Today, the doors of the Georgia World Congress Center were thrown open for the first full day of Convergence 2011.
The Convergence event has always been an extremely popular meeting place. Not only a place where customers, prospects and partners meet to network and learn, but also where business and technology meet at the cutting edge of ERP. A real convergence of people, business and technology.
And this year is no exception, with a packed program of keynotes, general sessions, deep dive sessions, and concurrent sessions, as well as interactive discussions, Birds of a Feather events, EXPO, and the Community and Learning Center, there’s plenty for attendees to get excited about.
For some, Convergence started already on Sunday, with individual product User Group general sessions and breakout sessions, and for others with offsite volunteer opportunities where attendees gave freely of their time and energy (and a certain amount of perspiration – its hot out her!) to support projects that benefit inner city children and families in the Atlanta area.
But this morning, as the conference kicked off in earnest, the anticipation and excitement was tangible, as more than 9000 attendees made their way into the massive space of the congress center, heading for the first big event of the day – the opening keynote address.
In a packed 90 minute address, corporate vice president Business Solutions, Kirill Tatarinov, started by highlight the strong momentum experienced across our portfolio of Dynamics solutions, including the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2, which has been generally available since December 2010, and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2, which is planned to be generally available on May 1, 2011.
Tatarinov then introduced Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, who announced the planned August, 2011 General Availability date for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – as well as the availability of the much anticipated public beta. Ballmer went on to showcase TAP customer Hydra-Power Systems, a distributor and manufacturer of hydraulic and pneumatic systems, as one of the first customers running on a pre-release version of the new solution. And they certainly sound like a happy customer, judging by this quote from Bob Jablonski, Operations Manager at Hydra-Power Systems: "With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, it’s very easy to scale horizontally or vertically to meet the challenge of whichever requirements the business presents. The solution is so stable and flexible that IT almost becomes invisible."
The keynote address also included on-stage demos that enabled many of the customers, partners and prospects in the room – as well as anyone who logged into the live stream from the event – to get their first look at Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in action.
Tatarinov closed the session by revealing a path for ERP customers to move to the cloud with the next major releases of Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions, starting next year. So our customers will have the opportunity to move to the cloud if and when it is right for their business with a Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution that runs on the Windows Azure platform, and uses the same code base in the cloud as the on-premises version.
You can see a recording of the keynote here, and read the official press release of the major announcements made on day 1 of Convergence 2011 on the Microsoft Dynamics Newsroom. And while you are there, check out the recent Microsoft press release from Hannover Messe – the leading international showcase for industrial technologies, materials and product ideas – that previewed the manufacturing foundation in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
Informed and energized from the keynote, attendees could then go deep on individual product news and information in the Product General Sessions:
- The Microsoft Dynamics AX session delivered deeper insight into the themes that were covered in the morning's keynote session with demos, videos and customer dialogue highlighting new capabilities that will enable customers to realize more business value faster, enable agility and insight in their organizations, and help drive faster adoption, broader usage, and easier maintenance and upgrade through a continued emphasis on simplicity.
- The Microsoft Dynamics GP session profiled the coming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 release that features, among other enhancements, the new Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Analyzer. The Business Analyzer allows users secure access from virtually any location to view critical role-based information, assign tasks, and collaborate with others. Early details were also shared of the Microsoft Dynamics GP "12" development process, driven by a clear product strategy that will continue to drive simplicity, value and agility for customers and partners.
- The Microsoft Dynamics NAV session revisited the recent Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 release and celebrated the current record growth in the NAV community. The session showcased new functionality, the familiar user experience – on premise or hosted in the cloud – and key customer examples to highlight why Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the new way to do business.
- The Microsoft Dynamics SL session focused on the recently released Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011, which is raising the bar for productivity, performance, and growth with new innovation including an enhanced user experience, better operations and insight, and new ways for project-driven organizations to adapt—and thrive—in a connected world.
You can read more about these General Sessions in individual product blogs over the next day or so.
As Monday draws to a close, there is still much to look forward to during the conference. A huge number of product-focused sessions (for example, more than 40 focused on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 alone), networking and discussion, hands-on product experience, EXPO atmosphere, and of course the conference coffee .
So as people, business and technology converged in Atlanta, I would say that day 1 of Convergence 2011 came together perfectly.
Microsoft Dynamics ERP Marketing