Dynamics 365
Help & Training
Search

What's new

We’re excited to announce new features for the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises)!


Note

As of the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises), Dynamics CRM functionality is now included as a part of Dynamics 365, a suite of intelligent business applications. This help content covers the new Dynamics apps for Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation. In addition, these pages cover all supported versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Where relevant, see the Applies to section on each page to determine which versions are covered.


If you’re an administrator, be sure to check out this page as well: TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers. See also the Readme file.


On this page

Suite of business apps

Mobile app enhancements

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook enhancements

Preview feature: Introducing Relationship Insights for Dynamics 365 (online)

Create your own Learning Path content for Dynamics 365 (online)

Concurrently running business processes

Interactive service hub enhancements

Dynamics 365 for Field Service enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

Relevance Search enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

Introducing editable grids

Office 365 Groups enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

Public Preview: Introducing Live Assist for Dynamics 365 (online) Powered by CaféX


Suite of business apps

You can now pick from the following role-based apps to do your daily work:

  • Sales

  • Customer Service

  • Field Service

  • Project Service Automation

These apps come with simplified navigation. For example, in the Customer Service app site map, you'll only see service entities. In addition, there will be a Dynamics 365 – custom app that combines functionality for all roles as before.

The apps you see are based on your organization’s licensing options and your security role. The administrator or customizer can also design custom business apps to create a simplified work experience tailored just to the tasks you need to do. For more information on creating custom apps, see TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers.

More information:


Mobile app enhancements

We made the following enhancements to the mobile app:

  • Meet the mobile workspace: The all-new mobile workspace is a personalized action hub in the mobile app to help you get to common tasks more quickly. A pane that appears when the app is launched, the workspace includes a list of suggested priorities (“action cards”) in the left column. These may include upcoming meetings, info relevant to that day’s activities, and other things that need your attention. It also has a list of favorite and most recently used items. Items that appear in the Recent feed can be added to Favorites by clicking the Favorites button.

  • New colors and layouts: The mobile app has new colors and a new look and feel. Layouts are more compact, and optimized to give essential info at a glance with minimal scrolling. The dashboard now stacks related elements, exposing more info at once. Forms also organize items in stacks so you can see more at once, and get the info you need faster. The process bar is now more prominent in forms that use it, so it’s more clear where you are in any given process.

  • Enhanced notes: Taking a cue from social media, the mobile app now lets you create a note in-line when you're in a form, so you can view relevant details while writing your note. Notes now also include a preview of attached images so you can see them at a glance without opening them individually.

  • Device integration: You can now access your device’s camera and other functions from within the app. Open a new or existing note, and tap the icons under the text box to add multimedia content.

  • Mobile offline: The mobile app will now synchronize data when it's operating in the background, so you can get updated data even while you do other things on your device.

    Sync conflict resolution has been improved as well. If multiple entries are made in the same field by more than one offline user (for example, two or more “close by” dates), the conflict is clearly marked and you can choose the correct entry.

More information: Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets User's Guide


Dynamics 365 App for Outlook enhancements

We improved Dynamics 365 App for Outlook in many ways. With the latest enhancements, Dynamics 365 App for Outlook paired with server-side sync is the preferred way to integrate Outlook email with Dynamics 365.

When you start Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, the app is pinned to the right side of screen. The information displayed in the app shows the recipient list and related info for the selected email message.

With the updated Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, you can:

  • See info about all email recipients (including distribution lists). Email recipients are automatically mapped to Dynamics 365 contacts, leads, or users, so you can see the recipient’s picture (if available), name, job title, company name, business phone, and mobile phone. If a recipient is unknown, you can quickly add the recipient as a contact or lead. You can also set the regarding record with a single click, call the recipient, or add an activity (appointment, phone call, or task).


  • See more info about contacts and leads in the related records summary. For example, you can see account information for the contact or lead. Click the account to open the record directly in Dynamics 365. Click the Set regarding button to set the regarding record to that account. You can also see related records for opportunities, cases, stakeholders, and competitors (as well as custom entities), and set the regarding record.


  • Easily set or change the regarding record from pinned records or most recently used records.


    If you search for a record, you can also take advantage of the new Relevance Search if you’re using Dynamics 365 (online) and if your organization opts in. With Relevance Search you can display results from multiple entities in a single list, sorted by relevance. If you’re using Dynamics 365 (on-premises), you can continue to use Categorized search.

  • Create new records for any entity. For example, create a new contact, lead, opportunity, case, or account record. You can also create new records for custom entities.

  • Track meetings and appointments (in addition to email).

  • Save time when you’re composing a message by using email templates.

  • Add and attach sales literature or knowledge base articles when you’re creating an email message or appointment.

The app is also much faster than before, and it supports all Dynamics 365 and Exchange configurations, including hybrid configurations (Dynamics 365 (online) with Exchange Server (on-premises) or Dynamics 365 (on-premises) with Exchange Online).

More information:


Preview feature: Introducing Relationship Insights for Dynamics 365 (online)

Many sales professionals spend a large part of their day working in Dynamics 365, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange. And the more you use them, the more these systems become filled with invaluable details about your plans, activities, meetings, communications, sales successes, and more. The new Relationship Insights suite of features in Dynamics 365 continuously analyzes this vast collection of customer-interaction data to help you better understand your business relationships, evaluate your activities in relation to previous successes, and choose the best path forward.

Relationship Insights includes the following sub-features, which all work together to amplify their individual strengths:

  • Relationship assistant

  • Email engagement

  • Auto capture

For details about prerequisites and how to enable and configure these features, see What's new for administrators and customizers


Note

Relationship Insights is a preview feature in the December 2016 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online). A preview feature is a feature that is not complete, but is made available before it's officially released so customers can get early access and provide feedback. Preview features aren't meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality. Preview features must be enabled by an administrator. More information:  What are Preview features and how do I enable them?


The relationship assistant automatically shows you the right information at the right time

The relationship assistant is constantly at work, keeping an eye on your activities, plans, data records, and communications with customers. It watches your daily actions and communications and uses them to drive insights that help you focus on what’s important today, and how to optimize your communications to help nurture healthy business relationships going forward.


The assistant combines and analyzes all of the information at its disposal and then generates a collection of action cards, which are displayed as your entry point to Dynamics 365 on mobile devices, and as a carousel display on your Web-based dashboards. When working with individual records you’ll see the action cards that apply directly to that record (all record types are supported, including custom entities). Thirty different types of cards are available, each of which provides tailored information, helpful links, and action controls for working with that information.


The system reminds you of upcoming activities, phone calls, and meetings; it evaluates your communications and suggests when it might be time to reach out to a contact that’s been inactive for a while; it identifies email messages that may be waiting for a reply from you; and it alerts you when an important opportunity is nearing its close date.

Get more out of email with email engagement

Email engagement helps you to create more effective email messages—and to learn how your contacts are interacting with them. Stay on top of your email and prioritize those prospects or customers that are most engaged.


When writing a new message, get started quickly by choosing the most effective content template, with recommendations based on previous open and reply rates.

Create followed email messages, which let you know when a recipient opens the email, clicks a link, opens an attachment, or sends a reply.

Write your messages when it's convenient for you, but schedule delivery for when they're most likely to be noticed and read by recipients. The system even checks recipients' time zones to provide advice about when the best delivery times might be.

