Thoughts on Convergence 2013


Although I wasn’t able to be there in-person, all the sessions from this year’s Convergence conference in New Orleans were streamed live, enabling me to participate virtually. If you want to participate, you can access all the session recordings by signing up here. I haven’t watched all 26 CRM sessions, but of those I have seen I would recommend you take a look at the following:

Opening Keynote (1hr 20min 10sec)

Speaker(s): Kirill Tatarinov

Our opening keynote is the time and the place for the community to come together and consider the possibilities. Join us as Kirill Tatarinov, President, Microsoft Business Solutions, shares his perspectives on the state of the Microsoft Dynamics business today, and shares his vision on A World Ahead.

There’s a particularly great demo of a Windows 8 tablet app about to be deployed by Revlon (yes the makeup company), including Skype integration and a humorous interaction with Reuben Krippner (1hr 0min 55sec).

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: The New Era in CRM (58min 19sec)

Speaker(s): Fred Studer

Join us to celebrate the first decade of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the tremendous momentum we’ve built together. Then, let’s look to the future…we’ll share our vision, discuss how we see the role of CRM changing as we enter the Era of the Customer and what that means for sales, marketing and customer care. And we'll show you the path forward in exciting new product demonstrations. You'll leave with a fresh perspective on opportunities before us and how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help transform your business.

This is the opening session for the CRM track, with lots of demos of the product including some of our recent acquisitions of marketing and social media listening capabilities:

  • MarketingPilot Demo (14min 45sec)
  • NetBreeze Demo (27min 40sec)
  • Polaris UI & Yammer Demo plus Orion Mobile Client Demo (39min 20sec)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Product Recap & Roadmap Primer (47min 56sec)

Speaker(s): Jujhar Singh

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has delivered new levels of productivity for organizations. In this session, we'll recap the broad range of capabilities delivered in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Additionally we'll demonstrate the updated user experience and integrated social collaboration capabilities delivered in our recent December 2012 Service Update. Finally, we'll outline our vision and roadmap for the future of Microsoft Dynamics CRM over the next 6-24 months.

Jujhar Singh runs the Programme Management team within the CRM Product Engineering organisation, and provides a recap of what we have delivered over the last few months (codename: Polaris) and what we will be delivering in the next release (codename: Orion). This include a detailed look at the upcoming, “single-window” user interface with no pop-ups (36min 40sec).

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Reimagining the User Experience (48min 18sec)

Speaker(s): Michael McCormack

The needs of the modern business professional have expanded beyond a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Our strategy with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is to provide our customers with the most natural and familiar user experience regardless of where and how the user needs to interact with CRM information and processes. Come to this session to see how users today work with CRM across different browsers, mobile devices and Microsoft Office. We’ll also preview innovation in user experiences to be delivered in future releases.

I really like this session since Michael talks about the thought processes we went through when developing the new UI in the most recent release (codename Polaris) and how this will evolve in the next release (codename Orion). Note: This is NOT a technical session.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Financial Services: Winning & Retaining Customers (58min 56sec)

Speaker(s): Chad Hamblin, Ozan Solmaz, Cilla Wahlstrom, Henrik Ponthan, Paul Mare, Tom Feher

In today’s hyper-competitive economic environment, it is critical for financial services institutions to maximize customer retention and drive growth through customer acquisition. Attend this session to hear from financial service organizations as they relate how they are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to drive improved customer profitability and organizational efficiency. You’ll see demos and hear case studies on how you can leverage the broad capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to drive real business benefits.

This is a really great session, with lots of different speakers. My favourite is a demo of the Retail Banking Windows 8 “Concept” app that I designed in conjunction with Reuben Krippner (28min 20sec). This is loosely based on the “Orion” concept app for Windows 8 that I talked about in an earlier post here, but has been configured to show how a tablet application could be used to improve the retail banking branch experience for customers.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

When not working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Simon can be found singing with The Chain Gang. Berkshire’s leading live Soul, Funk, Disco and Motown function band.