Many years back, Navision USA used to run a Navision event called Passport. This was a Navision Partner (NSC) only event. Basically it was a networking event, though since most of the people there were competitors, there was not too much practical networking and there were no heavy technical sessions, so it was more of a gathering of like minds than anything else. In any case though, Passport was a great event. After the Microsoft acquisition, passport died, mainly because the event was "free" (i.e. you only paid for travel and accommodation, Navision paid for the event). And eventually we got Convergence, which was the old Great Plains version of Passport.
Definitely this left a gap for partners that were concentrating on NAV. So a few ISVs got together and thought it would be a great idea to bring back the idea of Passport, and concentrate on just NAV, and in the process, get more exposure to ISV solutions, and get some more technical tracks that are of interest to NAV Partners. So came about Directions (www.cronususa.com). I have never been to Directions. The inaugural event did not get a lot of publicity outside the ISV network, and by the time I found out I was already committed to other work on those dates. Last year I was very busy with a multitude of MVP events, and cold not squeeze it in. But this year at Convergence Mary Lanham, one of the founders of Directions has convinced me that I really should be there.
Last year Microsoft were "at" directions, but this year it really does look like a Microsoft event, not just them being the major sponsor, but more importantly they are sending key personnel to the event. Most significantly Kirill Tatarinov will be there giving the Key Note, so that sort of says that Microsoft are taking this event seriously. Maybe even to the point of replacing Convergence in some respects. There is even a day devoted to NAV 6.0. I am sure there is nothing too new there, but it will be great to have it all in one session, instead of bits and pieces all over the place.
Convergence EMEA this year was clearly what Microsoft said it was supposed to be, a customer sales event. So it would appear that all the real content will be moving to Directions, and I think this is a good move. I personally don't plan to attend Convergence EMEA ever again, but if Directions can deliver what it promises that wont matter.
Anyway, let's see how it goes, I am expecting a lot from this event, and will keep everyone updated. Though Eric (aka waldo) is there, so I am guessing that by the time you read my Blog, he will already have posted everything you need to know. (Keep up the great work Eric).
What dod Mary Lanham say to you?
Let's have a good time in the US again. :)
Are you comming to my session?
(Please do not ask questions I cannot answer)
Basically Mary explained what is going on there, and the future of Directions. Its clear now that Directions will be more for "us" than Convergence. But I will comment on that AFTER I get back.
I do hope that they will cut out all the marketing fluff and keep focused, adn I just hope Microsoft do not try to turn it into a marketing event.
Mark I have you in my calendar, I was originally going to arrive Friday afternoon, but moved to Thursday. Please if anyone has some really tough question that I can ask Mark, then PM me.
I see you all there! Let's get together for a couple of free beers.
Hey Alex, great meeting you finally. My quest to meet all the NAV MVPs is getting closer to completion.