Microsoft Convergence 2012?Notes from Houston?Day 3

All good things must come to an end and so it is for Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012. The excitement and enthusiasm continued on the final day. This has been the best Convergence for content, attendance and audience. Adding to all this great event was the closing keynote by General Colin Powel (Ret.).

Closing Keynote

Doug Kennedy, VP of Microsoft Dynamics Partners and Support Services, started the closing keynote. Doug started with a summary of the event and a recap of the volunteer and community service efforts that attendees performed while in Houston. Doug mentioned there were 10,225 attendees and 268 sponsors at this year?s event, the largest Dynamics event ever.

General Colin Powell (Ret) on stage at #Microsoft #conv12, techy at heart, COBOL programmer! transformations is constant. Loves #Corvette

Gen. Colin Powell (Ret), provided the overall closing keynote. I was looking forward to this and was not disappointed! Gen Powell has had an impressive career and delivered a great speech. He was actually a funny guy and shared some very interesting stories. Interesting note for the techies, he?s started out as a Cobol programmer! He has also been busy lately giving back with a focus on America?s Promise Alliance and GradNation.? The overall themes of his talk were:

  • Loves speaking with audiences
  • Currently a partner at Kleiner Perkins
  • He?s on Facebook!
  • Love?s Corvette’s but recently sold it for Fisker Karma (great taste in muscle cars!)
  • Where you came from doesn’t matter, only where you end up
  • Your past is not your future
  • Key to success is execution

He also shared insights on how to maintain focus, take responsibility and constantly work towards improving processes, organizations and people. Thank you Microsoft for helping make this happen with such a great leader possible. Loved it!

Developers Guide to Integrating Dynamics CRM with SharePoint

This session was presented by Girish Raja who always provides great content and presentations. He shared some great insights and tips for integrating Dynamics CRM and SharePoint beyond the out of box capabilities. Girish covered:

  • Document and data collaboration
  • User Experience (UX) options
  • Web parts (with BCS rarely needed anymore with SP2010)
  • Works great with Office 365 as well.

Future releases (end of year and 2013) will have better, more automatic integration. It will also go beyond the current Out of Box (OOB) and take advantage of document sets, workflow, versioning, and approvals.

Solutions Management in Dynamics CRM

This session was geared to those that are responsible for creating configuration and customization in Dynamics CRM and packaging them into Solutions. This could be as simple as creating some new functionality in your development or QA instance and porting them over to production. Also covered was more complex scenarios for Enterprise customers that might have multiple environments with multiple developers and heavy source code management needs. Some of the topics covered were:

  • Managed and Unmanaged Solutions and when to use each
  • Using the API for Solution packaging and deployment
  • Tips and tricks for team-based development
  • Considerations for on-premise and online deployments
  • Review of what?s happening behind the scenes

Well that?s a wrap for me at this year?s Convergence. I really wish I had more time and could tele-transport and attend different sessions at the same time. There was that much great content.

As mentioned in a previous blog, in the coming days and weeks we?ll be posting following up content and examples to help you with your learning needs as well. Stay tuned!


Power of Possibilities ? Notes from Houston?Convergence 2012

Microsoft Dynamics CRM ? Power of Possibilities ? General Session

Bill Patterson, Dynamics CRM Program Manager, presented an overview of the what?s coming for Dynamics CRM.

Metro is everywhere and Dynamics CRM goes Metro too. The future of CRM will be more like the apps we love to use. The design focus will be HTML5, Business Process Management, Engagement, and will be Adaptive and Insightful.

Metro is Microsoft?s new design language. Modern, clean, immersive, fast, in motion, content is king, authentic.

Metro design principles (me likey):

  • Delight don’t disrupt
  • Give vs. get
  • Purposed experiences
  • Notifications & Action
  • Contextual

Bill was definitely encouraging developing Metro style apps for Dynamics CRM and other apps you may need. It is possible to start now. Microsoft has built tools for Metro HTML/CSS, Windows runtime, Win library for JavaScript, .Net for Metro and more to come.

The Metro focus is on the next gen app experience, which will push information to us via live tiles, an active canvas, notifications, and no popups.

The future of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will feature improved sales/business processes, be more collaborative (think deeper integration with SharePoint and Activity Feeds), seamless shared apps (Office), and will surface communications/actions across all applications.

That?s it for this session. I definitely like what I was seeing and hearing. If you are responsible for delivering apps to users, I highly recommend boning up on Metro and incorporate this design into what you deliver to your users.

Opening KeyNote – Notes from Houston – Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012

A jam packed day of great sessions. The opening keynotes featured Kirill Tatarinov, President of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division (MBS) and Kevin Turn, COO.

This is the biggest Convergence yet with over 10,000 attendees. There is a palpable excitement at this event. People are really jazzed to be at the event this year.

Kirill opened with a short introduction and quickly turned the stage over to Kevin Turner. Key messages Kevin discussed:

  • The overall theme for this event is Anytime, Anywhere.
  • Microsoft has over 1.5 Billion users.
  • Spends over $9 Billion on annually on R&D (largest in the world ? and a staggering amount for 1 company)
  • Cloud is huge. Forrester predicts cloud to grow from current $40B to over $240B by 2020. Microsoft thinks this is a low estimate.
  • Microsoft to embrace all platforms (I have to say I have seen this in action, e.g. Office 2011 for Mac, Apps for Android and iOS, Office 365 works on all browsers and OS, etc.)
  • SharePoint is fastest growing Microsoft product, ever. Dynamics is the fastest growing group.
  • The central theme for Microsoft moving forward is Re-imagined. Touch and Metro everywhere. Dynamics theme is Proactive. Connected. Mobile.People Centric. Exciting new era.

Next up on the presenters list was Dennis Michalis, GM for Dynamics CRM. Dennis? core messages for CRM:

Power of Possibilities

  • A perspective shift to Re-image CRM.
  • Central themes for CRM will be Big Data, Social, Cloud, Mobile (and Metro).
  • Expanded focus will be on Business Process, Predictive Analytics, Industry Templates and Consumerization.
  • CRM Anywhere. Mobility, browser flexibility, social, industry templates, SQL 2012 with Analytics
  • We saw a quick demo of the new mobile app, which looks great with it?s Metro look and feel. Also saw SQL 2012 Analytics Dashboard that looked good and a few CRM 2011 templates will be available soon.
  • Microsoft also announced an investment in InsideView and cool new integration with LinkedIn.

The keynote was wrapped up with a cool demo of a Win 8 Metro demo of an app that was built for New Belgium Brewing. Color me impressed. I am definitely looking forward to Win 8, especially on a Tablet.

Stay tuned for more?