Microsoft Convergence 2014 Recap – The Key Takeaways

Microsoft Convergence 2014 Recap – The Key Takeaways

Jitterbit was a sponsor of Microsoft Convergence 2014, a week long event that covered the future of the Microsoft products, from Dynamics CRM, GP, and AX to Sharepoint, Yammer, and more.   It was an exciting week both for Microsoft and Jitterbit, and we’ve provided your complete Microsoft Convergence 2014 Recap below.

The keynote speakers were Kirill Tatarinov, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions, Biz Stone, & Arianna Huffington.  The discussion centered around customers, cloud, and the global presence of the Microsoft ecosystem.  Unsurprisingly, Microsoft is focused on the internet of customers, as the tech world continues to recognize the value of putting the customer first and foremost.

To this end, several Dynamics applications have new releases available now or in the near future.  AX showed a cool way to deploy to Azure using a new cloud management console, the next release is expected May 2014.  GP continues to crank along with the strongest growth numbers of any Dynamics ERP product. Though GP will likely not offer a Cloud option, attendees were looking forward to the next GP release anyway.  Dynamics CRM is engaging customers across “omni-channels”, including their three recent acquisitions around social listening, marketing, and service. The newest version of MSCRM, Spring 14, is expected in the first half of 2014.  Even Constellation Research called out the new CRM functionality, mentioning it as one of ‘four key announcements’ made during the keynote.

An interesting customer example provided during the keynote was that of Weight Watchers.  The weight loss industry is inherently personal and Weight Watchers has instituted a plan to bring customer service and marketing into one department.  This has allowed WW to better personalize their message to customers, saying that this is “a business that is all about relationships”.  Integrating their systems will allow WW to fully embrace the internet of customers by taking advantage of their data and providing an all around better end user experience.

Along these same lines, Robert Wollan from Accenture posited in his session that “companies must become masters of the new ‘’nonstop customer’’ experience, analyze the data on customers’ behavior for new opportunities, and influence their customers’ choices.”

Of course to fully take advantage of the promise of Dynamics applications and the internet of customers, those applications need to be integrated.  This was a topic we heard often at Convergence, with attendees talking about various solutions’ functionality and robustness.  With no mention at Convergence, it has become clear that BizTalk is officially Microsoft history. We heard from customers and partners alike that, despite the unified branding, the Microsoft Dynamics community is in need of enterprise class integration solutions as much as everyone else in the industry.  At our booth, we provided many attendees with live demos showing off our ability to connect Dynamics applications and also applications not within the Microsoft ecosystem.

 CONV14 team booth

Microsoft Convergence 2014 provided a great opportunity to hear from industry leaders and speak with customers and prospects.  The overall feeling is one of excitement for the future of connected applications and big data that can better serve businesses and their customers.  Naturally, integration is also top of mind to anyone thinking of implementing a next generation big data and ‘internet of customers’ type strategy.

We hope to see you at an event in the near future!  In the meantime, please take a minute to check out our free 30 day trial!