Almost every month now, it seems like Microsoft has another major announcement or change for their business solution customers. The latest announcement has to do with Microsoft’s calendar of events like Convergence, Envision and Ignite. In a blog post written by Chris Capossela, EVP & CMO of Microsoft, on December 7th, Microsoft announced that there will be three significant changes:
- First, we are bringing our annual Microsoft Build conference to Seattle — the “cloud city” — from May 10-12, 2017. Once again, developers can hear from Microsoft engineering leaders and learn about the latest tools and technologies to boost creativity and productivity. Look for information about Microsoft Build 2017 at http://build.microsoft.com.
- Next, we are renaming the Worldwide Partner Conference to Microsoft Inspire, which will be held July 9-13 in Washington, D.C. This new name reflects how Microsoft and our partner community inspire each other to innovate and deliver powerful new solutions to customers. Registration for Microsoft Inspire is now open — learn more at https://inspire.microsoft.com/.
- And finally, we are shifting Microsoft Envision, our event for business leaders previously planned for February, to become part of Microsoft Ignite Sept. 25-29. The partnership between business and IT leaders has never been more important, so Microsoft Ignite will now cater to both audiences and help foster collaboration between the two. We’ll have more details to share in the coming months.Read more at http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2016/12/07/microsoft-2017-event-line/#lYcTbjPrSGRBeSg9.99
These changes are quite significant when you factor in that Envision was brand new and was held for the first time in April 2016. Additionally, Envision replaced a beloved event, Convergence, which Dynamics Partners and users are still upset about losing.
The Evolution of Attending Dynamics Events
When these events started, especially events tailored towards users and Dynamics partners, the goal was to “do business”. This was before the times of online marketing, so these events were a major part of each stakeholder’s schedule. It was an opportunity for users to learn about new technologies all in one central location – and purchase whatever solutions they decided to implement.
As time wore on, online marketing, websites and social media decreased the mileage between new technology solutions and users’ fingertips. Users no longer needed to attend an event to learn about a new solution. As such, these Dynamics events became more like networking opportunities where users could meet with their Dynamics partner and Microsoft technology leaders to discuss processes and trends. Partners adjusted by attending these events mostly for brand recognition and validation as well as getting in front of their customers and potential prospects.
Now, these events seem like they change almost every year as Microsoft tries to find the right balance and mix of events which target all their stakeholders. This leaves users and partners searching for answers on where to turn to for technology insight and Dynamics developments.
Where Do These Changes Leave Dynamics Users?
It has been a wild ride for Microsoft Dynamics users this year. First, there was the announcement of Envision replacing Convergence. Then there was the announcement of Project Madeira which then became Microsoft Dynamics 365. Finally, there was the wait to find out exactly what Dynamics 365 was going to be.
With all these changes, Microsoft must have seen this as an opportunity to tinker with and formalize their event schedule for 2017. However, where does this leave users? Where can they turn to learn more about the latest Dynamics happenings and trainings?
Well, there are a few places for them to go.
SBS Group Blog
Users can follow the SBS Group Blog – The Blog Spot (shameless plug…) for the latest Dynamics news. Our array of bloggers cover everything from Dynamics 365 to Dynamics CRM, GP, SL and NAV as well as other Microsoft happenings.
It sounds like Microsoft Ignite will become the place for businesses to get their Dynamics news and training. This is a conference that is held in September and used to be primarily for IT professionals. By combining Envision (for businesses/users) and Ignite, Microsoft signals that there is an ever-closing gap between the two and that in this new age technology world coordination between the two is vital.
Dynamics User Group Summit
My sneaky suspicion is that the Dynamics Communities User Group Summit will become the go-to event for Microsoft Dynamics users and business leaders. This year Microsoft had a major presence at the normally “independent” event by unveiling Microsoft Dynamics 365 in incredible fashion. My thought is that Microsoft will have a major thumbprint on these events in the future. The User Group Summit allows Microsoft to release information and maintain contact with users without having to put on the event themselves. This set up allocates less of their resources and frees them up to focus on their larger events for business leaders and IT developers – which in turn creates better products and services for their users!