On my flight back from Convergence 2014 I’m reflecting on a fantastic few days. It’s an event that delivers content at firehouse volumes. Convergence covers all things Microsoft Dynamics not just CRM although for me that is what I am interested in. I did hear an interesting comment about Convergence 2015 and that is that the event will be expanding to cover more topics than the standard CRM and ERP content…. My guess is it’s going to include Office365. It’s a natural fit with Dynamics CRM moving to the Office 365 billing platform. Also with the announcement of a closer integration to SharePoint just around the corner in Leo, I would expect the products will become closely integrated. As for EPR and CRM I can see that the future for Microsoft is with Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM. I expect we will see more investments in these two solutions becoming tightly coupled together. As to the other ERP solutions in the Dynamics portfolio, if I was a betting man I would expect maintenance of these products but not innovation. Dynamics AX, it can be seen, is where Microsoft will invest and innovate.
Roadmap for Dynamics CRM
Wow what can I say here but exciting time ahead! There will be 8 releases this year alone with two of those being available for on premise which is amazing. It can be seen that Microsoft’s vision is to “Create Amazing Experiences” not just from customers of Dynamics CRM but also for the customers of those customers. The interface is undisputed as the most innovative in the CRM market with competing CRM solutions looking old and tired. By the end of 2014 I think we will have the most complete end to end solution for enabling sales teams, as well as the best end to end solution for customer care. Now because customer care has such a massive influence over reducing customer churn and opening of future sales opportunities the investment Microsoft is making here is outstanding. By the end of the year we will have a platform in Dynamics CRM that will be the measuring stick for all competing solutions. I think the major winners that will benefit from this in the first place will be call centres large and small. Call Centres will move to becoming Contact Centres as they provided low effort experiences for customers. I will be writing more on this in the future. Customer engagement centres (Contact Centres) will become an environment where omni-channel service and support will be provided. Omni-Channel will include the traditional and the digital to provide a consistent cross channel experience for customers. The merging of Phone, Email, Click to Call, and Web-Chat assistance channels with un-assisted channels or self-services channels such as virtual agents, automated speech response and the great cost reducer web self-service. Microsoft’s recent acquisitions are making this all possible.
Things to remember for the Next Convergence…
- Book accommodation early – as close to the venue as possible (when I say as soon as possible I mean now, a year in advance)
- Check the weather conditions close to the event and bring the right clothes
- Bring a chap stick as the changing weather and air conditioning of the venue will wreak havoc with your lips
- Plan, plan, plan what sessions you will attend but expect your plans to change
- Expect little sleep, if you get 3-4 hours per day you will be doing well
- Make sure you attend the round table events as you will get to engage with so many people using Dynamics in various situation and can expand your thinking immensely
Remember Convergence does not need to be all hard work you can get out and party a bit 🙂