The Dynamics CRM Web client offers an intuitive interface that is accessed directly through Internet Explorer. Navigating and working with the Web client is comparable to working with any thoughtfully and intelligently designed Web site. Common functions are accessible through menus and toolbars, and adding new customer or prospect information is as simple as pointing and clicking. The Web client is integrated with Microsoft Office as an added benefit – enabling users to create custom exports and reports with Excel – but Microsoft Office is not required to utilize the functionality of Dynamics CRM.
This being said, if your users are already comfortable with using Microsoft products, then the Dynamics CRM Outlook client is a must. First and foremost, the Outlook client makes all of the incredible functionality of Dynamics CRM available in Outlook, where most people are already working. For someone familiar with Microsoft's standard product interfaces, navigating the Dynamics CRM's Outlook client's menu and tool bars and integrated user interface will be second nature. Furthermore, the Dynamics CRM Outlook client offers additional integration with Microsoft Office including synchronization with Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks; automated mail merges with Word; and advanced exports and reports with Excel.
Because CRM is going to be a new product for users, regardless of whether they use the Web or Outlook client, some training will be beneficial and is recommended. But we have seen incredibly high user acceptance and short learning curves with the Microsoft CRM solution because of Microsoft's hard work making the product both intuitive and highly functional.
This was first published in January 2007