Top 5 Takeaways from Summit16

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Author: 
Eric Piela
Posted: Oct 21st, 2016

Whew, what a whirlwind of a week it was!  Dynamics Communities Summit16 is in the books and as the dust settles I’m compelled to share my biggest takeaway from the new premier Microsoft Dynamics event. While most of my time was spent in the expo hall I was able to glean some great insight via discussion and general session recaps. Here are my five knowledge nuggets to consider nibbling on:

1. A Dynamics 365 coming out party. Microsoft leveraged the event to announce their brand new golden child – a business solution that brings financial management, sales, marketing, and customer service under one platform. Dynamics 365 will officially launch on November 1st and was positioned as a complimentary solution and not an immediate replacement for existing Dynamics customers. The story isn’t completely written on Dynamics 365 yet, but we’re ramping up resources and will be keeping a close eye on its evolution. Read more on about Dynamics 365 news in our previous blog.

2. Dynamics GP isn’t going anywhere. While there was definitely hype around Microsoft’s newest offering, it was made adamantly clear by Microsoft that Dynamics GP continues to be an area of customer growth and development for the organization. They discussed product roadmap through 2019 and mentioned that, based on customer feedback, they will be less aggressive with product releases slowing them to every 12-18 months. Get more info on the GP roadmap.

3. Never underestimate the power of user groups. There is something organic and refreshing about a user group led conference. Dynamics GP and CRM users teaching other GP and CRM users. No spin, no fluff, just sharing real life wins and losses in hopes improving everyone’s efficiency and effectiveness on the platforms. It’s a thing of beauty if you ask me. As a VAR, nothing provides us with more satisfaction knowing that our customers are squeezing every last bit of functionality out of the product and getting ROI they deserve – whether that comes directly from us or gleaning insights from fellow users.

4. The tradeshow floor is more than just swag and tchotchkes. Over the past 15 years I’ve seen (and tried) about every gimmick in the book to drive traffic to an expo booth. This year we chose branded cookies (and wow do people love cookies) but beyond the hunt for the next great giveaway are real and raw conversations about customer pains and a genuine search for solutions to alleviate them. Sure drink tickets draw the crowds and loosen the nerves but in the vast sea of ISV and VAR booths I was reminded this year that every customer has a story and the real joy in this industry comes from helping them make sure it has a happy ending.

5. Don’t worry Convergence, your Dynamics customers were left in good hands. Make no mistake, the pressure was all on Dynamics Communities this year. Microsoft axed Convergence and everyone looked to the Summit event to be its replacement. If I said I wasn’t worried how they’d handle the influx of attendees, I’d be lying. If I said the past Summit events were flawless, I’d be lying.  But a big shout out to the folks at Dynamics Communities for putting on a stellar event - worthy of both praise and heavy consideration to already book my ticket for next year’s event. As customers, ISV’s and VARs poured into Tampa it was evident the need for the Summit only grows from here – watch out Nashville!