Microsoft Convergence New Orleans 2013: Day 2

Today's the BIG DAY! My first presentation ever at the General Session. For Mark, this marks his second so he is somewhat of a "veteran".

As is now a tradition at Convergence, the entertainment was in the hands of funny man Rodney Sherwood and the Nick Brophy band. Tell you what... I do love this one-two punch combination and would love to see them back at every event.

Hall I almost at full capacity
The opening keynote was conducted by Wayne Morris (Twitter: @wmorrisoz), Corp VP of Microsoft Business Solutions Marketing, who welcomed the more than 11,500 attendees this year - 25% attending from outside of the United States. Wayne emphasized the upcoming advancements in the areas of marketing, social and mobile within the Dynamics product line, which brought the audience to claps.

Up next was Kirill Tatarinov, President of Microsoft Business Solutions Division. Kirill outlined Microsoft's move to become a "devices and services" organization as the company continues to evaluate its role in the market. "Today, cloud is integral to everything that we do. When we deliver our devices, the service that comes with the device is an integral part of it, and you truly cannot see the chasm, the gap, between the device and the service that comes from the cloud", said Kirill.

The World Today
Then outlined how companies with solid interaction and communication at the executive levels are 4 times more profitable than those whose executives do not communicate.

CxO Communication vs Profitability
Business leaders from Chobani Inc., Habitat for Humanity International, Revlon Inc., Shock Doctor Inc. and Weight Watchers International Inc. shared the stage with Kirill and discussed how their businesses are using Microsoft Dynamics solutions to bring products to market more efficiently, while providing executives with the right tools and information to drive business.

You can find the complete recording of the Keynote on the Virtual Convergence 2013 website, here.
With the keynote session coming to a finish, it was time to go backstage and get ready for the General Session, GENGP01: Getting Inspired with Microsoft Dynamics GP. This was quite the experience since I had to go through the make up artist at first. Everyone was quite relaxed at this point, which brought a lot of confidence to this first-timer. The production staff was quite helpful in navigating the backstage and ensuring that we were informed at all points in time of our next steps.

First up was Errol Schoenfish (Twitter: @eschoenf), Director Product Management at Microsoft, who set the tone for the presentation by dividing it into two sections: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and The Future of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

The theme for the first segment of the presentation revolved around how Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 can be Personal, Productive, and Perceptive and each theme would have a presenter showing off how Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 accomplishes each.

First up was Jennifer Ranz (Twitter: @jenniferranz1), Program Manager at Microsoft who demonstrated the personalization capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 by showing some navigation capabilities and interaction with reporting and Business Analyzer.

Errol Schoenfish and Jennifer Ranz on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Personal
It was show time! Mark Polino (Twitter: @mpolino) and I were next to present the productivity capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 in what would prove to be a duel of MVP top features.

Mark, Errol, and Mariano on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Productive

Our duel went well with lot's of clapping from the attendees. I personally believe that this format works well for this type of event and should be promoted by you the attendee.

Next up was Brian Meier, to demo the perceptive capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, by showcasing the new capabilities of the Navigation Lists and integration to Business Analyzer and email via Office 365, and CRM integration.

Errol Schoenfish and Brian Meier on stage
Upon concluding his presentation, Brian returned backstage and for an instance I had a chance to capture this picture: yes, everyone was tweeting!

Twitter-mania back stage: Mark Polino, Pam Misialek (seated), Jennifer Ranz, Brian Meier
To wrap up the General Session and as part of the second segment, Jeff Trosen, Product Unit Manager at Microsoft and Chad Sogge (Twitter: @csogge), Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft gave attendees a look into the future of Microsoft Dynamics GP and introduced code name GP.Next.

Jeff talked about the availability of functionality for the Web Client and stressed the importance of continuing to log requests for features via Microsoft Connect.

Chad then demoed some of the new/possible companion Windows 8 apps that may be released with GP.Next.

Chad, Jeff, and Errol demoing Companion Apps
With the General Session being a success, it was time to leave the Hall J. I then went to the Expo area where I had a chance to catch up with my friends, MVP Jivtesh Singh (Twitter: @jivtesh) and former MVP and now Microsoft employee, Sivakumar Venkataraman (Twitter: @veeyeskay). We sort of discussed our current Microsoft Dexterity projects and bantered a bit about methods to achieve certain customizations.

MVP Jivtesh Singh and Siva Venkataraman
Back at the hotel, I was able to relax for a bit and off I went to the Latin American Partners reception at the New Orleans Board of Trade. It was great to see my friends from my former employer in Colombia and be able to talk some Spanish for a bit - I really don't get to do so that often.

Maria Ines Bohorquez, Leonel Estrada, Thomas Garcia (ICON)
Well, it's time to say bye for now and stay tuned for Day 3's events.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC


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