Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it’s Convergence conference would be replaced by Microsoft Envision. Envision would be meant for business leaders looking for a more strategic vision, while Microsoft Ignite would be intended to be the conference that provided more hands-on and deeper technical content.
CRMUG Summit, on the other hand, is a conference not run by Microsoft, and instead run by users for users. However, what we’ve seen this year is that the Microsoft presence at the Summit was greatly increased from years past. The Summit actually is meant for more than just Dynamics CRM as there are user groups for all of the Dynamics Products (AX, GP, NAV).
All In for Summit!
After attending both Ignite (in Atlanta) and CRMUG Summit (in Tampa) this year, it’s clear that Summit is getting more and more focus as the years go on, and seems to be the conference to attend if you’re a Dynamics CRM customer or prospect. There were 1550 CRM attendees this year - triple the amount from last year. At Ignite there weren’t as many Dynamics sessions, whereas CRMUG Summit was chock full of sessions led by end users, MVP’s, and Microsoft employees. You could feel more than ever this year Microsoft’s increased presence and commitment to the event. Jujhar Singh, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, brought most of the product team along to the conference and was also a main presenter at the CRMUG Keynote. Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, was also in attendance and led the overall Summit Keynote. Scott’s keynote showed Microsoft’s large push for PowerApps, Flow, and their Azure framework. He also talked about Dynamics 365, and the tighter and enhanced integration coming between Dynamics 365 and Office 365 such as Outlook. Jujhar went deeper into discussions around Dynamics 365, and he also announced the integration between Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Predict by Versium (discussed in more details below).
It definitely seems like Microsoft is increasing their presence at Summit (as they did this year), and our hope is that this continues. If so, we definitely recommend users attend Summit 2017 in Nashville.
Of course the big topic at CRMUG Summit 2016 was all around Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s suite of Dynamics products. No more are the days of Dynamics CRM, but instead users will need to get used to the new moniker Dynamics 365 for Sales. The different products that will be available with the upcoming release (slated to be released to the cloud in the next month) include:
- Dynamics 365 for Sales
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
- Dynamics 365 for Field Service
- Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing
- Dynamics 365 for Operations
- Dynamics 365 for Financials
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights
These products currently exist but are being entirely rebranded (e.g., “Dynamics CRM” becomes “Dynamics 365 for Sales” and “Dynamics AX” becomes “Dynamics 365 for Operations” and so on). However, Dynamics 365 will allow users to quickly jump from one application to another within the same session, further unifying CRM and ERP capabilities.
Along with the new naming of the products and unification of Microsoft’s flagship CRM, ERP, and Office suites, the upcoming release also introduces other new features. Stay tuned for future blog posts detailing more of these newly released features for Dynamics 365. Until then, know that you can expect to see more around the user interface, configurability, built in intelligence, proactive insights, enhanced visualizations, enhanced Outlook integration, enhanced navigation, and much more. Sounds pretty exciting, right?
Predict by Versium
During the conference, Microsoft announced a new integration with Versium Predict, an automated predictive analytics solution that brings lead scoring and lead matching directly to Dynamics 365 for Sales.
With Predict, users can build a predictive model directly from CRM that will allow them to add insights to enrich current data in the system with thousands of new attributes (e.g., hobbies, SIC Code, revenue, social handles, number of employees, demographics, etc.) from Versium’s extensive data warehouse. Versium has trillions of data points in their data set, and users will be able to build a customer-based model or a business-based model directly from Dynamics 365 for Sales.
After your predictive model is built, with Predict by Versium and Dynamics 365, users will also be able to build a new list of leads and add them to a new marketing list. Note: Microsoft strongly enforces the importance of having data already in Dynamics 365 (500 records for a business list model and 1000 for a customer list model) in order to build a successful predictive model.
Thanks Tampa – Hello Nashville!
Once again Tampa was a great host city for Summit (the 2013 Summit was also in Tampa). The weather was great - even though the east coast had previously experienced some extreme weather the week before - and the conference content didn’t disappoint. It would be an understatement to say all of us at Sonoma are excited about Dynamics 365 and the announcements from Summit, as well as new features that are coming with the latest release of the product. We can’t wait.
If you’ve never been to a CRMUG Summit, we definitely recommend you register for next year’s summit in Nashville. If this year’s was any reflection of where the conference is headed, next year’s should be much bigger with more product announcements and roadmap discussions. Each year, Summit has grown at exponential rates, and the involvement seen from Microsoft this year is certainly encouraging. We’re hoping that they return in full force next year as well.
Stay tuned for more announcements about Dynamics 365 and the new features that will soon be released.