I have been pretty vocal about Dynamics Communities Inc. (DCI) in the past. I felt they had lost their way and there was a need for change. I was unsure if the organization still had a fire burning in their belly for technology and this global community that we are all a part of.
I am writing this on my flight back to London from Orlando, reflecting on an amazing week at the Power Platform Summit and eXtreme365. It’s a long week, starting with a full day on Sunday and ending around 4:00 pm on Friday.
Was it worth it? I have to say it was worth every second.
At this event I was privileged to speak with some outstanding leaders in DCI, and I’ve come away from this event excited about the future. I am proud to be a part of this amazing community and want to be more involved.
For me the week kicked off with eXtreme365 with the executive sessions organized by Tonya Anderson; she did an outstanding job, and set the tone for the week. This was the second time I have been involved with this event, the first was early this year in Amsterdam. It was a solid two days of content.
I think there is an opportunity to pivot this event in the coming year. The executive track could be more exclusive and focused on the needs of executives who are running Microsoft Business Applications practices, with appropriate content on how to play at the top of their game in all key areas of business.
I think if this event is ran in conjunction with Community Summit all technical content could land in Community Summit with eXtreme365 focused on the business of running a successful Microsoft Business Applications company. There could be multiple content streams focused on Valued Added Resellers (VAR) / System Integrators (SI) and Independent Software Vendors (ISV). Also, I think there is a need to look at content for the next generation of business leaders, founders and entrepreneurs.
I sense that feedback from the past, about separation of partner and customer is no longer relevant and an open mindset needs to be adopted. A solid vision and programming need to be set for this event that will result in growth and empowerment of all business leaders that attend, catapulting their own business success.
I can see this becoming an event that Microsoft Network Partners cannot afford to miss. The right business people from Microsoft sales and marketing teams could also add tremendous value to this event.
Power Platform Summit
All I can say is WOW! What a quality event!
Everything from the Expo floor to the sessions bore the mark of a well-choreographed event. I noticed the Microsoft staffs attending were eager to engage with users and take their feedback. For example, several times I observed Ryan Jones (PM responsible for the Common Data Service (CDS)) taking notes and action items when users discussed their specific situation with him.
Another thing I noticed was the willingness of people to share their learnings and experience with others, either speaking in sessions or side discussions. It makes no difference who the individual works for, we all work with this great technology from Microsoft, and I like the way this event breaks down barriers and allows everybody to collaborate and learn from each other.
Rose Spitzer who leads the Power Platform User Group from DCI is doing a fantastic job of driving the growth of the community with this event and others like the Power Platform World Tour. Also, Tony Stein, who leads the CRM User Group once again delivered a rock-solid event. Both of you have great energy for this community. Thank you!
Two of my mates won the All-star award for their contribution to the community. Nick Doelman and Todd Mercer, you both got my vote for your contribution to the community, and it looks like a lot of others voted for you as well. The community was on the money in awarding you this as you are the example we aspire to be like. Well done!
Dynamics Communities has landed their new brands, what do you think? Jenna Knoblauch and her team have delivered with this brand change. Dynamics Communities represent such a broad range of user groups focused on various Microsoft applications, the new brand allows them to continue to expand and support new products while maintaining an easily identifiable brand that unifies all the user groups for significant events such as summit.
Dynamics Communities in my mind has changed, they have listened and taken on the feedback offered up by the community. Some things will take time, such as refreshing their digital platforms, membership packages and focus. I saw a stat of 280,000 thousand members currently, but I think that will change dramatically in the next three years, I can see this community growing to a million members.
There are many untouched markets that have people who need the community to grow and develop skills at a local level. How about a user group in every primary site in the world? There are many untouched markets across the equator and southern hemisphere.
I think there are lessons that can be learned from the operation model of Toastmasters on how to create viral global growth at a local level. Self-governance model at the local level equipped with a digital platform that allows a stream lined engagement flows, so wherever people live they can connect, learn and share.
And as we do this, we raise the skill levels of individuals, which raises the incomes of families and communities and leads to a better future for everyone as technology continues to transform our world.
Another highlight at the event for me was working with my friend Steve Mordue to live stream interviews with Microsoft Staff and DCI staff to YouTube; this follows on from what we did earlier in the year at Microsoft Business Application Summit. Our goal is to give people a feel of what is topical right now for those that could not attend in person.
This would not have been possible without the help and support of DCI staff. Thanks to Janet Lampert, for inviting us to do this, and thank you Tony for your support and Jenna for the branding and creativity – the setup was amazing.
Tricia Mallett thank you so much for the installation on the expo floor; you went above and beyond to make sure we had the configuration needed, you are a real gem – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! All going well we would love to do more of this type of thing with DCI.
If you went to the event, I am keen to hear your feedback in the comments below. Together we can change the world and impact lives for the better with our love of Microsoft Business Applications and the people in this great community.