At a Microsoft Dynamics CRM conference I attended recently, a speaker polled the audience, asking how many of the attendees were on Dynamics CRM 2016. Hardly anyone raised their hand. He received the same response for Dynamics CRM 2015 and 2013. It wasn’t until he mentioned CRM 2011 that most of the hands shot up.

But why? In a world where people are accustomed to receiving the latest and greatest updates on demand, how can it be so difficult to get Dynamics CRM users to upgrade to the most recent version of the software?

Well, the short answer is that upgrading your CRM is a little bit more complicated than updating your iPhone or even your desktop, but there’s more to it than that. Probably the most prominent reason they haven’t upgraded is because Dynamics CRM 2011 was the first significant CRM investment these companies had made in years. It was certainly a major upgrade from CRM 4.0, its predecessor, in terms of both infrastructure and architecture. Given that upgrading a CRM and all the customization and training that entails can run into the tens of thousands of dollars; it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that a company would want to recoup its investment before it sinks money and resources into yet another upgrade.

CRM 2011 users were also likely wary of upgrading after Dynamics CRM 2013 and 2015 came out with mixed reviews, particularly as it related to the user experience. As when any software company tries to iterate and introduce new features, the first version is not always ideal, and it’s understandable if a company doesn’t want to be the early adopter guinea pig who must suffer when the software doesn’t work as intended. Even though CRM 2011 was becoming increasingly outdated, the thinking went, at least you knew it worked and how it worked.


But while organizations had valid reasons for avoiding an upgrade until now, with the release of Dynamics CRM 2016 (and now 2016 Update 1) they no longer have any excuses. Here’s why:

CRM 2016 is a superior product to 2011, 2013, and 2015

Microsoft has managed to work out all the UI and UX kinks that were plaguing 2013 and 2015, and this means companies that upgrade to it will no longer be penalized for early adoption. What’s more, the 2016 version has introduced a number of new crucial features that make it indispensable. These include improved/enhanced case management, the interactive service hub, redesigned knowledge management, Word and Excel templates, Cortana integration and an improved Outlook experience. Dynamics CRM 2016 is essentially the culmination of all the promises Microsoft has made in recent years come to life and the foundation for even better things to come with the announcement of Dynamics 365.

Dynamics CRM 2016 is in the cloud

In recent months we’ve written a number of articles about the benefits of CRM Online and how it far outshines its on-premise counterpart. Whether it’s integration with Office 365, Power BI, or the fact that you get the latest updates six months in advance, CRM Online is Microsoft’s powerful foray into cloud computing, and it won’t be looking back. The longer you go without migrating to the cloud, the more difficult that eventual migration will be.

Dynamics CRM 2016 will save you money

It used to costs enormous sums of money to customize and configure a new version of a CRM because it involved hiring an expert to write the code that enables these configurations. But with Dynamics CRM 2016, Microsoft has expanded the customer’s capabilities to insert business logic into the system without having to hire a developer or third party. This results in less testing and QA and saves you money.


Five years might seem like a short time, but the technology we have available today, in 2016, is vastly superior to what we had in 2011. In 2011, world-changing companies like Snapchat and Uber were still in their infancy. The iPhone was only in its fourth version. The cloud, though important then, was nowhere near as vital to the average company’s infrastructure as it is today. Given the seismic shifts occurring in CRM innovation, sticking with a 2011 version is no longer an option, and the longer you avoid an upgrade, the further you’ll get left behind.

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