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Convergence 2015 marks turning point as event embraces broader view beyond Microsoft Dynamics

by Jason Gumpert
March 19 2015

As Convergence 2015 began its final day, Microsoft announced its plans for the next two Convergence events in Europe in November and in the US in April 2016. Microsoft also put its support behind the independent Dynamics user group Summit events for those people looking for deeper Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, and CRM product knowledge in the future.

There will be a new Convergence 2015 EMEA event in Barcelona, from November 30 to December 3. And Convergence 2016 US will take place April 4 to 7 in New Orleans.

Microsoft North America president Judson Althoff stressed that Convergence has evolved into the Microsoft event for business with a broad view of Microsoft product in the context of larger trends in technology, business, and economics.

And for the Dynamics product customers in attendance who are accustomed to getting deep product, technical, and how-to knowledge at Convergence, Althoff recommended that they attend the Dynamics user group Summit events in the future. Convergence, he said, will showcase Dynamics in addition to a range of other products like Office 365, Azure, and more.

"We hope that what you took from that is that at Microsoft we're changing the way we approach innovation and technology to bring those types of experiences to life," he said

For its part, Dynamic Communities, the company that manages AXUG, GPUG, NAVUG, CRMUG and Dynamic Partner Connections, is also updating its outlook on the evolution of its Summit events as a peer-to-peer and Microsoft-supported conference.

"As new-comers to Summit will soon discover, the event is developed by members of the user group who take pride in delivering an unparalleled training experience for their peers," said Dynamic Communities CEO Andy Hafer in a statement. "...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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Submitted by jefflfrye on Thu, 03/19/2015 - 12:30 Permalink

This sounds very much like Convergence being turned into an event for the big boys who have the time to listen to each Microsoft VP speak for an hour about how their division is great. Personally I know of no enterprise level leaders who have time to sit through a three day marketing pitch from Microsoft. There are many media sources for picking up the information Microsoft apparently wants to lay out in New Orleans and Barcelona. This sounds more like Microsoft is irritated by the need for providing staffing for an event that helps current customers use product and possibly grow into the purchase of a few licences here and there. I personally feel like I am in a planning gap here. I am not a user who would be helped by the experiences of other users in better using what I already have, and Microsoft is no longer interested in providing technical resources and product specialist/planners which will help me keep up with the upcoming developments and ERP specific technology improvements. I do not see Convergence surviving as a Microsoft Business ra-ra event only. Jeff Frye

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Submitted by bbucher on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 14:26 Permalink

I fully agree with Jeff, My feeling of this year's Convergence (my sixth event so far) is that Microsoft is trying to use that occasion for marketing promotions rather then interested in the real-needs of existing end-users... I feel sad about the orientation that this event takes now and thinking seriously about skipping it next year, and to focus only on User Group community gatherings. See Ya Convergence in 2020... maybe. For sure see you all in Reno NV this fall for the GPUG Summit.
Submitted by sueconrod on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 17:46 Permalink

GPUG has come along and is doing what Convergence does very well. So, now are they in competition with Convergence. And although I am a member of GPUG, I'm not willing to pay for it. When I go to convergence I want my information from the experts and not from GPUG users who don't know everything there is to know, only what they have gleaned from the system in the businesses they are in. And at Convergence we get to interact with the Developers who often find out how happy or unhappy we are with certain aspects of the software. And this has led to changes in the software in the past. Microsoft has been supporting GPUG, is this the way they go from having to do a "Convergence" that undoubtedly costs Microsoft more than they can charge. Sue Conrod

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Submitted by markr@rocktons… on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:42 Permalink

It has been my personal experience that the experts at Convergence are the same experts at GPUG, because users with real-life experience using GP are the experts, not the VPs and marketing heads who spin what's next and great. The real users are the experts who provide the value, and over the past 5+ years Convergence has shut more and more GP content down. Now, Microsoft is finally admitting their intent, and suggesting users go to GPUG. GPUG has far more value for a real GP user who wants to know real expert information on the product, how to use it, and how to get the most of it. Convergence is all about selling the next wave, about what's coming in the future (which often isn't finished coding or available yet). As a fervent GP community supporter and ISV for 16 years, based on what I saw and translating what Microsoft is saying, they are making it clear if you use GP/NAV/SL to STOP coming to Convergence, you'll be bored. I'm sad for this, but applaud Microsoft for trying to make it clear. What's tough for me as an ISV is that we're not sure if we should show up next year because we don't know if this message will be received by all GP attendees, and we don't want to miss reaching our customer base. We likely will show up next year to see if GP customers still show up, and then stop coming the following year as a GP ISV if indeed the GP users stop coming. Microsoft has a clear vision, not one that I'm excited about at all, but at least they have a vision. I'm sad to see "my" Convergence (its roots came exclusively from GP) hijacked into a yawn-fest of Microsoft ego. I'm equally ...

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Submitted by DynamicsUser2011 on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 13:26 Permalink

This separation of purpose between Summit and Convergence has been brewing for years. At the last Summit I attended we asked the question "why attend both?", the content being redundant. I enjoyed the Convergence conference because it was large and we learned about new products and features coming in the near future. That good for current customers. They also covered how businesses were increasing the revenue stream using Dynamics. That's useful for gathering new customers. In Summit we learned how to use the products we already have, and how real businesses including small businesses improved their internal operations through automation with Dynamics. Great for technologists and business analysts. I see this as a positive development, not a negative one.

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