Convergence Diary: Opening Keynote with Kirill Tatarinov

I'm not a fan of Keynotes, but still, I forced myself to go. Tuesday morning 9am. After quite an amusing "PreShow", we got an opening word from Chris Karen (could be that I got the name wrong … but I forgot my conference guide to double check it .. Sorry). Not really interesting in what he had to say. Just general Conference stuff … except for one thing. Yesterday (Monday), every attendee had the opportunity to volunteer in "rebuilding New Orleans". Unfortunately, I was not aware of that, else I would certainly have participated in that. It was half a day, working on some homes and stuff. About 400 people registered and it turned out to be a great success… . Nice!

After, Kirill Tatarinov, at this time quite a known figure in the Dynamics world, took over. He mentioned the number of registrants … Just under 7000 attendees. Hm, that's less then last year, isn't it. If I remember correctly, last year's Convergence had over 8000 attendees. Doesn't matter, actually, it's still a lot. Let's blame the crisis :-).

Kirill showed video of the American Red Cross organization … . They implemented Dynamics GP (integrated with Dynamics CRM) and guess what … they are happy with the product. The Red Cross was off course a good choice as customer case for this Convergence if you take the Katerina-disaster in New Orleans into account.

Next, a demo by Jesper Reabild Jensen and a GP guy from which I didn't get the name (and not really interested either ;°) - may be it has something to do with favoritism, I don't know ;°)). Jesper is a NAV-guy, so I expect NAV to see here. And indeed. He opened the Role Tailored client and purchased items at "Fabrikam"… . After that, they moved over the Fabricam … the GP guy. He showed a mobile device where Kirill could approve the order and … the order was shipped. Back to Contoso, the NAV company. All of a sudden, a truck entered the room and dropped of some boxes. Jesper showed a mobile app where he showed a list of items that were expected. He started to scan the items .. And the Items were received. It was a demo to show the Role tailored experience. The warehouse people see what they need to see (what Items do I expect), the purchaser his thing, and so on… . Good demo!

After some blabla about how great we are, and how important it is to take the right decision at the right time in the process … we got a new demo on the Surface. You know the Surface? It's a multi-finger-touchscreen-coffee table (yes … table (OK, not "coffee" table Smile)) from Microsoft. Now, they are developing a new Warehouse-application on it. It is showing a map of the warehouse (the different zones, bins , locations, …). It is actually an intuitive application where you can move items, create transfers and other warehouse activities by dragging and dropping … . It's linked with dynamics, so it generates the necessary activities for your warehouse employees… . Cool! Next, they showed the integration of it with the Business Process Manager … . The Surface is delivering nice graphical capabilities, where it's gong to be quite intuitive to work with the apps that are run on it. Off course, it's a demo, and a good demo always looks easier then it is in real time. All the data they showed (like 3D schematic drawing of a certain item that has to be fixed …) has to be imported as data in the system as well, off course… which is a process of its own. But .. nice to see what's might going to be the future :-).

Time for an announcement … . Environmental Sustainability for Microsoft Dynamics. This is an Add-on for AX that brings a Dashboards that checks your "environmental footprint" (an expression that has become quite popular lately). Why only for AX, Microsoft? I know that the environment is something we have to treat with respect … and this Add-on might be a contribution to that … but at least provide it for all Dynamics products. (forgive me - probably favoritism again ;°) ).

Another announcement is for CRM. I don't know CRM, so I wouldn't know what he means with "Accelerators" or the "March 2009 Service Update for CRM Online"… . But here you are, these are the two announcements for CRM… .

Time for a CRM Demo by Rueben Krippner. Claire, customer from Fabricam, a fictive company on CRM, has got a problem. She logs on on the service portal (one of the accelerators?) of CRM and first searches the Knowledge Base. No luck. So she creates a new Service Case. The next part of the interaction happens in CRM. You could see quite some stats about the number of cases around the same product, info about the product (fact that it's discontinued and stuff, what the maintenance contract with Claire, some replacement items, …). Hm, guys, Claire has got a problem. The first thing he does is checking for a cross-sell… . End of the demo … he didn't solve Claire's problem, but he did transform a ser vice-request into a sales-opportunity. I have some second thoughts with the ethics, to be honest :|.

The final demo highlighted again how glad Red Cross is with the Dynamics implementation. They're working much more flexible, efficient … and can focus on what they're good at … helping people.

For me, this was the end of the session, because I had to go to a meeting.

Up to the next!

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