Set yourself a reminder for when it’s time to follow up on a message. Your reminder is provided as an action card displayed by the relationship assistant, so it will be brought to your attention right away. Each card includes links to help you investigate, act upon, snooze, or dismiss the card.


You can view the status and history of your followed messages anywhere they are shown in Dynamics 365. The current status and most-recent interaction are shown right in the Activities list for any record where the email is relevant, and you can expand the listing to see the full interaction history.

To protect the privacy preferences of your contacts, you can choose to disable followed messages for individual contacts by setting a flag on their contact record.

Find and track all the relevant messages from your Exchange server with auto capture

Dynamics 365 can now analyze your inbox directly on Microsoft Exchange to find all messages that might be relevant to your work in Dynamics 365. The system looks for messages to or from relevant email addresses, and presents you with the relevant messages right in Dynamics 365. With just one click, you can track any of the suggested messages in Dynamics 365, which makes them available to your sales team and also for use by other Relationship Insights features.


You can still track messages in Dynamics 365 in all the ways that you could before, including by using Dynamics 365 App for Outlook or tracked folders. All tracked messages in Dynamics 365 are available to Relationship Insights features.

More information: Preview feature: Relationship Insights overview


Create your own Learning Path content for Dynamics 365 (online)

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1, we introduced Learning Path, which provides contextually-rich training, walkthroughs, videos, and articles right in the app at just the right time. With December 2016 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online), you can now create your own Learning Path experience for your Dynamics 365 (online) users. For example, create a custom Learning Path experience to train your sales team. Learning Path allows you to deliver custom content specific to the security role assigned to a user. This means, for example, that sales people see Learning Path sidebars and guided tasks specific to their role, and service reps see a different set of content. You can also display different content for the same security role in different organizations. You can even localize your content in different languages for different users and organizations.

Learning Path provides a great way to help people discover new features and become familiar with new forms or business processes at their own pace right from the app. This can help reduce training time and costs and enable team members to quickly become productive using Dynamics 365 (online).

More information:

Concurrently running business processes

You can now switch between concurrently running business processes without losing your current position in the process when you return. The access to the process you are working on is limited by your permissions, so your work is not disrupted. For example, the marketing department may not have access to the sales or service business processes. A process can be marked as Active, Finished, or Abandoned to help you track the progress of your work from start to end. An administrator can automate tasks, such as sending notifications and updating other records in the system, whenever the process status changes from Active to Finished or Abandoned, or if you updated a field value in the record that participates in the business process flow.

To learn more about concurrently running business processes and other new features related to processes, see What's new for administrators and customizers


Interactive service hub enhancements

We made the following enhancements to the interactive service hub:

  • Find records in grids, sub grids, or lookup fields quickly by searching in the quick find columns configured in the quick find view.

  • Associate similar issues as parent and child cases.

  • Copy text and images to the Clipboard, and then quickly paste them anywhere you want.

  • Email links to records or views to other team members so they can refer to these records or views without looking for them in the system.

More information: Interactive service hub – User’s guide


Dynamics 365 for Field Service enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

We made the following enhancements:

  • Connected field service: Connected field service, new in this release, helps service organizations move from a costly break-fix model to a proactive and predictive service model by combining monitoring and predictive maintenance with Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning. More information: Use Connected Field Service to remotely monitor and service customer equipment (field service).

    Key benefits include:

    • Reduce downtime with proactive alerts from connected devices.

    • Address issues faster by remotely monitoring devices and keeping customers in the loop.

    • Reduce maintenance costs by dispatching a technician with the right expertise, availability, and location to do the job.

      As a platform, IoT also enables ISVs and partners to enable new IoT scenarios on any Dynamics 365 entity.

  • Resource scheduling optimization: With resource scheduling optimization, you can set up the system to automatically schedule multiple items on a recurring basis to minimize overall travel time and make efficient use of all schedulable resources. Resource scheduling optimization takes into account a number of constraints and objectives when optimizing schedules, such as resource availability, skills required, priority and duration, and time windows. More information: Use Resource Scheduling Optimization to schedule multiple booking requirements on a recurring basis (field service).

  • Common Scheduling Solution: With the new Common Scheduling Solution, you can schedule anything. You can enable it for any entity, including custom entities. For example, you can turn it on to schedule marketing visits for an opportunity or book time to work on a case, work orders, bookings, and more. More information: Schedule anything in Dynamics 365.

    For organizations that use Field Service capabilities, you’ll see a new integrated scheduling experience.

    For organizations that use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation capabilities, you’ll have a new improved scheduling experience.

More information: Dynamics 365 for Field Service User's Guide


Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

  • Add-in for Microsoft Project: With the new project service add-in you’ll be able to do all of your project planning in Microsoft Project, and then publish the project plan into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation. You can also bring a project that you started in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation into Microsoft Project to finish your planning work, and then publish it back to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation. More information: Use the Project Service Automation Add-in to plan your work in Microsoft Project.

  • Consolidated calendar view: Now you have a consolidated view of personal appointments and project work booking as well as field service work order assignment on your Office 365 Exchange calendar. This makes it easier for you to manage your day since all your meetings, appointments, bookings, and tasks are all in your Office 365 calendar. You can also capture personal appointments in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation time entry view, which helps increase employee efficiency and streamlines time reporting. More information: Manage projects and bookings in your Office 365 calendar.

  • Copy functionality: Now you can copy information from the Opportunity, Quotes, and Project Contracts forms. You can copy information from any of these forms by clicking the Copy button on the command bar.

  • Estimated tax amount field: Get precise project pricing information that includes tax using the new Estimated tax amount field. This field is available on Quote line, Quote line details, Contract line, and Contract line details records.

More information: Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation - User's Guide


Relevance Search enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

With new facet and filter support, you can drill into and explore search results without having to repeatedly refine the search terms. Four global facets for Relevance Search are shown by default on the left side of the Relevance Search results page. They represent Record type, Owner, Modified On, and Created On fields that are common to most Dynamics 365 entities, as shown below:


If you select a specific entity in the Record type facet, you will see a list of entity-specific facets that you can choose from. For example, if you select the Account entity, you may see additional information about the account’s annual revenue, the industry they are in, and the primary contact information. The facet list is configured by an administrator. If you want to see different information, you can ask your administrator to provide that for you.

Other new capabilities:

  • You can now search in documents attached to emails and appointments, as well as documents attached to a note.

  • The Option Set and Lookup fields are searchable fields in this release.

  • We also added support for showing results for records that are shared with you.

More information: Use Relevance Search for faster comprehensive search results


Introducing editable grids

With the new editable grids provide many versatile capabilities, such as inline editing, grouping, filtering, and sorting on columns. Editable grids are available at the entity level, in sub-grids inside a form, or in a dashboard. Editable grids are supported on forms in the Dynamics 365 Web client, Dynamics 365 for tablets, and Dynamics 365 for phones. For dashboards, editable grids are available in Dynamics 365 for tablets and Dynamics 365 for phones.

Editable grid capabilities include:

  • Edit a row with most Dynamics 365 field types.

  • Group and filter on any column in the current view.

  • Sort on any column in the grid.

  • Paginate and move or adjust columns in the grid.

