Thursday, March 22, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Houston 2012 - Day 1

If you are a habitual Convergence attendee, you probably know that the Opening Keynote with Kirill Tatarinov, President of Microsoft Business Solutions, is one of the most awaited events of the entire event. As usual, Kirill was on point with his opening and playing the part by wearing a nice Texan hat.

Kirill Tatarinov, President Microsoft Business Solutions welcomes attendees
Kirill presented a summary of interesting facts on the conference, including 10,000+ attendees, representing 270 companies from over 50 countries. Kirill quickly turned the mic over to Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft Corporation, who wasted no time walking attendees through Microsoft's global reach and vision of the future.

Kevin Turner, COO Microsoft Corporation
"Let me set it up with a little bit of an overview of Microsoft and what we're up to. Microsoft, as many of you know, is the world's largest software company, but we're a lot more than just that. We employ over 95,000 people in 191 countries around the world. We've got 640,000 partners that contribute to our ecosystem around the world. We cater to both businesses — and that's small, medium and large enterprises — as well as consumers. In fact, we have over 1.5 billion people who use our products each and every day. And that's an awesome responsibility that we have."

With this global reach, Kevin detailed some of the R&D investments made by Microsoft in its pursue of inventing and shaping the future of technology and contrast that to the strong financial results that allow the company to continue supporting its long-term R&D programs.

Kevin offered insights into Microsoft's efforts around its platforms development and how these platforms aid consumers on a daily basis with their interactions with information, regardless of the device on which they perform those interactions. In fact, Microsoft has began to embrace devices and platforms from other competitors such as Apple and Google.

After wrapping up his presentation, Kirill and Kevin described Microsoft's adoption of its own technologies and how the company is undergoing a migration from Siebel to Microsoft CRM to become a dynamic business to better serve its customers and partners.

Next up were couple demos showing the convergence of social media and the retail business and the new Windows 8 Metro UI and how Microsoft Dynamics takes advantage of these features. I have to say I was most impressed by the latter.

Kirill and Brad presenting Microsoft Dynamics on the Windows 8 Metro UI

A nice look at the UI

Another look at the interaction with the project screen
You can find a complete transcript of Kirill and Kevin's Opening Keynote on the Microsoft Press website, here. You can watch the whole Opening Keynote on the Virtual Convergence website, here.

Following the Opening Keynote, the Nick Brophy band took over and rock the house. A few great covers gave way to the General Session.

Nick Brophy band
After the interlude, Errol Schoenfish, Director of Product Management was on stage and ready to introduce all the wonderful work the Microsoft Dynamics GP team has been working on.

Errol Schoenfish

Errol had a chance to show off his Xbox avatar, TechyErrol - Come to think about it, they both do look alike.

TechyErrol: Errol Schoenfish's X-Box avatar

Attendees to the General Session were encouraged to tweet about the presentation. Tweets were shown live on the big screen every so often. It's amazing to see how many tweets were received during the course of the session. Partner and customers were extremely excited to share their views about the latest developments by the Dynamics GP team.

The surprise of the morning came when MVP Mark Polino and Microsoft's Jennifer Olson, Program Manager, both took the stage to show off Business Analyzer on the Windows 8 Metro UI. It was awesome to see how far the Dynamics GP MVP community has come along working with the Program Management team.

MVP Mark Polino and Jen

Business Analyzer on the Windows 8 Metro UI
After the Business Analyzer demo, Errol returned with Jeff Trosen who would go on to talk about the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap and some of the initiatives in motion.

Errol Schoenfish and Jeff Trosen
And speaking about motion... following Jeff's presentation, Chad Sogge took the stage to demo a warehouse management scenario using the Kinect sensor for the Xbox. During the demo, attendees had a chance to see some of the innovations that may be introduced in the Microsoft Dynamics GP product in the not so distant future.

MVP Jivtesh Singh

At the end of the demo, "Thank Yous" went out to MVP Jivtesh Singh who did all the programming required to put the demonstration in place, yet again, showing the deep collaboration that exists today between the Microsoft Dynamics GP Product Management team and its MVPs.

The afternoon was marked by our first session at 3:00 PM, CSGP19-R1 Administering Microsoft Dynamics GP Like a Pro with the Support Debugging Tool. David and I had 199 attendees to the session, which delivered an overview of the features in the Support Debugging Tool. If you attended our session and have not filled out your evaluation, please do so.

After the session, we went to the Expo hall, which was buzzing with partners, customers, and ISVs showcasing their products.

Shortly after, it was dinner and off to sleep.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

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