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A Big-Picture Preview of Next Version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Improvements Envisioned Integrating with Other Microsoft Products and in Team Productivity

by Jason Gumpert

Many users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM are still stepping up and becoming comfortable with version 4.0, introduced last December.

At Microsoft, though, the Dynamics CRM team is hard at work on the next version of Dynamics CRM and, based on Microsoft's schedule of introducing new versions at least every two years, Dynamics CRM 5.0 should be introduced within the next 18 months. What improvements can users expect with the next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM? In its recently released "Statement of Direction", the Dynamics CRM team offers "a glimpse of some areas that we will focus on." They include:

Make it more user -friendly and interactive with other Microsoft programs. "Customers, partners and the analyst community continue to agree that the primary reason why a CRM solution may fail is simply that the users within an organization don't use the software!" the statement says. "A key product strategy for Microsoft Dynamics CRM ‘V.Next' is to continue to provide a CRM solution that users want to work with, is as familiar as their regular desktop software such as Microsoft Office and allows them to more effectively manage their day-to-day commitments and customer interactions regardless of their role." The statement mentions improving the Microsoft Outlook experience and making Dynamics CRM more interactive with SharePoint. On this last point, the statement notes that "the most common scenario revolves around document management. The strategy is to open Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the world of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) provided by SharePoint."

Improvements in contact and account management. Key here will be "allowing users to even more effectively model and visualize customer organizational hierarchies while catering for varying degrees of complexity within those structures. The focus is to enrich the user's view ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

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. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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