If you are not attending #DynTech2015 may I say you are missing a great thing. You know it will be good when people come from as far away as Sweden and Australia to join. It is typically the only time my company lets me out in public 🙂 because it is so worthwhile. Please accept this, my report from the trenches, for Day 1.
Keynote: It was an exciting keynote, as always full of hope for the future. I would say it went smoothly as opposed to the past and they were able to generate real excitement about what was going on. The speakers were Mike Ehrenberg and Kirill Tatarinov. As Tommy Skaue tweeted, the forecast is Cloud-y. Growth is very high and the cloud will enable us to sustain this growth. The cloud is a three-prong cluster consisting of Azure, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics, enabling the enterprise to move forward. Microsoft is itself implementing these changes within itself, around the world, to much success. Collaboration will be much easier with new social media changes; for example, CRM will seamlessly link to Lync, OneNote, and Yammer.
Consuming Azure machine learning services in Dynamics AX: I had a last minute change of schedule here, and ended up attending this class instead of the one I’d planned. They showed a very impressive demo on a web store, and how it can use machine learning to increase sales and increase customer satisfaction. Warning: some knowledge of statistics helpful (I will have to reach back just-a-few years to remember my graduate statistics class!) but not required. They talked about the Call Center and how that ties in with machine learning as well. The best part of it is that they used a real company as an example, not Contoso. And the company’s results in only four months were very impressive.
General Session – Microsoft Dynamics AX: The speakers were Daniel Brown and Sri Srinivasan, so naturally it was a packed session, even in the largest room. In this session, it was hit home that Dynamics is becoming very mobile-focused. “Stay connected when on the go.” There was a lot of focus on how end users can use the applications they need without the need for a desktop – particularly on a phone or tablet. They showed us their “Omni-channel solution” where a (real) company is enabling its people to use tablets to do their jobs. In addition, Microsoft has made sure they have given us several good reasons to move to Azure – lifecycle services, disaster recovery, excellent use of proof of concept. A stunning statistic we got was that more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies are using Azure, and customer base is increasing weekly. Microsoft is working toward an increased cadence, so releases will be neither as infrequent nor (hopefully) (monstrously) big as before. As far as an announcement on AX ‘7’ (elsewhere called Rainier) we should look for something around Convergence.
Understand how to utilize Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile options to improve user productivity on the go: CRM is focusing, it appears, on two things: transform your business with mobile, and security. It seems much of this session was covered under NDA, so I will not go farther than that.
Development best practices and X++ coding patterns in Microsoft Dynamics AX: This was a very good class and I’m glad I attended. However, it was billed as a level 300 class but I’m not sure it was that. It was probably level 200. At any rate, I not only picked up some good tips which I will bring back to my company, but also enjoyed listening to a good discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of event handlers and delegates. There are both cloud (issue search, customization analysis tool, cloud-powered support, provisioning development environments) and non-cloud (compiler, best practices tool, trace parser) tools to use to check your code.
Finally, Microsoft made its people in many different areas available to us for a Meet the R&D Team during an evening reception.
I got a little star struck by all the AX big shots I saw there today, both speakers and attendees. How can one not be awed by this gathering of the greats!
Stay tuned for more tomorrow…