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Why 2015 may have been my last Convergence conference

by Mark Polino
Director of Client Services, Fastpath, Integrated Business Group
March 26 2015

My first Convergence was in March of 1999. I'd been working with Great Plains Dynamics for about six weeks. The company I worked for was still implementing Dynamics CS+. These were the days of version 5.0, and Great Plains was changing the product name to eEnterprise with the 5.5 release. We were confused by the messages at Convergence. What is this eEnterprise thing? Is it different from Dynamics CS+? We wanted the best and we were afraid that we didn't have it. We finally figured it all out. eEnterprise was the next release of CS+. Everything was going to be fine. Crisis averted.

I've missed one Convergence since then, the first San Diego conference. Of course, since I live in Orlando and Convergence was held there for so many years, the early ones were easy to get to.  For the mathematically challenged, that's 16 times I've converged. I've been a speaker since 2009 where I messed with everyone's heads with the debut of 50 Tips in 50 Minutes for Dynamics GP. That presentation was itself a knockoff of a 100 Office Tips in 100 Minutes that the Office team did at a Convergence at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. Good artists copy; great artists steal. [Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso, et al]

But Convergence is changing. I have it on good authority that Microsoft watered down their statement at the last minute, so I'm going to tell you what I know. Microsoft is consolidating their in-person events into a few, large shows. Convergence is becoming the business oriented show, which, somewhat ironically, means less focus on hard-core business applications like all of the Dynamics ERP and CRM products. Dynamics may still have a presence there, ...

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

More about Mark Polino
Submitted by Jeff451 on Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:57 Permalink

Convergence 2015 in Atlanta was my first one since 2010 and my 8th overall since 2002. The event certainly has changed it's focus over the years. Dynamics GP was not even mentioned during Satya's keynote. That was somewhat surprising considering his tenure as vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. I think GPUG is going to be my best bet for the deep dive technical information on Dynamics GP. Jeff Coates

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by DavidMO2 on Wed, 04/08/2015 - 09:52 Permalink

Thanks Mark for all you do! I also have done 8 conferences, since 2005, when I started supporting GP. I went to learn more about it's capabilities and to get the details on the underlying workings from the experts. I would hate to give up going to Convergence, since I have learn to much over the year from it. I have just started to give back to new users what I have learned! That being said, if it goes the way we've been hearing and Mark's statements confirm, I may have to bow out as well. Maybe if enough of us make our voices heard, they might reconsider? It wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has changed direction. Drop the glitzy bands and focus on the Dynamics customers that have built Convergence! David Morinello

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by rwheeler23 on Wed, 04/08/2015 - 15:42 Permalink

Yes, I go back to the old Stampede de Fargo days when we had to wait for them to get the cows off the runway before we could land. I wish we could get Microsoft to listen to us but we do not even know to whom to speak. MS Dynamics GP is a great product with an excellent following and client base. I know AX is Microsoft's new baby but please do not forget what got you there. I would not like to think I just attended my last Convergence. Richard E. Wheeler Microsoft 2013-2015 Most Valuable Professional

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by MikeLupro on Wed, 04/08/2015 - 18:45 Permalink

I go to these events to meet ISV's and hear what's new with the product I support. For a couple of years I've been feeling GP pushed out of focus with the expanding presence of AX. However, I feel that AX is too big and too expensive for the clients I like to work with. I've no use for clients with 125 users because I lose the personal contact and satisfaction I get from helping INDIVIDUALS. In the past I've traded a Convergence trip for a GPUG Summit trip. And I believe GPUG Summit will now see an even larger and increasing number of ISV's and GP Users as the GP world leaves Convergence for Summit. You can't beat the dedication of people like Bob McAdam and Kim Peterson, or any of the other fabulous staff at GPUG. It is all about a GP focus and that doesn't appear to be coming from any other source at the moment. So now I'll have one less choice to make and Summit will be on my list. I love easy decisions. Mike Lupro - MCP

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)