With the NAVUG Forum only a week away, there is so much to be excited about whether you’re a first time attendee or you’re like me, and have attended most all of these events and have witnessed first-hand their tremendous growth. Forum is designed for Dynamics NAV users to have real conversations with other users about what technologies they're using, what's working, what's not, how they've solved specific issues, or how someone else in the same role uses NAV. But for this year’s event specifically, I sat down with Lee Weiner, CFO of Bradshaw Group and NAVUG Chairman of the Board, and Trish Boccuti, NAVUG Program Director.
If you’re a NAVUG Forum old-timer, according to Lee we can expect to see many new faces at this year’s conference due to NAVUG’s rapid growth over the past year. And with new faces comes a whole new audience to bring their expertise and experience to the group, for old-timers and newbies alike.
For first-time attendees NAVUG is offering a new buddy system program, partnering each first-time attendee with a returning attendee, to help you navigate through the crowd and content, and get the most out of the event. Lee and the Board hope that this new offering will help new attendees hit the ground running and allow them to make efficient use of their time at the event, as the agenda is packed with educational and networking activities. According to Trish, Forum expects double the number of users from last year, so get ready to grab your buddy!
In addition to the buddy system, Lee stresses the importance of everyone, newbies and veterans, preparing for the event ahead of time, suggesting attendees should outline and document 4-5 issues that they’re trying to solve. “By thinking about and writing down what you want to accomplish, you’ll be well prepared for the event. Remember, hope is not a strategy. Hoping to get something out of an event will not make it happen. You have to prepare in advance,” advised Lee.
Looking at the Forum agenda, Trish notes that NAVUG has added more sessions, building on what they’ve learned in previous years, and have also set-up more structured networking events so attendees can really take the time to meet and reconnect with colleagues. Lee emphasized that “networking will be at the forefront of the event so attendees have time to meet other users, partners and trusted vendors and go home with a stack of new contacts and resources.”
We can of course expect to hear more from companies upgrading to NAV 2009 and the role-tailored client (RTC), incorporating best practices whether it be in the finance, IT or shipping and receiving departments, etc. Greg Kaupp of @ArcherPointLLC will be leading a few upgrade-focused sessions which Trish says have always been extremely informative and sessions attendees don’t want to miss. We’ll also hear more about how Cloud computing is being incorporated into the go forward strategy of Microsoft and users’ IT roadmaps.
Lee confirmed that there’ll be many ISV solutions available to pick from to make business practices more effective, which attendees can learn more about during the Partner Showcase sessions and by visiting ISV sponsors in the expo hall. “As a firm believer in using your ERP platform as a competitive advantage for your company, these add-on solutions expand the base Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform to meet the ever-changing needs of all of our businesses,” stated Lee.
Lee recently told the NAVUG community that "Forum is a conference of like-minded people looking for answers to questions about how to effectively utilize NAV to run their business. Every year I come back with several new ideas to implement. I also have a chance to increase my network of people that understand how the NAV software works." It sounds like we can all look forward to growing our network of contacts and uncovering new ideas as to how we can more effectively use Microsoft Dynamics NAV. And lastly, one of Lee’s personal takeaways that I think we can all strive for, “renewing our energy to take on the business challenges/opportunities that our companies have on an ongoing basis.”
Whether or not you are planning to attend, don’t forget to stay connected to the conference and all of the latest NAV user goings-on:
See you in Vegas!