Directions USA 2016 | Why you should attend…continued

There is so much to blog about and so little time. Event season is sneaking up on us with WPC around the corner and two great NAVUG conferences just behind us.

Last few weeks I’ve been too busy to blog, mainly because of project “Madeira” projects and some secret stuff I cannot talk about yet.

So what is this about dude… don’t waste my time.

Exactly one month ago I tried to promote the Directions events and I kind of failed at it. Less than 200 people have actually read it and some who did reacted quite upset because I expressed my concerns about Microsofts involvement.

EMEA vs. US & the MVP track

Let me elaborate a little on that and then try to explain again why you must attend Directions and why it is such a great event.

Directions is born in the USA and it more or less started as a statement from NAV partners agains Microsoft promoting GP over NAV, or let me be more careful in wording, they gave the NAV partners that idea. It was in the same time we moved from two tier to three tier and within Microsoft NAV was considered to be the kid running the old architecture.

Those were times when I worried about my choice for NAV. We had all these terrible performance issues on SQL Server and I’ve learned a lot about how to fix this at Directions.

Now, about 12 years later it seems like the situation has switched and NAV, or at least the platform, is the product of choice from Microsoft for the SMB market and they are investing more in marketing.

Last year there was an MVP track at Directions and I watched from the sideline how this was arranged. What I expicitly noticed was that the ideas we (as mvps) had were run past Microsoft to check “if this was what Microsoft wants”. Which was something that I fould extremely awkward, since I would actually expect to run this past the Partners to check if this is what the Partners want. That is what Directions is all about. It is a partner event, organised by partners with partner provided content and Microsoft is “allowed” as main sponsor to share what they want to share too.

The content at Directions now also seems to be aligned between EMEA and USA.

Why you should attend Directions (USA)

USA has always been my favorite version of Directions. The genereal atmosphere is just so much better and it seems that US is just more of a community country in general. This year NAVUG organised their first event in Europe and since I am there liason I am always explaining the cultural differences between US and EMEA. One of them is how speakers are rated. The NAVUG folks noticed that EMEA rated the same speakers 0.5 to a whole point lower than in the US. In europe we have a less possitive attitude in general for these things.

  • Directions USA will be bigger and better than ever. This year they will break records in attendence and number of sessions. Sponsor opportunities ran out as early as May
  • Gary Jenkins will be back (not sure if this is good or bad ;-))
  • More Workshops
  • Town Hall Sessions. (I love this from the NAVUG Summit)
  • Speakers from Microsoft, Partners and maybe even Customers
  • Networking

NAV vNext or project “Madeira”

When asked, the Directions programming comittee explicitly stated that Directions will be a NAV vNext event with project “Madeira” not being the primary focus. There will be sessions around Extensions but again, not as primary focus.

This I think is good, because project “Madeira” has a completely different partner channel and customer channel as NAV. NAV should continue to have an active partner channel selling it and making customer specific changes if required. I will blog more about this when I continue my series on Madeira.

Thats it for now

I think you should attend Directions, even though I will not be there. I will be teaching a class in Toronto on September 29th and 30th.

Enjoy Directions, Enjoy Gary Jenkins and Enjoy NAV!



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