Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2011: Day 2 morning
Day 2: April 11, 2011
Between GPUG's DayONE and Convergence General Reception, it was clear that week was lining up to be very exciting. Today, I decided to ride the MARTA train to the event as I had to drop the kids off to school and traffic coming out of the past week's Spring break would be at its craziest.
I was a bit late for the opening keynote, but got there when Microsoft's CEO Steve Balmer was presenting some real life customer deployments of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - customers in the TAP program - and announced general availability for August 2011.
Microsoft's CEO, Steve Balmer
Corporate VP, Kirill Tatarinov introduced the new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 with its substantially improved Role Center Silverlight interface. The demos on AX centered around usability, policy based data and transaction entry based on built-in organizational controls, and overall integration of ERP technologies with other Microsoft products.
Microsoft's Corporate VP, Kirill Tatarinov
One of the coolest demos I have ever seen was carried out by Microsoft's Lachlan Cash who introduced a prototype of the Microsoft Kinect integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Microsoft Kinect is currently used with the Xbox 360 gaming console to provide the ultimate gaming experience without an actual physical controller, this is, just using your body. Kinect would facilitate employee interactions with ERP applications and data in environments where touchscreen and keyboard interaction are not feasible.
On a final note, Kirill discussed the availability of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Online as part of the overall Microsoft Clould Computing strategy, which promises tight integration with other Microsoft cloud products: Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and Office 365.
The session ended on a high note - literally - with the band and people swarming to the exit door. Dave and I stayed behind to catch up on some blogging and emails.
Next was the long awaited CSGP01 Making your Business Better with Microsoft Dynamics GP general session, featuring Pam Misialek, Chad Sogge, Jeff Trosen, and a remote Errol Schoenfish who had spent a good time sandbagging in preparation for possible floods in Fargo.
The session highlighted Microsoft's investment and commitment in building the GP community and featured demos of Concur's Time and Expense, the new Business Analyzer tool, and the long awaited Microsoft Dynamics GP web client.
Hall Howard and Pam Misialek talking about Concur's Time and Expense
Microsoft's Jeff Trosen and Chad Sogge presented the web client, which caught the attention and earned some applauses from the attending crowd.
Jeff Trosen and Chad Sogge
The Microsoft Dynamics GP web client features a Silverlight interface and will initially launch with the core modules, Financials and Distribution, as part of codename GP "12". Utilizing the latest web User Interface technology, the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team has studied the high usage forms within GP and optimized the forms for ease of entry and performance in a web environment.
They've applied templates to the existing forms in order to build the corresponding web based form. The use of templates allow the Development team to change the layout of current Dexterity-based forms without making any functionality changes.
Microsoft Dynamics GP Silverlight web client
The result is a streamlined Silverlight form with the Ribbon functionality across the top making the experience richer, faster and more intuitive for users - I will dedicate an entire future post just to this topic once I wring some arms.
After the session, David and I retreated to the speaker room to book the speakers' rehearsal room to do a dry run for our afternoon session. On the way we caught up with Ace Martin, who has taken care of each and every one of our (and all other speakers) pet peeves. Ace and her team works tirelessly to make sure speakers have all the reasources needed to deliver a successful presentation.
Mariano Gomez, Ace Martin, and David Musgrave
After our rehearsal, it was time to visit the Expo and get some lunch in preparation for our late afternoon session. More on that in the next post.