Over 12,000 conference attendees descended upon Atlanta to kickoff Microsoft Convergence 2015 last week. The excitement began with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivering the opening keynote, highlighting how Microsoft technology empowers people, organizations and industries to achieve more. We got a look at Office 2016, Delve, and Azure Internet of Things (IoT) – all tools designed to make organizations more efficient.
Following Satya’s keynote was a series of concurrent sessions, interactive discussions, and general sessions spanning over the next four days. Topics included big data, leadership and productivity, Office 365, and Azure. The thing I was looking forward to the most was being able to hear from both customers and partners how Dynamics NAV, Azure, and Office 365 are enabling their organizations to become more successful in realizing their vision.
The sessions that really appealed to me were;
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 – A business solution from Microsoft
In this session they walked us through the new ‘table experience’ used to extend NAV further with Office 365, enabling NAV users to do things like easily create new report layouts using Word and cash management enhancements. They also showcased customers already benefiting from the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015, Azure and Office 365 suite and we had the opportunity to explore the roadmap and vision for the future of this product.
Why customers choose to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV on Microsoft Azure
The main audience in this session were organizations considering deploying the Microsoft Dynamics NAV in the Cloud. The presenters walked us through the value of Microsoft Azure (particularly the significant cost benefits), and the purpose behind building Microsoft Dynamics NAV for the Cloud.
Cash Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV
I attended this session to get a better overview of the new and enhanced cash management capabilities that are available in both Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and 2015 – such as automatic and manual payment processing. We were also shown how faster bank reconciliation has been made available with NAV 2015 alongside support for SEPA direct debit and credit transfer. They also demonstrated how the user experience was more comfortable with the simplified user interface and showed how to get more information out of the system by utilizing the operational BI dashboards.
Tips & Tricks: Business insight for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015
As a new inductee to the Microsoft productivity suite, I was interested in attending this session to see a few of the valuable tips and tricks on the inter-operability between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Office. They managed to share a number of user scenarios and key enhancements including: new opportunities with Microsoft Excel 2013, Office 365, Jet Reports Express, Power Pivot, Power Viewer, Office Web Apps and SharePoint Online.
Deep Dive: Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015
This session was targeted to customers who were new to reporting as well as those who wanted an overview of the new features – specifically reporting in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. They covered reporting options and capabilities and presented an overview of all that’s new in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015. What resonated with me specifically was how easy it is to build new report layouts using Microsoft Word and customizing Word and RDLC report layouts. They also showed the steps needed to upgrade reports from previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Vendor Session Highlight – Solver’s BI360
When I speak with potential nonprofit clients, leaders are looking for breakthrough ways of creating further efficiencies within their respective organizations and look towards IT to reduce the cost of services. With this at the very forefront of my considerations I decided to attend the Solver’s BI360 demo. As all senior managers look to cut costs and drive performance, Solver’s dashboards, scorecards, reporting and forecasting are standard requirement for most organizations toying with BI or big data warehousing.
In this session they specifically discussed user friendly reporting with out-of-the-box integration to Microsoft Dynamics. Using an Outlook-style interface in Excel, Nils Rasmussen, CEO at Solver showed how users can drag and drop to create complete financial statements or operational reports without ever having to manually key in a formula! The result is a professionally presenting report in Microsoft Excel that is also viewable on the web or mobile – which users can refresh on demand and drill down to details. Personally, I thought this was a very slick product. It addresses the fact that most executive teams rely on some form of BI to make decisions that provide insight into every facet of the organization ecosystem.
My concluding thoughts about Microsoft Convergence are that within the four day spread of presentations, webinars and demonstrations I had walked into a celebration of technological enhancements within the Microsoft productivity suite as a “Convirgin” and ultimately walked out with a crystal clear understanding of their product as a “Convergence Convert.”%MCEPASTEBIN%