  • Show Lookup values based on the value of the field of the related entity.

  • Show Calculated and Rollup fields as read-only with the associated last updated date.

  • Enable and disable fields based on security role.

You can also:

  • Export editable grids to Excel.

  • Integrate with the chart panel.

  • Toggle between a read-only grid and an editable grid.

  • Save the user state (filters, sorting, adjusted columns) within the session.

  • Use business rules and complex grid logic based on events, such as saving or updating a record.

  • Use command bar actions and buttons.

More information: TechNet: Make grids (lists) editable using the Editable Grids custom control


Office 365 Groups enhancements for Dynamics 365 (online)

Collaboration and Dynamics 365 go hand in hand but we recognize that not every member of an organization will use Dynamics 365. To support collaboration scenarios in the context of Dynamics 365, we offer out-of-the-box integration with Office 365 Groups for agenda, conversation, OneNote, documents, and member management. In this release, we are introducing several new enhancements that take internal and external collaboration to the next level.

Office 365 Groups enhancements include

  • Show guest presence

  • Ability to associate or disassociate an existing Office 365 Group with an entity record

  • Adding a project team member will automatically add the user as a member of the Office 365 Group

Public Preview: Introducing Live Assist for Dynamics 365 (online) Powered by CaféX

The capability for your customers to connect with your agents is a fundamental feature when you deliver leading service and support. Agents can conduct multiple, live chat sessions within Dynamics 365 (online) or Unified Service Desk by using Live Assist for Dynamics 365 Powered by CaféX, which can be installed from the Dynamics 365 Administration Center. More information: Install or remove a preferred solution

Live Assist for Dynamics 365 Powered by CaféX is developed by CaféX as a third-party solution. Administrators configure Live Assist for Dynamics 365 Powered by CaféX from within Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Unified Service Desk to provide a rich immersive experience for agents that includes presence control, chat indicators, and visual engagement with customers through co-browsing.


Important

  • This feature is currently available in North America (NAM), Canada (CAN), and Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) regions.

  • We are making this preview available so that you can try it and let us know what you think. Your feedback will help us prioritize work to include the capabilities you need most. We ask that you give us your suggestions and report problems by using our publicly available feedback site: Microsoft Connect


More information: Live Assist for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Powered by CaféX

We’re excited to announce new features for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1. If you’re an administrator, be sure to check out this page as well: TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers

You can also view the Readme file.

On this page

Productivity features

Service features

Mobile features

Analytics features


Productivity features

Get in-app help tailored just for you (CRM Online)

We’re introducing Learning Path - a new guided user experience that’s tailored just for you and your role. For example, if you’re a salesperson, you’ll see guided help just for sales people. If you’re a Customer Service Rep, you’ll see the appropriate content for your role. Learning Path leads you step-by-step through specific tasks while you work in CRM and provides videos, eBooks, and Help topics in context just when you need them.

In this release, we’re providing in-app guidance for what’s new, common tasks such as lead management in the web and mobile apps, and onboarding an organization.


More information:  Watch a short video (1:49) on Learning Path, On/off switch for Learning Path (guided help)


Collaboration gets better with Office 365 Groups enhancements (CRM Online)

In CRM Online 2015 Update 1, we introduced the integration of Office 365 Groups with CRM. With Office 365 Groups, you can share information related to accounts or opportunities with team members even if they don’t have access to CRM Online.

With this release, we made enhancements to Office 365 Groups in CRM. For example:

  • Prior to this release, you needed to create a new group for each CRM record you wanted to collaborate on. Now, you can set and connect an existing group to different records.

  • Project team members added to a project will be automatically added to that project's group.

  • We let you know when a group is deleted so you can connect the record to another group.



Add email signatures to your web client email

Save time on your email correspondence and add a professional touch by adding an email signature. Use a default signature for everyday replies and new email messages, and then create other signatures for those special cases. You can also assign a default signature to a queue. When you change the From field from a user to a queue, the default signature changes automatically.


Display multi-entity search results as a single list (CRM Online)

Search for records across multiple entities (record types) by using Relevance Search. The results from this search are returned in a single list, sorted by relevance.

You can continue to use multi-entity Quick Find, which is now called Categorized Search, to view the results grouped by entity types, such as accounts, contacts, or leads. To find records of one record type only, use the Quick Find view from the entity list (grid).


Note

Relevance Search is offered as a preview feature for CRM Online. A preview feature is a feature that is not complete, but is made available before it's officially released so customers can get early access and provide feedback. Preview features aren't meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality. Preview features must be enabled by a CRM administrator. More information:  What are Preview features and how do I enable them?


More information:  Use Relevance Search for faster comprehensive search results

Service features

Manage project-based sales (CRM Online)

Project service automation capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provide an end-to-end solution that empowers organizations to deliver project-based engagements on time and within budget. Project service automation capabilities help you:

  • Estimate, quote, and contract work

  • Plan and assign resources

  • Enable team collaboration

  • Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing



Note

Project service automation capabilities are provided as an add-on for customers who upgrade to the latest version (CRM Online 2016 Update 1).


Project service automation capabilities include:

  • Project-based contracts. Project contracts relate quotes and orders to project plans, financial estimates, labor pricing, and billing arrangements, like time and materials or fixed price. The contract highlights key metrics, including profitability and feasibility.

  • Project planning. Visual project planning and estimation includes predecessors, automatic task scheduling, and views of sales and cost information for time and expenses. You can use the resulting plan in quotes and project contracts.

  • Resource management. Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right projects. You can also track resource utilization and forecasting metrics.

  • Time and expenses. Team members can use the web or mobile apps to record time and expenses for multiple projects. Managers can easily approve new entries while understanding the financial implications of the newly-approved items.

  • Project billing. Project invoices reflect the terms of the contract and the approved work and expenses. The financial impact of project work, including costs, unbilled revenue, and invoices, is recorded for use in analytics and integration into financial systems.

Both project service automation capabilities and field service capabilities (see below) share a resource pool, with resource schedules appearing in both.

More information:


Manage your field service workforce (CRM Online)

Field service is an end-to-end solution that delivers advanced scheduling, inventory tracking, and asset management for service depots and highly mobile, in-field specialists who need to fulfill work orders and provide preventive maintenance across multiple sites under complex service agreements.



Note

Field service capabilities are provided as an add-on for customers who upgrade to the latest version (CRM Online 2016 Update 1).


Field service capabilities include:

  • Characteristics and proficiency ratings. You can define proficiency and competency levels and set them as requirements for a work order. Proficiency and competency levels are also part of the worker profile, so you can make an appropriate match when scheduling resources.

  • Detached schedule support. Field service capabilities support time allocation outside of a work order. For example, a field tech can schedule time for lunch or supply provisioning without having to associate that time with an empty work order.

  • Out-of-the-box business processes. The CRM incident management business process is closely aligned with the work order process. If a field service work order originates from a case, the originating case is visually part of that workflow, which spans from case creation through work order completion.

  • Mobile enhancements. Drip scheduling enhances and de-clutters the user experience by displaying fewer upcoming work orders. It also improves dispatch control by limiting the number of declined work orders or change requests by field techs.

Both field service capabilities and project service capabilities (see above) share a resource pool, with resource schedules appearing in both.

