Posted by : Joel Abbott Tuesday, 20 May 2014

As part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Spring Wave there are a whole host of updates to different areas of this fantastic solution. To get more information on all the changes, you can find the release preview guide here.

In this blog I just wanted to focus on a few of the changes to the Cases entity. There are a number of changes but I am focusing here on the 3 that I believe will have the greatest impact as customers have continuously asked for them:

Finding Similar Cases:
On any support desk, knowledge is power and sharing that knowledge is key . There are a number of ways you could do this but what has been lacking from the Service offering Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the ability to quickly, efficiently and easily find cases similar to the one you are currently working on. This has been included in the Spring Wave. Without leaving the case record you are working on, your service agent can click on the Similar Cases lookup and find a list of suggested cases. From here they can link these or other cases they know to be relevant to the case they are working on. Perhaps the issue was handled in 3 or 4 different ways in the past. No problem, link all the cases and your agent will have all the information at their fingertips.

The suggestions that CRM makes are based on the related "Subjects". I would like to see this work a little smarter as I know that the subject tree hasn’t always proved to be effective for my customers but it’s a great start.

Merging Cases:
For some time in CRM there has been the ability to merge records. However, the ability merge cases is extremely useful. Not only does it merge all activities and associated records from your merged case to your new one but it allows you to merge more than a single record at a time. This means that, for example, if you get a user who is very "enthusiastic" about their issue and calls through to your helpdesk 4 or 5 times logging the same case, these can be merged into a single case very quickly and easily. Brilliant!

Parent & Child Cases:
This feature has been a LONG time coming. I have often had to build this manually for customers who were bemused at the fact that they couldn’t do this "out of the box". So it is with great delight that we see the ability to have parent and child cases in the Spring Wave. There are two main scenarios were this is invaluable:

One issue from same customer and work needs be done by other teams

Same issue effecting multiple customer from same organisation

How is it done? Very easily in one of 2 ways. First you can click on the "Create Child Case" button on your "Parent" case. This will create a new case that is already linked to the parent one and visible as such. 

Secondly, you can associate other pre-existing cases as child cases. Not only can this be done by using the Child Cases Sub-grid on the Parent Case form but it can also been done in bulk by going to a view of cases, selecting those you wish to make child cases, clicking on the "Associate Child Cases" button and selecting the parent.

Its important to note that you only have a single "level" in the parent/child hierarchy. If Case B is a child of Case A then Case B cannot be a parent of any other case. If you delete Case A but leave Case B in place, then this can become a parent case but not otherwise.

I know these may not be as razzmatazz (I should get an award for getting that word in a blog post!) as Social Listening or Microsoft Dynamics Marketing but these changes, small though they are, have been well thought through by the dev team and Microsoft and will deliver real tangible benefits to our customers. 

My information is based on the following information eBook provided by Microsoft and as such may be subject to change as but it matches up with all we have told already so we have no reason to doubt what this information tells us

Please feel free to comment below


Joel Abbott

xRM Consultant

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Having worked with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 in a sales & development environment, my focus now is on customising this awesome solution and showing its true potential.
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