Although Microsoft Dynamics 9.0 has been available since October 2017, this had initially only been available for new sign-ups to Dynamics. However, as of January 15th, it is now possible to schedule upgrades to this new version from existing version 8 instances.
Microsoft have provided a six-month window in which this upgrade can take place, from February 20th, through to August 20th. However, this is on a first come, first served basis, so expect the earlier slots to be taken up quickly. As with any major CRM version upgrade, it is important to test that the new version does not cause any compatibility issues with your current CRM processes, particularly any heavy customisation that may have taken place. Upgrades should always be carried out on a Sandbox CRM instance first, where thorough testing should then take place. Then, once you are happy that everything behaves as it should, then the upgrade can be applied to the live instance.
Version 9 has some key changes that will not only improve the overall CRM experience, but could have some impact on existing functionality. Some of the key changes include –
- Revamped Web Client Interface – The whole of CRM has been given a visual overhaul, with the aim of improving readability and productivity. but without any functional changes, so that the transition for users to the new look should be straightforward.
- Unified User Interface (UUI) – As Dynamics can be access via the web client, mobile devices and within Outlook, the user experience has not always been consistent. The UUI aims to change this, with a responsive interface aimed at providing clear and consistent data, regardless of the device and screen resolution being used. In addition to this, new controls extend the current form functionality, making the system even easier to use.
- Improved Advanced Find – In previous versions of CRM, it was always difficult to find records that did not have child records associated with them. Now in version 9, you are able to perform searches such as leads with no activities or accounts with no opportunities.
As well as new functionality, there are some features that are being deprecated in version 9, so if your business uses them, now is a good time to plan alternative solutions –
- The Outlook Client – As the Outlook App has been designed as a replacement, the original, installable Outlook client is being dropped.
- Email Router – If your business uses this functionality, you should look to switch to using Server-Side Sync instead.
- Dialogs – Although Dialogs have proven very useful in the past, these are also being deprecated, in favour of Business Process Flows.
In summary, as version 9 brings in some significant changes, it is important to ensure that your business is ready for them and that upgrades are tested on Sandbox environments before roll-out.
If you are an existing client of Strategy 365, and want to schedule your upgrade to version 9, get in touch with us to discuss the process.