Convergence EMEA Day 1. (Bill Gates' Key Note) - UPDATE

Well Day 1 has just finished, and it was quite a day. Of course Bill's Key Note was the important bit.

The morning started with a general presentation of Navision. Well its was very interestng, mostly in the fact that there was nothign new, but verything was now much more mature.

More important though was the session on Communities. Clearly Micrsoft are pushing stongly for more communities (dynamics users for example is a community), Communities make it easier to deliver standard solutions and give the ability for users to get help beyond the normal chanels. As the largest dynamics community, we know all about this, but we also need to acknowledge, and be ready for change. The delivery model for Dynamics is about ot change, Communities are about to change. (I willl write a lot more about this when there is more time after the event).

So what did Bill Gates have to say?
Well he did not say a lot, but what he said he delivered with great impact and importance.. Definitely he only said what matters, and his presentation was impressive. Much of what he said was very clear, but I believe that also there was a lot to be read between the lines.

For "us" in the community, I think that the most noticable point was his emphasis on Communities as a part of the future going forward for Dynamics. Clearly there is an expectation that Communities will in the future play a much more important role in first line end user support.

But really the most significant message, was that future generations of Dynamics will follow a new path. Bill clearly stated, that his vision is to see a Dynamics product that has very little customization in terms of modifying base code, and instead, reverting back to a true Add-On model. He sees a future where users can purchase Dynamics, and feel confident that upgrading is a simple path. His concept that customizations would be done with add-ons, and the add-on would not touch the base code, but instead be a true add-on, is much like the model that Navision has in the DOS days, where add-ons virtualy did not touch the base code. For example when I developed Stock Manager, I did so without modifiying not even one Base Navsion object. This will be the trend in the future.

Added to this, he made an even more important statement, that he wants to see a product, where add-ons can be developed without the developer haveing deep knowledge of how Dynamics works. Thi sbasically implies that Dynamics Partners will be getting back to doing what they should be doing, i.e. solving client problems and defining business requirements, and development will be handled by specialist companies primarily developing Add-Ons.

It was quite interesting that there was no mention of Verticals, or their role in Dynamics. I do hope that Verticals and Add-Ons are not going to be bundled into one big category together. Its critical (imho) for the future of Dynamics, that there is clear seperation between Verticals and Add-Ons, and who sells them

More to come .......