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Should we upgrade to Microsoft CRM 4.0?

Is Microsoft CRM 4.0 worth upgrading? Find out in this expert response from Richard Smith.

How does Microsoft CRM 4.0 compare to Microsoft CRM 3.0? What are the standout features, and is it worth upgrading?
Microsoft has made strides with the Microsoft CRM 4.0 release that definitely make it worth upgrading. Here are a few highlights of Microsoft 4.0:

  • Reporting Wizard: Microsoft CRM 4.0 provides a wizard-based report creation tool that allows actual users to create their own reports. Reports can provide a summary graph or chart as well as a drill down to a list of records (like a sales pipeline report) and direct one-click access back to CRM opportunities, cases and other records.

  • Duplicate detection: Administrators can build rules to help prevent new duplicate records from being created through imports or direct entry. They can also clean up existing duplicates through schedule duplicate checking jobs and merging options.

  • Smart Search: Smart Search streamlines data entry by allowing users to enter data into lookup fields and providing a real time list of matching records. This solution dramatically reduces the number of clicks required to enter data in CRM.

  • Improved Mail Merge: Through the improved integration with Microsoft Word, users can create and store email, letter, label and fax templates in CRM and build powerful marketing campaigns directly from the CRM Web or Outlook client.

    In addition, Microsoft has added a number of key architectural enhancements, including:

  • Multi-language and multi-currency support .
  • Internet facing deployment support -- eliminates the need for a VPN connection to CRM when outside the office.
  • Windows Workflow Foundation -- creates more powerful business workflows.
  • Improved tools for importing

    Current Dynamics CRM 3.0 and 1.x users will see significant improvements in overall functionality, flexibility, and user productivity with the 4.0 release. Possibly the most important component of the upgrade is the significant work Microsoft has put into the upgrade process itself, which ensures that your screen configurations, views, reports, workflows and data from your 3.0 environment are seamlessly upgraded to 4.0. Sometimes, this is not the case with other CRM products, particularly when moving to a new major release.

    Visit Microsoft's new Dynamics CRM 4.0 website for additional information.

  • This was last published in April 2008

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