More information:


Self-service portals for an external non-Dynamics 365 audience (CRM Online)

This release introduces the first Microsoft-published version of portal capabilities for CRM Online. Portal capabilities for CRM Onlineempower the 84% majority who prefer to find answers on their own through self-service and community options.


Note

Portal capabilities are provided as an add-on for customers who upgrade to the latest version (CRM Online 2016 Update 1).


We’re extending CRM Online to the web to include:

  • Profile management capabilities

  • Configurable business components

  • Rich web content configuration capabilities

  • Responsive design for desktop, tablet, and mobile

Customers can purchase portal instances as an add-on in the Office 365 admin center. These portal instances can then be configured to work with their CRM Online instances. The provisioning system automatically deploys the portal solution to Azure.

Out-of-the-box portal solutions include:

  • Custom portal. The custom portal is a basic portal that contains flows and pages common to all portals. It includes basic support content as well as custom applications to meet the specific support needs of different organizations, including login/authentication features and contact pages.

  • Customer Self-Service portal. Lets customers access self-service knowledge and support resources, increasing customer satisfaction, reducing call center volumes, and ultimately allowing service agents to focus their efforts on issues of greatest impact.

  • Employee Self-Service portal. Creates an efficient and well-informed workforce by streamlining common tasks and empowering every employee with a definitive source of knowledge. Employee self-service is now available worldwide using CRM Online and portal capabilities, and is available in all CRM Online markets.

  • Community portal. Enables peer-to-peer interactions between experts in the community, subject matter experts within an organization, and internal and external users. Communities organically grow the catalog of available knowledge from knowledge base articles, forums, and blogs. Participants can provide feedback through rating and comments features. Contributors can also receive alerts on content revisions and workflow updates.

  • Partner portal. Create an environment for interacting with your partners and collaborating on sales opportunities to provide products and services based on your customers' needs.

    Partner relationship management portal capabilities include:

    • Account and contact management

    • Channel opportunity management

    • Partner profiling

    • Opportunity distribution

    • Delegated administration

More information:


Create SLAs for any custom entity and other system entities

In previous releases of CRM, you could only create SLAs for the Case entity (record type). Now you can create SLAs for any custom entity and for any of the following system entities:

  • All activity entities (such as Email, Task, and Appointment) except recurring appointments

  • Account

  • Contact

  • Invoice

  • Opportunity

  • Quote

  • Lead

  • Order

More information: Define service level agreements (Customer Service).


Interactive service hub enhancements

We introduced the interactive service hub in CRM 2016. Interactive service hub dashboards and forms help you prioritize your workloads and solve cases faster. In this release, we’ve enhanced the interactive service hub to support more customer service scenarios.

With this release of the interactive service hub, you can:

  • Apply service level agreements (SLAs) for Case and custom entities. This functionality is the same whether you use the web client or the interactive service hub.

  • Track progress of SLA KPIs with the timer control.

  • Remove redundancies between similar cases by merging them into a single case.

  • Access forms and dashboards easily using keyboard navigation.

    We’ve also included support for accessing the interactive service hub on the Apple Safari 9 browser.

    If you’re an administrator, read about additional interactive service hub features.


Mobile features

Rich mobile offline experience (CRM Online)

If your CRM Onilne system is configured for it, you now have access to a richer offline experience with the CRM mobile apps. You can view, update, and add records when you're disconnected from the Internet, and you don’t have to save changes or additions as drafts first.

More information: Configure mobile offline synchronization for phones and tablets


Mobile enhancements

In this release, we’re making the following enhancements to Dynamics 365 for phones and Dynamics 365 for tablets:

  • Service reps can now search for, view, create, and edit knowledge articles.

  • Sales professionals can now manage quotes, orders, and invoices.

We also made improvements to reduce start-up times whenever your CRM admin makes changes to the system.


Keep up with company news from your mobile device (CRM Online)

Stay on top of all the news related to an account, lead, contact, or opportunity right from your CRM mobile app. The latest and most important news articles from Bing news are organized by time (Today, This Week, Last Week) and contain the headlines, date/time, and source of the news article. Important events are detected and categorized, including management changes, earnings releases, new offerings, cost cutting, growth, legal issues, acquisitions, and partnerships.

You can:

  • Filter news articles by category

  • Tap a news article to open the original at the source website

    Go to Bing to view more news and search

More information: Get the Company News Timeline for Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets


Analytics features

Enhanced Power BI integration

Enhanced Power BI integration lets you discover, analyze, and share data-sourced visualizations with colleagues. Power BI provides information workers and everyday business users with data analysis and visualization capabilities to get better business insights.

Features available in this release include:

  • New Service Content Pack includes several key indicators such as cases created, cases resolved, satisfaction percentage, top agent leaders, and most used and viewed KB articles.

  • Improved Sales Manager Content Pack includes OData (Open Data Protocol) version 4.0 support.

  • The ability to embed Power BI tiles directly into CRM user dashboards. This allows you to launch an interactive report from Power BI tiles directly from a CRM user dashboard, without having to switch to the Power BI service.

More information: Add or edit Power BI visualizations on your dashboard.

We’re excited to announce new features for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises). If you’re an administrator, be sure to check out this page as well: TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers.

On this page:

Productivity features

Mobile features

Service features

CRM Online 2015 Update 1 features now apply to CRM 2016 (on-premises)


Productivity features

Track email from anywhere with new Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is a lightweight email tracking app that surfaces contextual information from Dynamics CRM right inside your Outlook Inbox.


You can use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook together with:

  • Outlook on the web (included with Office 365) from a desktop or on your phone

  • The Outlook desktop application

  • Microsoft Outlook for Mac

Track incoming or outgoing email, add contacts from an email message, or even create CRM records. You can also track an email message to a new or existing CRM record.

More information:


Use pre-formatted Excel templates to create Excel documents directly from CRM

If you find that you frequently create the same Microsoft Office Excel documents in CRM, you can use Excel templates to speed up document creation. For example, use a pre-formatted template to forecast sales, or to monitor sales and project cash flow (pipeline analysis). After a template is uploaded by a system administrator, it can be shared with team members.


More information:  


Use Word templates to quickly create the documents your organization depends on

Standardized documents are a cornerstone for business dealings—from quotes and contracts to work orders and invoices. Now you can automatically generate standardized documents from CRM data using Microsoft Office Word templates. Use Word templates to enhance productivity, reduce human error, and ensure consistent communication across the company.


More information:


Store and manage your private documents in OneDrive for Business, directly from CRM

Now you can use the right storage option for the right situation. For example, store your private documents using the new OneDrive for Business option. For collaborative storage, use Office 365 Groups (introduced in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1), and for documents you’ll share more widely, or with the whole company, use Microsoft SharePoint.

More information:


Let CRM find trending documents for you (CRM Online only)

Get content that’s most relevant to what you’re working on, and what’s trending around you. Add Office Delve to your dashboards to automatically search through documents and find that one document that helps you close the sale.

More information:


Mobile features

View SharePoint documents in CRM for phones and tablets

If your organization has integrated SharePoint with CRM, you can now open your SharePoint documents from the mobile apps.

More information:  TechNet: Integrate SharePoint with CRM


Export data to Excel from CRM for phones and tablets

You can now export data to Excel from the mobile apps. After you've exported the data you want to work with, you can open it in the Excel app on your mobile device.


