Even though the weather was a bit cool and rainy (but still better than 10 below at the Ledgeview Partners home base in Appleton, Wisconsin), some 12,000 people made the trip to Atlanta, GA for Convergence 2014.
Convergence is the premiere event for the entire Dynamics product line, not only Dynamics CRM but also the ERP products lines such as AX, NAV, GP, SL, and others. The opening keynote highlighted several customers that use Dynamics products to help make their respective businesses successful. As you can see from the list below the clear favorites are Dynamics CRM & Dynamics AX on the ERP side.
Q2 2014 is set to bring 3 product updates. “Mira” which centers on Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (formerly known as Marketing Pilot), “Subra” which includes the Microsoft Social Listening (formerly known as Netbreeze) enhancements and “Leo” which adds the updated customer service functionality to the platform. In Q3 & Q4 2014 we are expected to see 2 additional updates to the Microsoft Social Listening platform and another update Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. In the later portion of the year we should also expect to see the “Vega” release of CRM as well as the first Microsoft branded version of Parature.
It was also noted that both the forth coming “Leo” and “Vega” releases will be both for CRM Online as well as CRM On-Premise customers. Going into Convergence I think most people expected to hear that “Leo” was going to be available for Online customers only (much like the “Polaris” release) as the functionality split and yearly merge was the direction given some months ago. The Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Social Listening products (and likely Parature) will initially be standalone products that can integrate with existing CRM data.
If you couldn’t make it to Atlanta but still want to check out what went on, most of the sessions were recorded and are available from the Virtual Convergence site. Unfortunately this doesn’t include any of the user group sponsored sessions as they weren’t recorded. The majority of the sessions focused on the new Marketing and Social Listening capabilities we’ll be soon seeing as well as the forth coming enhancements in the “Leo” release to CRM and Parature in the customer service space. Beyond the sessions put on by Microsoft, the various user groups put on many more in-depth sessions that focused more on daily use of the features that are already available, ask the MVP Q & A sessions, and well as roundtables were users could get together and discuss topics of their choice with other real users.