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Highlights on Convergence 2011: A Big Week for Dynamics AX, GP and NAV

I thought Convergence was busy, but this past week back in the office post-Convergence has proved to be even busier, just with less walking and unfortunately, fewer parties. As Kirill Tatarinov noted in his keynote, this conference was the 2nd largest Convergence with over 9300 attendees and I definitely felt a positive impact of having a larger group as compared to previous conferences.

More attendees, more opportunities to connect face-to-face with my peers that I only get to speak with occasionally, if even that, as more often it’s hearing through the grapevine what new endeavors our colleagues are taking on. And then there are all the new connections. I have to say, having attended more conferences than I sometimes can remember, this conference was one of the most successful ones in terms of meeting new professionals within the community. So this past week, follow up from the conference included everything from partner prospect meetings, perspective client product demos and responding to social media messages.

If you missed out on the Convergence experience, there are a good amount of online resources that highlight the major topics and announcements delivered at the conference. I’ve provided some brief highlights below for the Dynamics AX, GP and NAV ERPs:

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Dynamics AX 2012 (beta version) was announced and demonstrated, showcasing its highly-customizable design that unlike previous versions, does so without the need for writing any code. To exemplify the benefits that AX 2012 can deliver, Hydra-Power Systems, a Microsoft TAP participant and a Data Masons Vantage Point EDI customer, was highlighted during the keynote to give a client’s perspective on AX 2012. Some of the features found in AX 2012 designed to help customers such as Hydra-Power simplify decisions include:

  • A powerful foundation through pre-built industry capabilities and comprehensive ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management. Delivered in a single, global solution, it gives customers rapid time to value and enables partners to easily deliver packaged vertical offerings.
  • A new level of agility through a set of Unified Natural Models, which serves as a library of business processes that reflect real-world situations, and enables customers to easily modify their organizations and processes to meet their changing business needs.
  • Simplicity across the board, through the intuitive Role Tailored experience and access to context-sensitive business intelligence (BI) that’s relevant to the work at hand. The familiar Microsoft Office user interface drives adoption, and the enhanced BI capabilities help customers uncover fresh insights that can lead to faster and more informed decision-making.

Other Resources:
The Word on AX 2012 Coming from Convergence 2011 - It’s ERP for Everyone:

Focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Understanding Updates for Verticals, Architecture, and 1,200 New Features: http://msdynamicsworld.com/story/focus-microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-understanding-updates-verticals-architecture-and-1200-new-fea

Keynote Recording: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/presskits/dynamics/liveevent.aspx

Keynote Transcript: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/steve/2011/04-11convergence2011.mspx

Hydra-Power AX 2012 Case Study: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-SQL-Server/Hydra-Power-Systems/Industrial-Equipment-Company-Advances-Its-Business-on-Innovative-ERP-Solution/4000009577

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2

Prior to the official start of the Convergence program, Doug Kennedy and Anders Spatzek kicked off the GPUG PreGAME event hosted by GP Partner Connections, leading a discussion on the partner channel and how it’s been different from other Microsoft partner models. This conversation rolled over into the keynote where Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 was the anticipated topic for the GP install base.

Like AX 2012, Microsoft is excited to deliver a product that is for everyone in the organization, offering a greater depth of capabilities in the world of business analytics, giving users the ability to analyze data, to get more insight into what's going on within the organization, and to access the data with greater ease through simplified interfaces. During the following two days of the conference, several GP-focused sessions were help, including GP’s general session presented by Pam Misialek, Senior Product Manager of Microsoft Dynamics GP presented GP’s general session where she shared that GP 2010 R2 is releasing May 1st, 2011.

Other Resources:

GPUG PreGAME at Convergence is a double-hitter with Doug Kennedy and Anders Spatzek: http://www.datamasons.com/blog/383/gpug-pregame-at-convergence-is-a-double-hitter-with-doug-kennedy-and-anders-spatzek/

Inside Dynamics GP blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/gp/

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Convergence’s keynote included a focus on Microsoft Dynamics NAV as one of the largest products in Microsoft’s portfolio. It was also noted that in December 2010 that Microsoft delivered a NAV solution ahead of schedule that strengthened the business intelligence capabilities. The release also connected NAV with Microsoft products such as Dynamics CRM and the Cloud, and enabled “a new, broad set of scenarios for [Microsoft’s] existing and new Dynamics NAV customers, scenarios like online payment processes, scenarios like running Dynamics NAV from the partner-hosted cloud,” said Steve Ballmer.

Other Resources:

Microsoft Unveils New Functionality for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/may10/05-18nav2009r2pr.mspx

What's New in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2:

How was your Convergence? Share your thoughts and takeaways and let’s keep the conversations going. And if we didn’t get a chance to meet in Atlanta, hopefully I’ll see you next year for Convergence 2012 in Houston.

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