Email a link to a page from CRM for phones and tablets

Want to share information about a client with one of your colleagues while you’re out on the road? Email a link to a page.


Mobile apps now support Windows 10 and iOS 9

The mobile apps are now compatible with Windows 10 and iOS 9 for Apple iPhone and iPad.


Service features

Use surveys to collect feedback from customers

CRM 2016 includes a new survey designer that lets you create and send out questionnaires to collect feedback from customers about your products or services. Customers can take a survey on a phone, tablet, or computer.

When a customer completes a survey, you can use rules to trigger follow-up actions that occur immediately. For example, if a customer answers a survey question that indicates an interest in one of your products, the system can generate a quote request and assign it to a salesperson. Or, if a customer replies with a complaint, the system can create a new service case and route it to the right queue for prompt handling. You can also send a survey automatically when a service case closes, to track how satisfied your customer is with the service they received.

More information:


New interactive service hub dashboards and forms help you prioritize workloads

CRM 2016 includes a new interactive service hub with completely redesigned dashboards and forms that help you prioritize your workload and complete your most urgent tasks. Interactive charts provide a visual snapshot of important metrics related to work items, and also double as visual filters. You can add an additional level of filtering through global filters. You can also take action (for example, reassign a case) directly from a dashboard.


Important

This release of the interactive service hub is optimized for customer service scenarios and use cases. Because this is the first release, not all customer service scenarios are covered.


The new interactive service hub forms help you maintain context while addressing customer issues. For example, use the following sections on the Case form’s Summary tab to quickly find the info you need:

  • General Information section. Get a quick summary of the case and customer contact information, such as email address and phone number.

  • Timeline section. See all activities related to a record and take action on an activity.

  • Related section. Search for knowledge base (KB) records. The search pane shows suggested KB articles based on case title. You can also use this section to quickly find and open related cases. The related record opens in a new tab within this section so you don’t lose the context of the case you’re working on.

When you select a particular stage in the process bar, the stage opens as a popup. You can fill in details required for that stage, and then click Next stage to move to the next one.


If you’re an administrator, you can customize the interactive service hub dashboards and forms, or create dashboards and forms.

More information:


Reduce case call-handling time with rich knowledge management articles

With the new interactive service hub, you can also turn customer feedback and issues into rich knowledge articles that include embedded videos, images, and more. The rich text editor offers common word-processor features like advanced styling, linking, paste from Word, find and replace, and tables.

Make sure your articles are accurate by moving them through the review and approval process, and then use versions to track changes. You can work on multiple revisions while the currently-approved content stays published. When you’re ready, make the team-approved content available to all CRM users.

You can add the knowledge base search component to any entity to give salespeople, account managers, and customer service representatives access to a single source of product information, sales coaching documents, FAQs, troubleshooting steps, and solutions. When knowledge is shared with customers, it’s automatically recorded so you can see top content easily.

More information:


Enable service level agreements (SLAs) on demand

With new SLA enhancements, you can now apply SLAs to case records manually. You can also apply SLAs automatically to cases based on business logic by using workflows or plug-ins.

For example, if your customers are spread across geographies, you may have multiple SLAs with different business hours and holiday schedules. Set up business logic to apply SLAs on case records based on customer region to make sure the SLA time calculation happens correctly for their region.

More information:  Define service level agreements (Customer Service)


CRM Online 2015 Update 1 features now apply to CRM 2016 (on-premises)

The following CRM Online 2015 Update 1 features are now included in CRM 2016 on-premises.

Get around and find the info you need, fast!

With the new navigation bar, it's easier and faster to find the information you need. When you click the Main Menu from the nav bar, you can get to your work areas, records, or other items with less scrolling and fewer clicks than before.

 Take a short video tour (less than one minute) of the new navigation


Use the Recently Viewed Items button on the new nav bar to get back to your most recently viewed and pinned items. With this global tool, you can access recently viewed records, views, and even dashboards. Pin the items you use all the time to move them to the top of the list.


If you’re working in a complex form with lots of fields, the new form navigation drop-down list makes it easy to get to just the data you need. Click the drop-down list next to the form title, and then select the section of the form you want to go to.



Add a logo or change the color scheme using themes

Create a uniform look and feel across all your applications with themes. For example, add a company logo or change default colors for entities or links. Preview your custom theme, and then publish it for the whole team when you’re ready. No code required! You must be a CRM administrator to create a custom theme.



 Watch a short video (2:45) about themes


More information:  TechNet: Change the color scheme or add a logo to match your organization’s brand


Track Exchange email activities automatically with folder tracking

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 provides a new and intuitive way to track incoming Exchange email activities. You can set up a tracking folder—use any Exchange folder in your Inbox—and then drag an incoming email message to that folder to track it. You can associate a tracked folder with a specific record, such as an account or opportunity, so when you move a message to that folder, it's automatically linked to that specific record.

Tracked folders work with Exchange Inbox rules, which makes it even easier to manage and track incoming email. For example, you could set up an Exchange Inbox rule that automatically routes email from a Contoso contact to a tracked Contoso folder, linked to a specific opportunity. Tracked folders work on any device that supports Exchange, so you can track email from virtually any device.



To use tracked folders, your organization must use server-side synchronization as your email synchronization method. Tracked folders must also be enabled by a system administrator.

 Watch a short video (2:37) about folder-level tracking

More information:


Export to Excel completely redesigned

We’ve redesigned exporting to Excel from the bottom up to provide for a much smoother experience. With a single click in the web client or in Dynamics 365 for Outlook, you can export your data as an Excel document, which can be opened anywhere, including the desktop version of Excel (2007 and later), Excel Online, and other Excel clients. When you export, all formatting is preserved, so you can do your calculations in Excel, and then reimport the data to CRM. You can export up to 100,000 records at a time (previous limit was 10,000).

More information:  Export data to Excel


Enjoy the same great mobile experience, whether you’re using a phone or tablet

The Dynamics 365 for phones app now provides the same process-driven experience as Dynamics 365 for tablets. Nurture your leads and opportunities through the sales process with the new intuitive interface. If you have a Windows Phone, use Cortana voice commands to get to your CRM data hands-free.

More information:  Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets User's Guide


 Watch a short video (5:02) about the new CRM for phones app


The previous version of the Dynamics 365 for phones app is still available in app stores, but it's now called Dynamics 365 for phones - Express.


Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Good

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Good app works with the Good Technology mobile security platform to protect your CRM data even if you lose or leave your tablet somewhere. For example, if you leave your tablet in a taxi cab and can’t get it back right away, your CRM data is protected by Good encryption. If you lose your tablet, your admin can remotely wipe your CRM for Good data from your tablet.

More information:  Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Good


Speed up customer service with default entitlements

Customer service representatives use entitlements to verify the type of support a customer is eligible for and to provide the correct level of support. Now service managers or admins can set an entitlement as the default entitlement for a customer. When a rep creates a case, the default entitlement is automatically associated with the case, saving time for the rep.

For cases where service organizations do not want entitlement terms to be deducted (a faulty part is installed, for example), service reps can also credit back entitlement terms so the customer isn’t charged.


