Encore Talks: Summit, the Dynamics User Group Conference


Tess: Hi, everyone. I’m Tess and I’m here with Nicole and Debra today, and we’re going to talk about the Summit Conference that’s coming up in Orlando this October 15th to 18th. So, I have a few questions for them to answer. So, the first question is when should Dynamics users start thinking about attending Summit?

Debra: Well, right now. So it’s just, so June is upon us and now we’re starting to look at what opportunities and what functionality that you want to be able to use either for deploying Dynamics 365 or enhancing your current environment. So, now would be a great time to start looking at functionality and different workshops and sessions that you’d like to participate in.

Nicole: Yeah, I think budgeting is extremely important for this event. It’s one of the biggest events that Microsoft puts on or the Microsoft Community puts on. And, yeah, I think it’s never too soon to start bugging your boss and telling them that you need it, you need to put it in your budget because it’s a fantastic event and I really think that it’s a must-attend for sure.

Tess: Yeah.

Debra: Definitely.

Tess: Budgeting is important. What is a typical day like at Summit?

Debra: It’s a fun-filled. There’s lots and lots to do. So, there is the expo floor where you get to see all of third-party vendors and different applications to be able to leverage within this week, as well as a lot of really great sessions on functionality within Dynamics 365, within GP, Business Central

Nicole: GP, yeah.

Debra: …and just be able to really become educated on the potential of what the platform can provide.

Nicole: Yeah. So, you register basically under the solution that you use, but you’re free to attend any of the sections that are at Summit. So, yeah, expo floor is a great place to find third-party solutions. You attend your sessions during the day depending on what you’re interested in. And then, of course, many of those third party vendors actually put on events in the evening that you can participate in. So, it’s a really great option and opportunity to network, meet people, you know, get to know people. There are tons of people who are first-time attendees and they have never been before. A lot of companies can only afford to send one person. So, we received tons of emails where people say, “Oh, I’m so nervous about attending. I’m the only one from my company going.” A lot of people don’t travel often, so they’re just a bit nervous about what to expect. So, my biggest piece of advice is just to get out there, meet people, introduce yourselves because you’re definitely not going to be the only one.

Tess: What can attendees expect from their partner, if they attend?

Debra: So, yeah, once you start looking at what your benefits are, the reasons why you’re attending, what you want to get out of it, leverage us, let us help you plan the sessions, what you’re looking at. We can help guide you, as well as we’ll be there at Summit to be able to bounce ideas off of, to be able to converse and be able to help you move forward.

Nicole: Yes. Encore puts on an event. I think I previously mentioned that, where we kind of introduce everyone, make sure that, you know, you know people that are kind of around you for support. And then two, I’ve had clients come to me, you know, a couple of months before and say, “Hey, Nicole, I’m planning on attending Summit. I kind of need to, you know, prove to my boss why this is going to be a good idea for us. And kind of just, you know, look at the ROI. What are we going to get out of this?” And I actually, I help them build their sessions based on what they were looking to get out of it. And they really saw the value in that. And yeah, they came back fresh-minded and just full of ideas. And if there’s another thing that I can stress, it’s make sure to put those ideas into action. Don’t just go and come back. People are so stressed when they get back because they’re like, “I just missed a week of work. I have tons of emails, you know, where do I start?” Right. And then you get into the emails and that daily grind and you just completely forget about all the things that you’ve learned. So…

Debra: That’s so great.

Nicole: Right. If there’s one thing that I can say, it’s, you know, don’t forget about these things, write them down, pin them in your office or your cubicle, so that you don’t forget them because I just think, you know, if you’re going to make that investment, really make that investment.

Debra: I definitely agree. And that’s again, leverage Nicole and I. Right, so again, as you start looking at what those next steps would be, bounce those ideas off us and we can help, help, help you develop that roadmap for you and your organization.

Tess: What are attendees must-sees while attending Summit?

Debra: There’s so much, there’s so much. I think, I’ll let you speak too, but one thing I really wanted to stress that was valuable for me in my first year of going is participating in a lot of the sessions, and a lot of the informational, sorry, sessions that are provided, is being able to A, hear from the presenter the information that they’re giving, but also to hear from the attendees and to hear the topics or the reasons why they’re there, how have they advanced their environment, how they helped with their users becoming fully engaged and making sure that it’s successful. So, I really enjoyed being able to network with other users and being able to see how they’re leveraging the platform.

Nicole: I think it was really interesting actually because, when me and Debra…we kinda came into the partner channel probably around the same time I would say.

Debra: That’s right.

Nicole: And the great thing about that was that we kind of attended Summit close to the beginning, I would say, of our careers within the partner channel. And it was just amazing to see just how everyone is very supportive. It’s full of information, the sessions that you attend and just, everybody’s just very, very helpful and I just found that so engaging. Like I was just really happy to be there. You just feel like you’re part of something so much bigger than just your organization. Like it’s great.

Debra: Yes.

Tess: That’s awesome. What are the big things attendees are gonna see this year at the Dynamics User Conference?

Debra: I’m really excited about Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. PowerApps are going to be so huge. I mean, how we can be able to leverage that functionality, it’s very exciting. So I’m excited for that.

Nicole: Yeah, I think over the last few years, one of the big things, and I’m sure Debra would agree with me, is just the transition and introduction of just Dynamics 365 and there’s been… You know, everybody knows that Microsoft is popular for their, you know, their naming conventions and there’s been so many new products and name changes. And so I’m really excited for our clients to go and get, you know, just more in touch with that because I feel like, you know, we have a lot of conversations with clients on a daily basis where, you know, they’re just not sure anymore because the names have changed, the products have changed. And I’m looking forward, you know, for our clients to attend and, you know, get to know the products a bit better, get to know the names. You’re gonna hear a lot about Dynamics 365 Business Central, Finance and Operations, as well as, like Debra said, the other solutions are still…you know, GP, AX, various other solutions and I think they cover everything across the board. And PowerApps, going back to your point about PowerApps, that was a new, I think, session offering that they did last year where you could actually register under PowerApps and attends sessions strictly based on that. So, it’s basically you make your schedule based on what your interests are and what you’re looking to get out of it.

Tess: There’s so much to see. It’s crazy. What do Dynamics users need to do now if they’re planning to attend Summit?

Debra: Call me. Seriously, give us a shout. Look at just even spitballing and looking at different ideas, as Nicole had just mentioned, understanding the platform, understanding the roadmap in which Microsoft is headed, and how this can benefit you and start analyzing, you know, the potential for you.

Nicole: I think that’s an important point is everybody’s there for different reasons. It’s crazy because everybody uses the same solutions. And I think that’s why networking again is so important because you really never know how other people are using the solution that you might have never even thought of. So yeah, I think that’s a really great point.

Debra: Yeah.

Tess: Well, I think that kind of concludes, so reach out to your account managers, if you have any questions about the Summit Conference. And you can join us in a few weeks where we’re going to get back together and answer a few questions that you sent us about Summit Conference.

Nicole: Thank you.

Tess: Thanks.

Debra: Have a great day.


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