There is nothing like 7 days in Houston Texas with 10,000 like minded people, to remind you how Vibrant the Dynamics Community and more specifically Dynamics GP and CRM community is. For those that have never been to Convergence, you simply must make time to go. New Orleans in 2013 will be a cracker.
eOne was fortunate enough to be invited to present sessions covering SmartList Builder, Excel Report Builder, Extender and Advanced Extender. With up to 400 people in each session, and each session being repeated - I got to speak to and converse with many of our customers. I simply love talking to the real end users of our software.
I spend most of the year closeted away in Australia working on sales plans, development plans, support issues, bugs, budgets and all sorts of management associated with running a software company. Spending time with people who use our software every day is absolutely inspiring.
I am continually amazed at the clever things people do with our solutions. I love stories from all those customers that 'could not survive with out SmartList Builder', those that 'cannot believe they had never been told about Excel Report Builder' and those who have 'masisvley improved efficiency' by implementing SmartConnect. There are so many people doing fantastic things and using both Microsoft and eOne tools to 'improve their day to day business' it knocks my socks off.
The most important thing is to remember that there are thousands and thousands of businesses that benefit massively from running Microsoft Dynamics products. There are thousands of end users that love using the software they use. There are thousands of customers with good ideas on how to make things just that little bit better.
It is also great to hear that Microsoft takes Dynamics seriously. That Microsoft are investing heavily in the Dynamics Space. That all of the Microsoft solutions are getting better and better. It is also very real to know Microsoft face the same business challenges that we all face. The one challenge that I sense Microsoft are struggling with is the ability to coordinate development across the myriad of teams they have. When you write everything from Windows, 3 ERP solutions, a world class CRM, Reporting Solutions, the SQL database, Office, Office 365, Sharepoint and hundreds of other products - it is nigh impossible to keep everything 100% coordinated. But it is great to hear that they are trying.
I also love talking to other ISV developers. The ISV's contain some of the best people in the Dynamics Community. Clever people doing really clever things. The ISV community sets Dynamics apart from the competition.
The other great thing about convergence is Apre Convergence! That is the entertainment, the parties and the beverages. It is the one week a year that I can survive on 3 hours sleep a night all week, then work 16 hr days and do it all again. the number of times I see people at 3am downtown and then see then again in a 9am technical discussion group says a great deal for stamina (you know who you are)! The problem is it takes a full week of R&R to recover.
I left convergence with the knowledge that the large majority of businesses take there business software seriously. I left thinking that most end users are way smarter than we give them credit for. I left knowing that clever customers that invest in their systems put together brilliant business solutions. I left comfortable in the knowledge that Microsoft Dynamics is the very best Business solution on the market. I left thankful that I work in this robust industry and am very confident that there are some very successful years ahead.