Convergence 2011 was truly worth it. As always, time was limited and I felt there was so much to soak in. Here are my top 3 observations:
- All around Convergence, Microsoft innovation was at display. The Dynamics product line has become truly enterprise class. What is even better, the products are agile and simpler to implement that the many of their competitors. I would personally prefer to see better product extension from Microsoft in areas like mobility and social experience but fair to say, the ISV ecosystem makes up for the gap more than enough. In fact, visiting EXPO is one of the best experiences at Convergence.
- While Microsoft is strongly committed to the cloud, it seems like the HYBRID strategy (cloud and/or on-premise) is here to stay and in fact, almost extending to Dynamics ERP with upcoming releases. I used to work with Dynamics ERP just few years ago and trust me, it is no easy feet to achieve a single code set for a complex product like Dynamics AX. Only time will tell whether this strategy will succeed, but for now, Microsoft is the only enterprise vendor with such a vast portfolio of HYBRID business applications.
- A sound strategy and an innovative product line cannot make much difference without a solid team to implement. In Microsoft’s case, the delivery belongs to the partner channel. It is increasingly being expected (rightly so) from the partner channel to step up and create vertical solutions. With increasing footprint in the enterprise level organizations, partners are facing tremendous growth but talent shortage. I met several partners and old friends – all looking (even anxious) to hire talent. If I may make a prediction, Convergence 2013 will look a lot different but much better.