Microsoft has used its Worldwide Partner Conference to show off some of the new features in its upcoming customer relationship management (CRM) software.
New features include better integration with Microsoft Outlook, which the firm said will let workers link directly into their email and other office-based information, and a 'Contextual CRM ribbon' for Outlook and browser clients. This 'ribbon' will give a consistent look and feel when using the apps, according to Microsoft.
Further improvements to the end user experience are role-based settings,
mean that each instance of the application can be tailored to the individual user, and advanced personalisation, which enables better, more relevant dashboard use, said Microsoft.
Other productivity tools, such as goal management, have also had a tweak, and should make it easier for users to hit targets and measure progress against established goals.
Sharing and cloud-based development and app integration have been boosted, and Microsoft said that developers could incorporate Microsoft Silverlight, Windows Communication Foundation and Language Integrated Query into their apps.
"Dynamics CRM 2011 will further deliver 'the power of productivity' through familiar, intelligent and connected experiences for customers and partners," said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
"For customers, it offers new levels of user productivity and collaboration that meet their specific business needs with a low total cost of ownership. For partners, it unlocks new opportunities and provides a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premise deployments."
Dynamics CRM 2011 is pitched at third-party vendors, and Microsoft has made it customisable so that these vendors can better server their own customers.
"The new features will give us even more power and flexibility to create and easily customise CRM solutions to meet the unique business needs of our customers and help them be more productive," said Jason Hunt, a CRM evangelist at Avanade.
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