By: Steve Hammett
Convergence started out as a 100 person event held in 1997 in Orlando, Florida, and has grown to the 12,000 attendee event it is today. The idea for the event came from Doug Burgum (The Great Plains Software founder and CEO) as a way to get closer to customers and build a true community of developer, partner and customers.
Convergence is the one point in time each year where every aspect of the Dynamics community is present. I began attending Convergence in 2003, when it had grown to 400 attendees and was held in the Marriott in Orlando. Convergence is a great place to network with peers, meet industry experts and sit down with the people who actually develop our products. The growth of this event proves that Doug’s vision of community was true then and is still true today.
The opportunity to talk to customers and first time attendees is a great way to introduce them to the energy of Convergence. The nature of technology is to work together on projects and teams. Convergence provides a platform that allows us to see former colleagues, team members from both Microsoft and ISV partners along with the customers we impact is great. This year I spoke with a customer that had just finished their implementation and it was exciting to hear how they described their transition in glowing terms.
This year’s Convergence was stellar; we have had stable management at the top since 2007 and it reflects how the products now truly “Converge” with Office/SQL/Lync and the outside world. Highlights from this years show include the addition of Netbreeze to the CRM stack is a huge win for social media monitoring and the ERP products getting better BI at a lower cost point. Dynamics has huge footprint of customers, with a corresponding large contingent of ISVs, so the Expo floor is a veritable shopping center of cutting edge technology solutions.
I love Convergence!