Define rules for creating or updating CRM records from incoming activities

In previous versions of CRM, Service Managers could set up rules to automatically create cases from incoming email or social channels. Now sales, marketing, and service teams can use these same rules to automatically create or update one or more records from any single incoming activity, such as an email, social, or custom activity.

More information:  Set up rules to automatically create or update records in Dynamics 365 (Customer Service)


Get around and find the info you need, fast!

With the new navigation bar, it's easier and faster to find the information you need. When you click the Main Menu from the nav bar, you can access your work areas, records, or other items with less scrolling and fewer clicks than before.

 Take a short video tour (less than one minute) of the new navigation


Use the Recently Viewed Items button on the new nav bar to get back to your most recently viewed and pinned items. With this global tool, you can access recently viewed records, views, and even dashboards. Pin the items you use all the time to move them to the top of the list.


If you’re working in a complex form with lots of fields, the new form navigation drop-down list makes it easy to get to just the data you need. Click the drop-down list next to the form title, and then select the section of the form you want to go to.



Add a logo or change the color scheme using themes

Create a uniform look and feel across all your applications with themes. For example, add a company logo or change default colors for entities or links. Preview your custom theme, and then publish it for the whole team when you’re ready. No code required!



 Watch a short video (2:45) about themes


More information:  TechNet: Change the color scheme or add a logo to match your organization’s brand


Track Exchange email activities automatically with folder tracking

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 provides a new and intuitive way to track incoming Exchange email activities. You can set up a tracking folder—use any Exchange folder in your Inbox—and then drag an incoming email message to that folder to track it. You can associate a tracked folder with a specific record, such as an account or opportunity, so whenever you move a message to that folder, it's automatically linked to that specific record.

Tracked folders work with Exchange Inbox rules, which makes it even easier to manage and track incoming email. For example, you could set up an Exchange Inbox rule that automatically routes email from a Contoso contact to a tracked Contoso folder, linked to a specific opportunity. Tracked folders work on any device that supports Exchange, so you can track email directly from virtually any device.



To use tracked folders, your organization must use server-side synchronization as your email synchronization method. Tracked folders must also be enabled by a system administrator.

 Watch a short video (2:37) about folder-level tracking

More information:


Track incoming email wherever you are with the new Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

Dynamics CRM already includes a full-featured CRM add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook called Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook. Now you have the choice of using Dynamics 365 for Outlook or the new Dynamics 365 App for Outlook to track incoming email.



Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is a light-weight Office app that you can use together with the desktop version of Outlook on the web (included in Office 365) or Outlook 2013 to:

  • Track incoming email and set a regarding record.

  • Determine whether a record is already tracked and view the regarding record.

  • Preview information about CRM contacts or leads.

  • Create contact or lead records if the person on the From line isn’t already included in the CRM database.

  • View information about last and next activities, as well as other related records.

  • Open CRM forms directly if you need more detailed information.

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is offered as a preview feature and must be enabled by a system administrator. For more information about setting up and using Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, see the  Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User's Guide.


Do quick analysis with Excel Online, right from CRM Online

Millions of people use Microsoft Office Excel to analyze corporate data and create reports. Now you can use Microsoft Excel Online to do quick analysis, right from CRM Online. For example, if you’re a sales manager, you might want to analyze the opportunities your team owns and review Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to see how you can assist your team members. If you’re a sales rep, you can open your opportunities in Excel and do what-if analysis for different incentive scenarios.



 Watch a short video (2:45) about doing a “What if” analysis with Excel Online


Note

You must have an Office 365 subscription to edit Excel documents in Excel Online.


More information:  Analyze your Dynamics 365 data in Excel Online


Export to Excel completely redesigned

We’ve redesigned exporting to Excel from the bottom up to provide for a much smoother experience. With a single click in the web client or in Dynamics 365 for Outlook, you can export your data as an Excel document, which can be opened anywhere, including the desktop version of Excel (2007 and later), Excel Online, and other Excel clients. When you export, all formatting is preserved, so you can do your calculations in Excel, and then reimport the data to CRM. You can export up to 100,000 records at a time (previous limit was 10,000).

More information:  Export data to Excel


New Power Query connector streamlines connections to CRM Online

With the new Power Query connector, you can connect more easily to CRM Online data from Power Query to do self-service Business Intelligence (BI). After selecting the From Dynamics 365 Online connector in Power Query, just supply a URL feed, and then enter your credentials. Power Query connects and retrieves the list of tables and entities from CRM Online. You can also schedule data refreshes of your dashboard from Power BI for Office 365.

More information:  3 updates to Excel Power Query


Collaborate with team members, even if they don’t have access to CRM Online

Office 365 users can use Office 365 Groups to collaborate across Office products. An Office 365 Group is a workspace that team members can use to share files, email messages, conversations, calendars, and Microsoft OneNote notes. Office 365 Groups are a great way to collaborate with team members, even if they don’t have access to CRM Online. For example, create an Office 365 Group for your sales team, invite other Office 365 users to join the Group, and then share documents, email, conversations, meeting information, and OneNote notes related to specific opportunities.

Office 365 Groups are offered as a preview feature.

More information:


Take notes in OneNote, directly from CRM Online

Take advantage of all that Microsoft OneNote has to offer, directly from CRM Online. For example, when you’re on the go at a customer site, take notes on your Microsoft Surface or other mobile device while you’re viewing opportunity details. Capture photos, take voice notes, do free-form drawings and more. Everything is automatically linked with the opportunity record in CRM Online.


 Watch a short video (2:12) about OneNote integration in Dynamics CRM


More information:  Set up OneNote integration in Dynamics 365


Enjoy the same great mobile experience, whether you’re using a phone or tablet

The Dynamics 365 for phones app now provides the same process-driven experience as Dynamics 365 for tablets. Nurture your leads and opportunities through the sales process with the new intuitive interface. If you have a Windows Phone, use Cortana voice commands to access your CRM data hands-free. More information:  Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets User's Guide


 Watch a short video (5:02) about the new CRM for phones app


The previous version of the Dynamics 365 for phones app is still available in app stores, but it's now called Dynamics 365 for phones - Express.


Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Good

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Good app works with the Good Technology mobile security platform to protect your CRM data even if you lose or leave your tablet somewhere. For example, if you leave your tablet in a taxi cab and can’t get it back right away, your CRM data is protected by Good encryption. If you lose your tablet, your admin can remotely wipe your CRM for Good data from your tablet. More information:  Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Good


Share the knowledge (base) with Parature

We introduced Parature, from Microsoft, in the 2015 spring wave of releases. Now if you’re a customer service agent, you can take advantage of rich Parature knowledge base (KB) capabilities to reduce issue handling time, directly from CRM Online. For example, while you’re working on a case record, you can:

  • View system-suggested KB articles

  • Search for relevant KB articles

  • Read the content of KB articles inline, including embedded images or videos

  • Send KB article links to customers



More information:  Find knowledge articles from within a record in Dynamics 365


Speed up customer service with default entitlements

Customer service agents use entitlements to verify the type of support a customer is eligible for and to provide the right level of support. Now service managers or admins can set an entitlement as the default entitlement for a customer. When an agent creates a case, the default entitlement is automatically associated with the case, saving time for the agent.

For cases where service organizations do not want entitlement terms to be deducted (a faulty part is installed, for example), service agents can also credit back entitlement terms so the customer isn’t charged.


