First Impressions of CRM 2013

I started a trial of CRM 2013 and I have to admit I really liked the lack of popups, it seemed to make it a lot more smoother and easy to keep track of what your were doing without having to peek at the 10 internet browsers.  I actually did this a while ago but didn’t get round to publishing this blog post but it was still my first impression

crm 2013 first look

I automatically opened the CRM instance in IE but then thought I would try it in Chrome, woah, it works and feels just the same as IE.  I would also say CRM 2013 looks lovely

I was doing a fair bit of stumbling around, I create an account and then trying to create an account, pressing the plus. I pressed the associated view and then wondered how to get back to the account.

I’m not saying this is negative, it’s just different and there is no reason to fear change.  I logically worked out if I clicked on the account, it should be a hyperlink and take me back to the account, pow, back I was.   This time I added the contact, search and then add, this displays (I was going to use the word popup but that is just plain wrong, nothing popped up, it was more of a bar) a bar of information for you to add the new contact.

It was smooth and slick but the one thought that kept popping up in my mind was, how the heck do you develop these things yourself?  This is going to be very different from CRM 2011

The social pane is an interesting feature, it’s something which Microsoft have added and is both useful and frustrating.  It’s quick and easy to use and has functionality in you couldn’t add using the standard GUI.  It has three tabs, posts, notes and activities.

social pane

I have also answered lots of forum questions with frustrated users who have found they cannot modify the social pane and the functionality within it for notes and calls is not what they want.  Hopefully Microsoft will make this customizable in future rollups.

Business process flows are an unusual concept.  There is a form that sits on top of the form which is used to encourage people to fill in the data for the record.  The fields are also on the main form but they sit up the top prompting users to fill them in.  It’s quite a good idea but I did now and again find it annoying without any idea of how to get rid of it.

Overall I enjoyed using CRM 2013 and although initially it was slow finding my way around, I really liked the fact you didn’t have lots of windows popping up everywhere.

There are also some good new features in CRM 2013 which I have had a little look at.  I have tried a business rule and realised I needed to create two business rules, one to do something and another do undo.

It feels to me like CRM has moved forward in the import area of looks, this matters to customers, especially when attracting new ones to projects.