Microsoft Dynamics is converging on Spain. Next week, the company’s Convergence 2013 show opens in Barcelona, Spain, showcasing its growing customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.
The Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) show precedes similar ones being held in March in Atlanta and in New Orleans. Those wishing to attend Barcelona but who just can’t, at least not physically, will be able to attend via a free online event that will feature the keynotes and general sessions, as well as on-demand playback of individual sessions. The broadcasts will include integrated social media for global conversations.
The EMEA conference runs from the registration on Sunday, November 3 through Wednesday, November 6. Breakout sessions include connecting with a community through Dynamics AX, CRM or NAV, best practices for global Microsoft Dynamics AX environments, managing security, project management, a case study of Dynamics CRM and Danish National Sports, executive use of dashboards, and a look at how companies have approached their international deployments.
Experience Center, Expo
A Convergence Experience Center will provide one-on-one product demonstrations, and an Expo will showcase leading Dynamics independent software vendors.
One of the keynote speakers is Kirill Tatarinov, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions, who will focus on the latest perspectives of cloud-based business solutions. He previously led the Management and Solutions Division at Microsoft, which includes Microsoft System Center and Windows Server, and he has served as senior VP and CTO at BMC Software and head of R&D for systems and network management developer Patrol Software.
The other keynote speaker is Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, which covers 110 subsidiaries outside the U.S. and Canada. He previously served as CEO and president of Microsoft EMEA.
At the conference, Microsoft is expected to announce new features for Dynamics CRM 2013 including new mobile capabilities such as sales applications for Windows 8 tablets and iPads, as well as embedded social capabilities. Redmond will also feature Dynamics NAV 2013 R2, which includes new cash management capabilities, hosting on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services and new business opportunities with Microsoft Office 365. Dynamics AX 2012 is featuring new Windows business apps, industry-specific enhancements and new Lifecycle Services.
Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp., told us that most people “don’t realize that Microsoft Dynamics, Azure and Office are doing very, very well” these days, as all of them utilize cloud-based virtualization, new management functions and new levels of product support.
She noted that a recent survey conducted by her firm of global companies found that 78 percent are using CRM platforms, and that the “biggest impediment remains cost,” even when it’s cloud based.
The EMEA market, DiDio said, is “usually about six months or so behind the U.S., except in most cases for the U.K., Germany and France,” so this Dynamics conference may give a boost to the visibility of Microsoft CRM and ERP in those regions. She also pointed out that, according to her survey, Dynamics is currently second, behind Salesforce, in global market share.