Microsoft Plans Phased Rollout of Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update in Mid-December

Microsoft will begin deploying its December 2012 Service Update for Dynamics CRM Online on time, starting in "mid-December" with staged rollout to customers worldwide.

The December 2012 Service Update, formerly known as Polaris, includes the new "Flow" user experience as an option for sales and customer service workloads, as well as cross browser support (including Safari on the iPad), new integration with Yammer, Skype, and Bing Maps, updated Office compatibility, and a bulk data API, among other enhancements.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM iPad Sales tool for Safari
Microsoft Dynamics CRM iPad Sales inteface for Safari

The release preview guide for the December 2012 Service Update contains some interesting new details about the Flow user experience, like the interface used for configuring the stages and steps for managing a lead, opportunity, or customer service case.  The overall goal of the new user experience, as Microsoft describes it, is to "focus on outcomes rather than transactions."

Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update - Opportunity with Yammer
Yammer integrated with a Dynamics CRM opportunity in the Flow UI (click for larger view)

In a statement announcing the release plans, Microsoft pointed out that Dynamics CRM's growth has remained strong, with double digit increases for the past 33 quarters and 30 percent revenue growth last quarter (year over year).

One customer already live on the updated features, according to the statement, is Colliers International. "We are excited to take advantage of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM service update because it is so simple to use that all of our people will be able to embrace it," said Veresh Sita, chief information officer, Colliers. "This new user experience is no longer a barrier but an enabler, allowing us to reap immediate benefits."

For on-premise Dynamics CRM customers feeling a bit of envy, update rollup 12 for Dynamics CRM 2011, expected before the end of 2012, will bring cross-browser support. The rest of the features will be rolled into the Orion release, planned for the second quarter of 2013.  The Orion release is also planned to include new HTML5-based mobile apps for Windows Phone and iPad (available at no charge), as well as a new Windows 8 touch-enabled user experience.

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Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. Jason has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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