Posted by Indusa Admin on January 29, 2015 12:18 pm
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 features significant advances to facilitate collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer service departments. It is the first release that attempts to bridge the gap between sales and marketing, removing the need for marketers to use many disparate systems and allowing the sales executives to really engage with the marketing process.
As workers are going mobile, they are working not only on their smartphones, but also on their tablets. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 tablet app makes substantial progress in its handling of offline content, especially when it comes to sales and marketing staff working off-site. Most importantly, it introduces the ability to create draft records while disconnected from the Internet on iOS, Android, and Windows 8.1 versions of CRM for tablets. As with any new software, there are some details for users to be aware of, as well as even more areas to be excited about for the future.
Navigating the Dynamics CRM Dashboard
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, users of tablet applications could view read-only copies of recently viewed records. These records were stored in HTML in the user’s browser cache. While the user could view read-only copies of the records, he could not edit or create new records.
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, when disconnected from the internet, the user can click the new record (+) button from the dashboard to create a new draft record. Draft records can also be created from the quick create button on the command bar. CRM for tablets for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 changes the way that disconnected records are stored. They now use a SQL database, not browser cache.
Once connected to the Internet, the user can view the draft records, and select which records to synchronize with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Offline Draft Scenarios
- A user is using CRM for tablets on her iPad and loses her connectivity to the Internet. With the CRM 2015 tablet app, if I’m working on an account and I lose my Internet connection, I can keep working. I can create a new opportunity and keep going, then synchronize my changes when I get an Internet connection.
- At a trade show with limited Wi-Fi, I can create contacts or lead records for prospects even if the convention center has limited or overloaded Wi-Fi.
In a meeting at an office building with no public Wi-Fi connection, users can create note records and take notes during the meeting, then synchronize their draft notes when they return to an Internet connection.
The offline draft capability in CRM for tablets makes the app usable in many scenarios where the original version was not usable. It also provides an important distinction from just using Dynamics CRM in a tablet browser. If you use CRM in tablet browser, if you lose your connection, you can’t do anything. If you use CRM tablet app with CRM 2015, if you lose your connectivity, you can keep going. If you evaluated mobile CRM app with Dynamics CRM 2013 and decided to have users access CRM via tablet browser, you may want to reconsider the tablet app, especially if tablet users ever need to work in disconnected settings.
Limitations of Offline Draft Capability
There are some limitations to the offline functionality in the CRM 2015 tablets app:
- It should not be confused with the “offline” feature of the Outlook client. CRM for tablets caches frequently accessed records and makes them available offline. If you have never opened an account record in the tablet app, you will not be able to open it while disconnected from the Internet.
- The lighter disconnected sync of the tablet app is great for many users who mainly work from a connected environment and need to be able to access their most important records if they lose their connectivity. This allows them to keep going if they lose connectivity to the Internet, without overloading their device with lots of data that they may never view offline.
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About the Author – Neha Kumar
Neha Kumar is a digital media evangelist and marketing professional. She overlooks Indusa’s content management, social media, online events, email marketing, blogs, digital campaigns, lead generation and inside sales activities on a broader scale.