 40 languages!
  • It’s all Outlook.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 took Outlook integration to the next level, with a much tighter integration.  Some of our customers have said they ‘didn’t realise they were in CRM’ as it’s so like Outlook.  This means users will want to use it and see it as a fundamental part of their work.  If it’s not in CRM- it didn’t happen!
  • Microsoft Dynamics 2011 can be set to automatically ‘find’ duplicated records, to ensure the data is as clean as possible.
  • New functionality which will be released this spring (2012) includes mobility for any device, as well as more social media compatibility.


Why do developers love Microsoft CRM 2011?

I am told by the developers here at Caltech, one reason is due to Fetch XML (which they can use to write reports!), and Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps us successfully manage very complex business process management.

So who is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for?


All the time I’m speaking to people in businesses and organisations of all sizes, and from many industries.  We have small business using Microsoft CRM – sometimes one user.  Other small business may feel it’s not for them – as there is ‘too much functionality.’  However, that’s one of the great things about MS CRM.  It can be built up to do more, or ‘parts’ can be turned off…  but it allows growth, flexibility and choice.  Another key benefit is, its future proof.  Do it once and do it well.

Large organisations realise the power of Microsoft CRM- workflows, customisations, one central solution…  Some users are profit making, tracking sales, business and leads – where others use Microsoft CRM in an extended (XRM) way such as social housing and charities.

Whatever your business, MS CRM is certainly a powerful enabler which continues to get stronger, bigger and better.

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