Even though the weather was a bit cool and rainy (better than the subzero temperatures back at the Ledgeview Partners corporate offices in Appleton, WI), an estimated 12,000 people made the trip to Atlanta, GA for the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Conference last week. Here are three quick highlights from a great week at Convergence 2014.
Keynote - Kirill Tatarinov
Convergence is the premiere event for the entire Dynamics product line, not only Dynamics CRM but also the ERP products such as AX, NAV, GP, SL, and others. The opening keynote speaker, Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group, highlighted several customers that use Dynamics products to help make their respective businesses successful. As you can see from the list below the clear favorites are Dynamics CRM & Dynamics AX on the ERP side.
Q2 2014 is set to bring 3 product updates. “Mira” which centers on Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (formerly known as Marketing Pilot), “Subra” which includes the Microsoft Social Listening (formerly known as Netbreeze) enhancements and “Leo” which adds the updated customer service functionality to the platform. In Q3 & Q4 2014 we expect to see 2 additional updates to the Microsoft Social Listening platform and another update to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. In the latter portion of the year we should also expect to see the “Vega” release of CRM as well as the first Microsoft branded version of Parature.
It was also noted that both the forth coming “Leo” and “Vega” releases will be for CRM Online as well as CRM On-Premise customers. Going into Convergence I think most people expected to hear that “Leo” was going to be available for Online customers only (much like the “Polaris” release) as the functionality split and yearly merge was the direction given some months ago. The Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Social Listening products (and likely Parature) will initially be standalone products that can integrate with existing CRM data.
If you couldn’t make it to Atlanta but still want to check out what went on, most of the sessions were recorded and are available from the Virtual Convergence site. Unfortunately this doesn’t include any of the user group sponsored sessions like CRMUG as they were not recorded. The majority of the sessions focused on the new marketing and social listening capabilities we’ll soon be seeing as well as the forthcoming enhancements in the “Leo” release to CRM and Parature in the customer service space. Beyond the sessions put on by Microsoft, the various user groups put on many more in-depth sessions that focused more on daily use of the features that are already available, ask the MVP Q & A sessions, and well as roundtables where users could get together and discuss topics of their choice with other real users.
Stay tuned for many more highlights from Convergence 2014...
Blog Post By: Jason Lattimer
Dynamics CRM Development Consultant at Ledgeview Partners
Product Evangelist & Dynamics CRM MVP