Dynamics NAV 2013 is Here – Recap of Microsoft Directions 2012

It’s Microsoft Directions 2012
Yes. Microsoft Directions.

The theme for this year’s Directions is Dynamics NAV 2013 is here! This is release is what 2009 should’ve been. Microsoft reiterated that with Dynamics NAV 2013, it’s ready and you will not need to wait for a service pack. From what I’ve seen on the early release of Dynamics NAV 2013, I have to agree with them. It’s runs a lot faster with a lot of usability features.

Microsoft has done an INCREDIBLE job of documenting the features and creating step by step instructions on how to do this on our own. Well done Microsoft, well done!

The Paul White from Microsoft, has reiterarted the focused target market Dynamics NAV is between 5 to 250 concurrent users. That’s not to say NAV cannot support 1000+ user implementations, but Microsoft marketing is geared towards the small and the mid-market.

The continual message from Microsoft this year is, of course, go vertical and go cloud. Both of these 2 strategies benefits Microsoft, but I’m not sure it benefits the partners. Why? Because some of the largest solution center in the US are not vertical and are not a lot of cloud. Anyway, same message, go vertical go cloud or die!!!

One important detail which I notice was missing from this year and the prior year was microphones for the audience to challenge what the keynote speaker was presenting. This was my favorite part of the “old” Directions because it allowed the partners to express publically their concerns and we can hold the Microsoft executives and managers accountable based on their responses.  Now, I learned that in order to talk to these Microsoft executives, you had to schedule a private meeting with them, which is a real shame and I think it does take away from the feedback process.

There were a ton of technical sessions on Dynamics NAV 2013. The folks at Microsoft Directions were gracious enough to share their information on here. No, I didn’t make a mistake on the link.

Most of the sessions I attended were the executive and sales sessions because I think the information given on these sessions cannot be transferred properly from the internet.

Observations About the Event
It looks like business has also picked up in our industry. A lot of the attentees that were missing last year have returned. I’ve also noticed a few more new ones that showed up to these events. This tells me that the Dynamcis NAV business is doing good. Very good.

One other thing I noticed is that there were a lot of woman in this Directions than the previous ones. Not those eye candy ones, but the ones that are project managers, developers, implementors, support, etc. These woman are truly passionate, incredibly smart, and driven working with Dynamics NAV. That blew my mind a little. By the way, the first boss I had was a female whom I have tremendous respect for, so this comment is not meant to be sexist at all.

Highlight of the Event
It wasn’t from any of the sessions. A couple of us solution centers got together on a small table and had an open talk about our business. About employees, what our revenues were, and what we took home as owners. We dived in detail about our fears and problems that comes with being a leader of an organization. It’s truly refreshing to speak with people that are in the same boat as you are, sharing your concerns and worries. I hope our little group can get together again next year and talk again next year.

Add-on that Caught My Eye
Mobile NAV. Yes there are a ton of mobile NAV add-ons out there. This one caught my eye because their mobile app is actually pleasing to use. When you’re mobile, usability has to be king. I think these guys comes pretty close. Of course, ease of use is in the eye of the beholder, so you would probably need to try it out on your own.

Easy Security from Merge Tool from Per Mogensen. No more adding 50 tables to control security! Yeh!! This product is fully CfmD Certified and works with pages and forms. A very well done add-on to any client site that needs a better way to control who can edit and see what on which field.
Fun Fact about Per: He is the only guy that has an authentic smile on his face when he talks about coding architure and coding itself. He really takes pleasure in this stuff. Don’t believe me? Next time when you’re at a conference with him and he gets into coding questions, just observe him.

Terrible. No variety, even the food for the Partner Celebration day was bland. I was full, but I was not satisfied.

It was a good event, but this one is a Microsoft event, not a partner event. The only true partner to partner connection I had was in our private session that I described earlier. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having it at a crappy hotel instead of a vacation resort. And I wouldn’t mind paying more for registration for it to be a true partner event instead of a Microsoft event.

The food defintely needs to get better because I’m one of those people that like to get 2nds.

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