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Preparing for Orion: What Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers can do today

by Jukka Niiranen
Power Platform Advisor, Niiranen Advisory Oy

Orion, the next major version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is expected to be released in the second half of 2013. We don't yet have at our disposal a detailed list of changes to be expected, but based on the announcements made during recent Microsoft events we can already point out some key areas that existing Dynamics CRM customers should pay attention to when starting their upgrade preparations for this major new release.

Keep calm and prepare for Orion

User experience

In the current Polaris version of CRM Online there are two different sets of entity forms available: the "classic" forms with the ribbon and the new "process" forms with the slimmed down command bar. As Orion delivers a new global navigation bar that is present at the top of all the application windows, there will be no place left for the ribbon anymore. Effectively this means that Orion will offer only the new user interface, with no option to go back to the classic forms anymore.

While Polaris does not yet contain all the new UI components of Orion, it's a good way to assess the training needs involved with the version upgrade. Assuming your current CRM users would be dropped into a Polaris environment, how long would it take for them to get back up to speed with completing their day-to-day tasks? One of Microsoft's focus areas with Orion has been in simplifying the UI and making it easier for users to discover the most relevant content from the CRM system, which should help ...

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About Jukka Niiranen

Working at Digital Illustrated in Finland, Jukka helps users make sense of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and guiding organizations to make the most of their Microsoft platform investments. 10 years of CRM experience from the field, heavy user of Microsoft's CRM solution since 2005. In addition to my blog, you can follow my #MSDYNCRM posts on Twitter or add the Surviving CRM page to your circles on Google+.

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