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Takeaways from Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 #CONV13

The weekend after Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013, I was still sorting through all the information I received. It was a great conference, and not like one I’d ever been to in the past. I’ve been to dozens of shows, everything from the Microsoft ones like TechEd, to super-technical ones like Black Hat, to the ones with the “decision makers” like Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration. But Convergence was unique, at least for me, as it brought together both practitioners and implementers, along with the business users.
This was truly the first show where, in the span of one hour, I spoke to a CFO, a server administrator, a sales director, and a Dynamics project manager. All of these different roles are critical to the enterprise applications space, and to Dynamics, specifically. This diverse range of conversations certainly made things a lot easier for us here at AvePoint as we begin work on our next set of Dynamics products. For the product line we introduced earlier this month, AvePoint Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we received tons of great feedback and also walked away with many great ideas for us to pursue next.

When we showed Convergence attendees AvePoint Productivity Suite and AvePoint Timeline, everyone had something positive to say, but some also asked for functionality that was not currently there. In some cases, it was definitely something that we had planned – such as enhancing AvePoint SearchAll’s search capabilities and customizing fields in AvePoint CallAssist – but in some cases, it was completely out of left field. I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear someone wanting AvePoint Timeline capabilities for other Dynamics products, such as the AX CRM or within GP against their AP, AR or even Inventory Control modules.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the nature of the show, but it was interesting to find out first-hand what end-users think of our newest products. And with such an assortment of people, we now have the task of collecting up all that diverse feedback and suggestions, and prioritizing it for future releases of our product line.

It also made myself and Software Product Analyst Terence Orpilla (for more information on AvePoint Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, read Terence’s recent blog post on DocAve.com) realize we need customer feedback sooner, and more frequently, than we have with other products. So to that end, I’ll be working on setting up customer councils or similar groups to help us develop the products with the variety of end-users in mind. So stay tuned as we continue to grow our Dynamics offerings, and start reaching out beyond the IT groups.

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