Outlook as the front-end for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
At its Convergence ERP/CRM customer and partner conference in San Diego this week, Microsoft is showing off its plans for the role-based and Office-centric user interfaces that company officials have been touting for more than a year. These screen shots show off actual shipping products, plus a number of prototypes of future user interfaces that will be part of Microsoft's ERP and CRM products, going forward.
Screen shot No. 1: Microsoft's Dynamics CRM is the first of Microsoft's business applications to incorporate Office -- specifically, Outlook -- as the built-in user interface for the product.
Microsoft Dynamics Snaps link Office, Dynamics apps
Microsoft's Snap add-ins allow Office 2003 applications to "snap into" Dynamics ERP applications and make use of the business data stored in them.
Dyanmics Client for Office front end for Dynamics AX back-end
Microsoft plans to begin shipping in May 2007 a new client, known as Micorsoft Dynamics Client for Office and SharePoint, which will function as a "Dynamics ERP light" front end for Microsoft's various ERP products, including Dynamics AX (Axapta).
Dynamics Client for Office (with Great Plains Sales Center)
Another screen shot of Microsoft's forthcoming Dynamics Client for Office. In this mock-up, a user is accessing Great Plains sales data via the familiar Office user interface.
Role-based interface example: The desktop of "Sammy" in shipping and receiving
Microsoft is using the concept of "personnas" to design role-based interfaces, tailored for more than 60 different ERP job functions, in designing the next versions of its business apps. Here's a mock-up of the interface that Sammy, a manager of shipping and receiving, would see when using a future version of Dynamics NAV (Navision).
Another Role-Tailored View: List Page
Another example of what a Dynamics role-tailored view will look like in future iterations of Microsoft's ERP and CRM products. This is an example of a list page inside Dynamics GP (Great Plains). Note the Ribbon-like interface along the top.
Role-based user interface in action: Part 1
Further out in the future, Microsoft's Dynamics team and Microsoft Research are working together to make Dynamics role-based interface more "dynamic": In this mock-up , this is the initial view of the production plan that production planner "Eduardo" would like to optimize.
Role-based interface in action: Part 2
After changing the plan, "Eduardo" visualizes the new material flow from raw material through production to the customer who gets shipped a product with the material built in.
Role-based user interface in action: Part 3
"Eduardo" evaluates the plan with the "Maximize Profit" optimization module applied. He compares the performance of his optimization with the ones created by the available optimization modules in the key performance indicator.