Sage CRM 2018 R1 has gone gold

The Business

News and views for Sage CRM Business Partners.

Sage CRM 2018 R1 has gone gold

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The latest version of Sage CRM has completed its development and has been delivered to each of the different Sage country teams around the world. This means partners and customers will be getting news soon from their local Sage offices indicating when it will be released into each market.

The previous release, Sage CRM 2017, saw a healthy increase in the number of seats sold. We expect Sage CRM 2018 to continue to be a very strong offering, providing as it does the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service modules for 6 separate Sage 200 franchise accounting products around the world.

The new release has to be put into the context of the product strategy for Sage CRM and how it relates to Sage business management solutions. This strategy is to strengthen the proposition of Sage Business Management Solutions through integrated CRM. This means that the Sales, Marketing and Service features provided by Sage CRM are targeted at prospective and existing Sage customers who are looking for better ways to manage and grow their business and who need enhanced visibility of business data so they can make informed decisions based on accurate information from across the business, both front and back office.

The integration focus is explicit and guides everything that the product management and development teams are doing. The intention is to make Integrated Sage CRM an ideal solution for both existing Sage BMS customers or new Sage BMS customers looking for an easy to use, fully-featured CRM application available with out-of-the-box integration to their existing Sage solution.

We are trying to make the Sage CRM proposition almost a no-brainer when it comes to both new sales or cross-selling to an existing customer.

The strategy has a direct effect on the way in which our Product Management teams look at deciding which features get added to the roadmap. This has resulted in effort being put into 3 key areas

  1. Integration – This is the high-quality ability to directly invoke interfaces to allow seamless data exchange and interoperability between a Sage accounting system and Sage CRM.
  2. Ease of Use – Here we have been looking to improve the immediate user experience by continual improvement to the main user screens and ensuring that interface reassures the customer that Sage CRM is up to date in design and functionality.
  3. We are striving to improve overall product quality. We want to make sure the over the long term customers remain deeply satisfied with the performance and behaviour of the sales, marketing and customer service modules. We want to ensure that they are ready to recommend Sage CRM unhesitatingly.

Changes to the product

  • Calendar Improvements
  • MailChimp Enhancements
  • Menu and Interface new features
  • Quotes and Orders Usability Improvements
  • Metadata Optimisation
  • Exchange Integration Improvements
  • Security Enhancements

These changes along with more than customer issues being addressed means that Sage CRM continues to provide a better customer experience with each release. You can read more about the changes to Sage CRM 2018 R1 within the Release notes available from the Help Center (http://help.sagecrm.com)

About the Calendar

It is worth discussing one of the areas that have seen considerable changes recently. When Sage CRM 2017 R1 was released it introduced an entirely new way of drawing and controlling the Calendar. Not all the existing calendar features could be implemented in Sage CRM 2017 R1 and the changes continued in 2017 R2. Sage CRM R3 was essentially a maintenance release with a few enhancements added unrelated to the Calendar.

Further enhancements have been made to the calendar in Sage CRM 2018 R1.

  • Improved performance.
  • Simplified assignment of icons to custom actions
  • Tooltip on appointments in the Day view.
  • Change appointment date and time by drag and drop.
  • View team members added to a task or appointment
  • Complete tasks quickly.
  • Extend or reduce appointment duration by drag and drop.
  • Quickly create new tasks with attachments.

I will discuss these changes in a separate article about the calendar and in the updated training materials.

Members of the Developer Program with the correct access rights can download a copy of Sage CRM 2018 R1 from the "Releases and Patches" gallery on the Community. This copy has been made available to allow partners to test their components, integrations and add-ons prior to the release of Sage CRM 2018 R1 in each Sage region.

Comments
  • Do you know when Partner Services (UK) will be able to generate a key for it? Was told this morning they're unable to produce a key for it at present.

  • Hello

    Each Sage country team is responsible for determining the release dates.  Your local (UK) product manager will have a schedule of when they are able to make the licenses and software available.

  • Hi Jeff,

    On the Calendar side of things - is there any plans to a implement a more granular approach to giving access to other users calendars? I've had quite a few customers who want to give a user access to other user calendars but not ALL users calendars.

    Mike

  • Mike

    That's a good suggestion.  I will forward this to our Product Management team as an enhancement idea.

  • Hi Jeff.

    Weve been testing upgrading a major client on 2017 for a while and are having to re-write all .asp pages that use frames. If we move the project to be an upgrade to 2018 can we expect more issues or is 2018 largely the same as 2017 from that side. The improvements in 2018 for large multi-server systems are why we are thinking of diverting to 2018.

    Also will original CRM themes still function with 2018 as they do with 2017 so we can avoid re-educating users. Thanks.

  • Adam

    The largest change in visual appearance took place in Sage CRM 7.3 (community.sagecrm.com/.../sage-crm-7-3-how-will-the-new-user-interface-theme-affect-your-users-experience-of-your-components.aspx) This followed the removal of the Framesets in Sage CRM 7.2 as part of the continual modernisation of the interface.

    Also in Sage CRM 7.3 the existing iPhone, Android and Tablet themes were combined into a single new responsive theme.  

    In any system upgraded from Sage CRM 7.2 to Sage CRM 7.3 the older themes will still be present and still available for Desktop users and the new theme is just an option like any theme so it may be set and chosen by a user. But you are strongly recommended to move away from the older themes to the Contemporary (Ergonomic) theme.  

    QA are not including the older themes within their testing as Sage CRM 2017 only installs the Contemporary theme in new installs.   There is no option for a users to select a different theme in their preferences in Sage CRM 2018 R1.