Define rules for creating or updating CRM records from incoming activities

In previous versions of Dynamics CRM, Service Managers could set up rules to automatically create cases from incoming email or social channels. Now sales, marketing, and service teams can use these same rules to automatically create or update one or more records from any single incoming activity, such as an email, social, or custom activity.

More information:  Set up rules to automatically create or update records in Dynamics 365 (Customer Service)


Forms load much faster with new form rendering engine

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1, you’ll notice that forms are much snappier than in earlier versions. You don’t have to do anything to take advantage of faster forms — they’re turned on by default. If you have forms that include unsupported customizations, however, and you encounter errors as a result, you may want to temporarily turn off form enhancements while you update your scripts. More information:  System Settings dialog box - General tab


Updates are driven by you

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 includes a new opt-in update model that provides flexibility for applying updates, depending on your organization’s needs. For simplicity, all updates are managed through a single central portal. For more information, see TechNet: Update policy

 Watch a short video (3:38) on customer-driven updates



Tip

If you’re an administrator, be sure to check out this page as well: TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers


Improvements to product selling features help increase sales

Improvements to the product selling experience help sales operations managers and salespeople manage and sell your company’s products more effectively:

  • Sales operations managers can easily add products to the system and bundle related products together so that salespeople can increase sales by encouraging customers to buy a group of products instead of single items. For example, you can pair a top-selling product with a less popular one, create groups of products to maximize the benefits for customers when they buy, and offer special discounts on bundled products.

  • Sales operations managers can provide tailored pricelists based on a salesperson’s territory, or on the customer segment they’re assigned to.

  • Sales operations managers or customizers can localize the product catalog for different regions with localization tools. Export and import field translations, and localize product attributes and metadata to make product details available to salespeople in their preferred language.

  • Salespeople can visualize all the products and product bundles your company sells by viewing products in hierarchical charts (similar to org charts). When pulling together an order, you can see all the products that are available to sell, and how they’re related in a visual way. When you can see all product possibilities in one view, you’re less likely to miss a potential sales opportunity.

  • Salespeople can see suggestions for cross-selling and up-selling, and get recommendations for accessories or substitutes.

Cortana support lets you speak CRM commands on Windows 8.1 phones

Now you can speak your commands to CRM if you are using Cortana on a Windows 8.1 phone. For a list of the CRM commands you can use with Cortana, see Use Cortana voice commands in Dynamics 365 for phones.

Improvements to quick find make it easier to find customer records on the web app

Improved search capabilities provide a quick way for users to search across multiple record types on the web app. Now, by entering keywords in the search box on the nav bar, you can quickly find and navigate to a record from anywhere in the web app.

In previous versions, quick find across multiple record types was available only on the CRM for tablets app.

The search box supports using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character.

To only see matches for a certain type of record, on the search results page, you can select the name of the record type from the drop-down list. Click the tile for a search result to open it.

To do more sophisticated searches, click the new Advanced Find button, which is now on the nav bar.

Microsoft Social Engagement is now available for on-premises systems

With this release, you can access Microsoft Social Engagement from within Dynamics CRM, whether your organization uses CRM Online or CRM 2015 (on-premises).

New way to view accounts, products, and users helps you see how info is related

With this release, users can see how info is related or grouped by viewing accounts, products, or users in hierarchical charts. You can click a block of info to get more details and navigate to the info you’re interested in.

For example, from the hierarchical view for accounts, you can:

  • See how an account is doing in overall revenue

  • Drill into tiles for sub-accounts to see where the deals are coming from

  • Find out who is working on an account and enlist help from others by sending email or sharing the account with other salespeople

  • View important details about each account, such as credit limit and latest activity posts for the account

From the hierarchical view for products, you can see all the products available to sell, and how they're related in bundles or families. Salespeople can avoid missing a potential sale, because they can see all related products in one view.

From the hierarchical view for users, you can find out who another team member's boss is, or who else is on their team, without switching to another app.

Hierarchical views are also available on mobile.

  • To see hierarchies that show the relationships between records, on the list of accounts, products, or users, click the hierarchies button. You can also click the View Hierarchy command when you’re viewing the screen for an individual account, product, or user.

The CRM Basics guide helps users learn common tasks even if their system is customized

In friendly, bite-sized servings that are never any longer than a single page, the new CRM Basics guide helps new users learn how to get around the system using tiles, enter customer data, search for records, keep track of interactions with customers by adding notes and tasks, stay on top of their progress with dashboards — and more. The Dynamics 365 Basics guide includes sections targeted at sales and service, so new users also get the run-down on the basics tailored for their role.

Because the guide covers common tasks that apply to anyone who uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it’s relevant even if the system has been customized.

The CRM Basics guide is a great resource for training new users. You’ll find an editable version in the Training & Adoption Kit for Microsoft Dynamics 365 that you can customize to create your own training materials.

Download the eBook: CRM basics for sales pros and service reps (applies to 2015).

Improvements to Quick Create let you add a contact within an opportunity

Now, when a salesperson adds a new sales opportunity to the system by using the Create command on the nav bar, the salesperson can also create a new contact at the same time. In previous releases, the salesperson needed to create the contact before using the Quick Create command to add an opportunity.

New Outlook Configuration Wizard makes it easy to set up and configure CRM for Outlook

With the new OutlookConfiguration Wizard, which has been completely redesigned for 2015, configuring Dynamics 365 for Outlook is as easy as copy and paste. The new Configuration Wizard also makes it easy to add and manage additional CRM organizations. If you’re an administrator, you’ll appreciate new security features like multi-factor authentication. More information:  TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and CRM Online

Synchronize more types of information between CRM and Outlook

Teams that use Dynamics 365 for Outlook as their centralized information hub can synchronize more types of information now, including:

  • Additional contacts and tasks fields

  • Assigned tasks

  • Appointment attachments

Users can easily view the fields that are synchronized, which provides confidence about where the data comes from and how it’s shared. If you’re an administrator, you can configure field synchronization direction to control exactly how data is synchronized. More information:  TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and CRM Online

Business processes now allow you to “branch” to different steps based on rules and conditions

Now, business processes let you take a different “branch” (and handle a customer differently), based on things like the person’s budget, the type of products the person buys, when the person plans to buy your products, or other conditions. For example, let’s say that in the process of qualifying a lead you learn that the person plans to buy next quarter, which means that you’ll need to pull together a sales proposal and get the right approvals. The business process you’re following guides you through the right steps to handle this prospect, with no guesswork.

For a step-by-step guide to changing a business process to match the way your organization does things, check out the eBook: Customize a business process. This eBook is intended for administrators or managers.

Create custom Help (training) designed just for your users

If you customize CRM extensively, you may want to replace the default Help content with Help and training designed just for the people who use your system. You can replace Help (by redirecting to a URL) for the whole organization or just for lists and forms for specific record types (entities). The page you redirect to can be any valid URL you can paste into a browser: a page on a SharePoint site or a webpage on the Internet; even your team Wiki page, Intranet site, Word document or PDF file. For more information, see TechNet: What’s new for administrators and customizers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and CRM Online.

Updating from an earlier version?

Updating from an earlier on-premises version of Dynamics CRM? If so, there are many more exciting new features for you to take advantage of now, including a brand new user interface.

