Don’t write off Convergence just yet. That is the message from Microsoft Dynamics GP product managers Pam Misialek and Errol Schoenfish who wrote on Thursday that “Dynamics GP and the community will continue to be a key member of this new era of Convergence including continued content for power users and similar roles.”
That message is major departure from the assumptions and rumors that have widely circulated in the partner and user communities, and it has drawn positive comments in response.
Until now, Microsoft has had an ambiguous message on the future role of Dynamics ERP and CRM at Convergence. Wayne Morris, corporate vice president of marketing for Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) explained in an interview that as a business event, Convergence will still incorporate all the Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions – even the SMB products – but their role will be in line with the event’s new goals, not its heritage as a Dynamics product-focused event. And Microsoft North America president Judson Althoff urged attendees at the closing keynote to consider going to the AXUG, NAVUG, GPUG, and CRMUG Summit events in October if they wanted a rich selection of Dynamics-focused content.
Dynamics community veterans – especially GP professionals – reacted negatively to the perceived change. Without rich GP content, GP MVP Mark Polino wrote that he envisioned Convergence becoming “more tradeshow, more sales floor, and more celebrity keynotes. To fit all of that in, something has to give and it’s going to be content … With content gone, most of our Dynamics GP clients won’t go.” And without users, and content, what’s left, he concludes, is sales.
eOne Solutions co-founder Martin Olsen put an even sharper point on the matter. He wrote:
“There simply MUST be a Microsoft hosted conference for the users of Dynamics ERP and CRM software. Do not outsource this event to others to run, for it has to be a Microsoft event. This can be Convergence as we know it or perhaps another event. However, if you want to grow this business and keep loyal passionate users, you must have an event – an event for those people who are immersed in this every day. The people that make business decision.”
For their part, the Dynamics GP team wants the community to know that despite the “evolution of Convergence” that will include “the further integration of Dynamics as part of Microsoft’s core business” there will be no change to GP content at the event. They write:
“We look forward to seeing everyone in New Orleans next year where, just as in previous years, the same rich Microsoft Dynamics GP content will be delivered.”