Convergence 2011 Review

As many regroup from the energized week of Convergence 2011, it's a great time to reflect and gain perspective. Time to make priorities and think about what's important. Several of my fellow bloggers have documented each day of Convergence giving you highlights from their perspective. I am sure many more will be posting in the near future. They are great way to connect with the value everyone had.

Every year I come back from Convergence filled. Filled with new ideas. Filled with energy and excitement. Filled with what’s possible. This year is the same (with exception to being filled with green and yellow goop in my chest.)

One of the main things I enjoy about Convergence are the stories. Customers from previous years catching up, tell me what they added, how business is going. Partners offering new ideas, telling stories about their customers. If you have any stories, please share, I’d love to hear them.

A few stories from this year:

- A customer was acquired this year by a company using SAP. They were being pushed to move. They showed them Dynamics GP and now their counterparts are jealous. Now the corporate office uses SAP and the satellites will use Dynamics GP from a long term plan.

- A prospect fell in love with the Business Analyzer. I showed her a 10 minute demo at the Expo. I told her that she shouldn’t chose an ERP based on this one feature and there are other things to consider. Not sure if she heard me.

- A customer looking to upgrade. We had an interesting discussion on the risks and opportunities of upgrading, including if they should do it themselves. It came down to a simple truth, how many ISV’s do you have? I don’t know. Then, you need your partners help, but ask them how you can work on it together.

Customer Value: If you are an existing Dynamics GP customer, think about what you learned and how you can realistically implement one thing in the next month or two. Even better, think about 5 things, prioritize and plan to implement one every two months. The passion I experienced talking with our customers is potent, but continuing the energy after the conference takes dedication.

A few Pam Tidbits for Customers:

- Many customers are not getting what they can out of their existing implementations. Hopefully now they are aware of what they are missing and bring needed change to their organization. Stop upgrading for the sake of upgrading and look to get more value.

- Customers value talking to other customers and sharing best practices. The GP User Group is a great way to continue this past Convergence. You will see Microsoft investing our time with GPUG to give customers even more value. They have a conference in November you should look into.

- Attending Convergence takes time and money, so I understand not everyone can attend. I’ve spoken with so many customers who found that one thing that made it worthwhile. The one thing they can bring back that pays for their trip. Please try to send one person from your organization.

Partner Value: For years, I've referred to our business model as the power of four. The close relationship between a customer and their partner who understands their needs, complemented by our ISV channel to extend the solution further backed by the power and resources of Microsoft . By organizations working together, it forms something more valuable and richer then working alone. In our virtual world of online communities, customers are expecting more out of their partners and are looking for other alternatives than our power of four, wanting the power of the entire community of over 40,000. As a partner, look at your organization to see how you can embrace the changing evolution of this online world. Get involved.

A few Pam Tidbits for Partners:

- Our Dynamics GP partners are a big family, not always happy, but bonded just the same. We yell, we listen, we debate, and we hug it out when needed. Keep engaged, giving feedback, offering new ideas. Remember, once part of the Dynamics GP family, you’re stuck for life.

- Our environment is changing and partners need to adapt. They need to explore new ways to do business. The next several years will be very interesting and those who embrace change and dream up new ways will be highly successful. It's time to dream big.

Hope you all enjoyed Convergence.

Take Care,