Find out more about differences between the new tiled interface and older versions that use a ribbon: eBook: What’s changed in CRM 2013?

Navigate easily with the redesigned user interface

The new user interface makes doing common tasks quicker and easier:

  • No more Navigation Pane. To move around in the web application, you’ll use the nav bar at the top of the page. The nav bar includes “breadcrumbs” that remind you about where you’re working in the system. More information:  eBook: Start working in CRM

  • It’s easier to enter data. Look for the Create command in the nav bar at the top of the page. Just click the command, and then enter data in a few fields to get new information into the system. More information:  Quick create--Enter new contacts (or other data)--fast!

    You can add products quickly to opportunities, quotes, and orders — and update details like price, quantity, and discounts right on the screen where you’re working. Plus, you can look up and add key stakeholders and see at a glance who is involved and what their role is. More information:  Create or edit an opportunity (Sales)

  • Click to contact someone. Stay in touch with your customers by selecting a phone number to make calls via or Skype for Businessor Skype. Click an email address to send an email. In addition, you can see addresses on Bing Maps. More information:  Place calls with Skype or Skype for Business

Dynamics CRM is ideal for touch-enabled monitors as well as for monitors that require a mouse.

The Training & Adoption kit gives you a jump start on creating training materials for users

To help you get your organization up and running, there’s a Training & Adoption Kit with eBooks, help, and videos that you can customize to match your system and style.

More information:  Training & Adoption Kit for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Deliver great service everywhere

The many new customer service features help you build customer loyalty and retain customers for life. These new features can help you:

  • Respond quickly to service issues, whether they come in from phone calls, email, or social media.

  • Tie entitlements to service level agreements (SLAs) to provide quality service until a case is resolved.

  • See all entitlements for a customer at a glance, and assign entitlements to customers and products automatically.

  • Use case timers to track key performance indicators (KPIs) for service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure customer commitments are met.

  • Monitor social media conversations to identify and resolve emerging issues before they escalate.

  • Define case relationships to stay on top of details for all related cases and work more efficiently.

Take a look at these two new eBooks to learn more: eBook: Meet your service goals with SLAs and entitlements and eBook: What’s new in CRM customer service?


Important

The new customer service features are included with product updates, so if you don’t see them in your system, updates may not have been applied yet. Check with your system administrator.


Set up and manage service features in the new Service Management area

In the new Service Management area, a customer service manager can configure all service-related features from a single location. To check out this new area: Go to Settings > Service Management.

Some new ways to manage customer service through the Service Management area include:

  • Define case relationships so that parent and child cases automatically inherit settings when closed.

  • Use routing rules so that cases are automatically assigned to agents or queues.

  • Specify the level of support and types of entitlements for multiple channels.

  • Define and track service KPIs through SLAs.

  • Define support hours and associate schedules with service level agreements.


Important

The new customer service features are included with product updates, so if you don’t see them in your system, updates may not have been applied yet. Check with your system administrator.


Gain insights from social networks like Facebook and Twitter with Microsoft Social Engagement

Microsoft Social Engagement is a powerful new analytics service that enables your organization to monitor social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. Use Social Engagement to track products, brands, competitors, and campaigns globally, and in real time, to gain a true understanding of your customers and your business across the social web.

With Social Engagement, you can scour the web to see what people are saying about your company and products. You can track sentiment across channels, identify top influencers, stay on top of the latest information and trends, get competitive insights, and more.

  • See how the total volume of posts is trending over time.Social Engagement captures the information you need in easy-to-read charts.

    You can track information in 19 languages across Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and videos.

  • Get a true understanding of sentiment. At a glance, see how people perceive your product, service, or brand. To figure out which posts are positive, negative, or neutral, Social Engagement analyzes keywords and phrases in the native languages, which means it also picks up on cultural cues.

  • Follow spikes in positive or negative sentiment. Use the information gleaned from Social Engagement to seize an opportunity or to proactively work to change the social conversation in your favor.

  • Track how your marketing or service campaign is doing. After rolling out a campaign, listen for reactions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and in videos to see what’s working and what isn’t. Then make adjustments to your campaign based on the social conversation.

  • Gain social insights. Analyze social media conversations about your competitors, customers, and prospects.

New CRM apps for Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android

With the new smartphone apps, you can now access important customer information from your phone.

Download the app from Windows Marketplace, Apple Store, or Google Play, or check with your CRM admin (if that's someone other than you) for instructions for your organization.

Key features:

  • See your CRM data quickly displayed and optimized for a mobile screen.

  • Add and modify contacts, tasks, and notes as well as other relevant sales data.

  • View activity feeds and see addresses on Bing Maps. Windows Phone only.

  • Get back to recently viewed records even when you’re not connected. Windows Phone only.

  • All this with no additional license fees.

New CRM apps for Windows 8 mobile devices or your iPad

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for tablets helps you stay connected and productive wherever you are. Use your Windows 8 device or iPad to stay up to date with your customer info — even when you’re on the go. Arrive prepared for every appointment, and update your notes, tasks, contacts, accounts, and leads while the details are still fresh in your mind.

Download the app from Windows Marketplace or the Apple Store, or check with your CRM admin (if that’s someone other than you) for instructions for your organization.

Works with:

  • Windows 8 (including Microsoft Surface Pro or Surface RT)

  • iPad (4th Gen)

  • iPad (3rd Gen)

Key features:

  • Access your activities, accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities from an easy-to-use dashboard.

  • Quickly enter customer data with only a few taps.

  • Use charts to track progress on key performance indicators.

  • Use Skype to communicate with your contacts.

  • Access your personalized views of lists to see the data that’s most important to you.

  • Pin tiles to the app dashboard to get to the info you need quickly.

  • All this with no additional license fees.

New business processes help you follow best practices for common scenarios

Check out the Microsoft AppSource for several business process solutions that help organizations like yours follow best practices for common scenarios. These solutions help you save time by giving you a great starting point for creating business processes that match the way you do business. More information:  Business process flow templates for Dynamics 365

The system also comes with several business processes already installed. You can use them as-is or edit them as needed. More information:  Add ready-to-use business processes

For a short, easy-to-read intro to business processes, check out the eBook: Business processes. This eBook is designed to help users get up and running quickly.

For a step-by-step guide to changing a business process to match the way your organization does things, check out the eBook: Customize a business process. This eBook is intended for administrators or managers.

Announcing Social Insights powered by InsideView

With Social Insights, powered by InsideView, your Dynamics CRM account information goes from static to dynamic with constant updates to three essential types of information — data, insights, and connections. InsideView applies proprietary triangulation and validation techniques across 30,000+ sources and millions of company and people profiles to deliver relevant, accurate company and contact information that helps sellers find more leads, win more deals, and retain and grow customer accounts.  Dynamics CRM brings Social Insights to you with every CRM Online Professional license at no additional charge (U.S. only).

Learn more about Social Insights

New Power Query connector streamlines connections to CRM Online

With the new Power Query connector, you can connect more easily to CRM Online data from Power Query. After selecting the From Dynamics 365 Online connector in Power Query, just add a URL feed, and then enter your credentials. Power Query connects and retrieves the list of tables and entitles from CRM. It’s as easy as that.