Convergence 2012 Embraces The Cloud And Delivers a Global Message of Connection
Microsoft Convergence 2012 in Houston Texas was the largest Convergence event to date with over 10,000 attendees. This year’s theme was a World of Opportunity which was fitting since it was the first international Convergence conference combining the annual European event with the one held each year in the U.S. A single event for all users, partners and Microsoft employees worldwide embraced what the cloud represents and further established Microsoft’s direction of connecting all aspects of business and technology.
Technology connects us socially with online dating, social media updates and long distance communication. This concept as it pertains to business connections was reinforced by Microsoft Corporation’s Chief operating officer, Kevin Turner when he called the cloud the great enabler of new technology trends. With technology following the individual, people are the greatest asset to any organization and business solutions must be intuitive and agile to empower each individual for success. With that, Kirill Tatarinov, President of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division – wearing a cowboy hat for the occasion – announced the newest releases of Microsoft NAV 2013 and GP 2013 that will be cloud-enabled for Windows Azure by the end of the year as well as the update to AX 2012, R2, later this year continuing the evolution of the enterprise cloud offering.
The Conference began with Microsoft User Group sessions for AX, GP and CRM on Sunday along with the Expo, featuring over 270 different companies presenting their own solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics. Sessions began on Monday and included: General Sessionsoffered by each Microsoft product team with demonstrations bringing users up to speed on the latest developments the product road map. Concurrent Sessions were presentations by Microsoft subject matter experts offering tips and tricks, best practices, new features, versions and functionality. Interactive Discussions were held in smaller more intimate settings and focused on learning from peers. The discussions created a collaborative environment and exchange of ideas. Deep Dive Sessions were new this year and only offered Tuesday morning, these 90 minute sessions were geared towards more advanced users with very detailed presentations. Hands-on Labswere held in the experience center, near the back of the Expo hall with introductory level processes including, building reports, project operations, add-ins, time sheets and more using all products. Finally, another new addition to the sessions this year were the Sponsor Sessions– where third party sponsors could showcase their solutions and product road-maps.
Microsoft Convergence is also known for its networking opportunities and this year that proved once again to be an attendee highlight. The Microsoft Solutions Experience, which ran through the middle of the expo hall offered technical support and product demos and the opportunity to meet with Microsoft product teams. The Community Experience was a great place for attendees to relax between sessions and set up meetings with partners.
Finally, the closing keynote, delivered by former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell was one of the best send offs of any event. A naturally gifted speaker, Powell delivered a powerful and personable address noting the optimism of the event and the greatness of every generation -without a teleprompter! tweeted one member of the audience.
Mark your calendars for what is sure to be an even larger and more exciting Convergence 2013 in NOLA, March 18-21!