Today’s guest blogger is CRM MVP Larry Lentz who shares with us his experience at this year’s CRMUG Summit.
The last week in October the CRM User Group, www.crmug.com, held its annual Summit. This year it was in Orlando, Florida. CRMUG as an organization is unique in that it is user driven, not vendor driven. Sure, there are vendors and resellers such as myself, but the bulk of the energy comes from the customer base. This carries forward to the Summit. As with most conferences there were a large number of breakout sessions along several tracks. The sessions were run mainly by the member users themselves.
Those of us who are on the partner side who presented were cautioned not to push our products or services. The exception was the Vendor Showcases which were meant to be a chance for vendors to explain their products. I attended the one presented by my ‘Battle Buddy’ (you had to be at Summit to understand) Erik van Hoof of CWR Mobility from The Netherlands. Even though I’ve been using CWR Mobile CRM for some time I learned new stuff. There was also an Exhibit Hall where vendors and partners could display as well.
Being primarily user oriented gave the attendees an opportunity to learn from each other. We often get caught up in our own little worlds and ways of doing things. It’s reassuring to see that others may be, or have been, struggling with the same issues and to see how they have resolved those issues. The sessions were designed to be interactive, not just a presentation. There was often a lot of very interesting discussion and interaction between the attendees. The session tracks were Sales, Service, & Marketing, CRM Support, CRM Development, IT Infrastructure, and Community Resources. Microsoft provided two User Experience researchers to perform studies with attendee volunteers. The one I attended was very interesting with a lot of good interaction and discussion.
Several Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVPs were there to support CRMUG. These included Mitch Milam, Scott Sewell, Joel Lindstrom, Donna Edwards, and yours truly Larry Lentz. In addition to sharing our own knowledge and experience we all learned a lot from our attendance. I know I did.
In addition to the general conference which ran from Tuesday through Thursday, The CRMUG Academy conducted full and half day formal classes on Monday and Friday. I taught the 80141A Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 with SharePoint. 80003A Workflow in CRM 4.0 was also taught. Additionally I taught a half day Forms Customization class on Friday.
Next year the CRMUG Summit will be held in Las Vegas starting November 7th. See you there!