D365UG/AXUG Summit Preview: What brings Microsoft Dynamics AX/365 users back

September 14 2018

Summit 2018

Users of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Dynamics AX will soon be coming together at D365UG/AXUG Summit in Phoenix, from October 15-18. Programming committee member Paul Martin, production program manager for Elite Comfort Solutions, spoke with MSDW about his involvement in the event as well as what attendees can expect at the D365UG/AXUG Summit in Phoenix, from October 15-18. Julie Deutz, D365UG/AXUG program manager, also spoke with MSDW about the event.

MSDW: Could you talk a little about your involvement in the upcoming AXUG Summit?

Martin: I’ll be co-presenting one session “Report & Upload All Your Dynamics Data . . . in Excel!” with insightsoftware on their Atlas product.

There also are a lot of sessions I’m looking forward to as an attendee. But this year, [because of work commitments] I’m taking on the role of moderator rather than presenter. As a moderator I’ll be able to contribute to what’s going on – just like a TV talk show host. Next year, though, I’m looking forward to presenting on the lessons I’ve learned changing our company to Dynamics 365 from AX 2012

How did you decide what sessions to include at Summit?

Martin: I was on the programming committee and with Julie leading us we looked at all the different proposals that were there and I would gravitate toward the things that interested me.

My role was really reviewing the material and helping to decide which sessions would be the most beneficial to the most participants in the user group. Although every submission we got was good, there were only so many sessions and so much time at Summit.

Deutz:  For the AX user group we had almost 500 content submissions from users and partners, and less than 200 spots to fill. It was a matter of organizing them by content type or track, then a committee of users went through and voted for the ones they thought were most relevant in the workplace and in the user base. It was a very tough process to get through because all the submissions were good, but it was about what was going to have the most impact and the most benefits.

Why should people attend AXUG Summit?

Deutz: People come to Summit because they want to learn their ERP product better. In addition, we have all the different tracks. You have manufacturing experts, you have implementation experts, you have IT people. So it’s really slicing and dicing based on version and job role to get to what best fits the needs of the user community. AXUG is entirely committed to addressing the needs of all its members, regardless of their experiences, job roles, or what versions of AX they’re running. We try to be really careful so that everybody gets a bit of what they need.

Martin: I think that’s the beautiful thing about Summit – there’s something there for everyone. I have yet to go to a Summit and leave without learning something I didn’t know before I went. And even more than the education piece, I have made more connections that have been so beneficial to me in my career. There’s the networking and the ability to share with the other users the things you’re running into and that they are running into. It’s a win-win all the way around.

What can attendees expect from their peers at Summit as well as from Microsoft?

Deutz: I often say there’s no better instructor than an actual user. And what makes Summit unlike any other conference is that we have dozens of member showcases. Sometimes we have a partner and a user or just a user presenting their implementation or migration experiences. That includes all the gotchas and the challenges and all the best practices they learned. It’s not always a pretty picture. But when you hear it, we hope that those stories will make many attendees’ paths easier from planning to implementation.

Martin: You will hear your peers share their experiences and talk about the implementations they’ve done, the lessons they’ve learned, the trials and tribulations they’ve gone through to get their systems running, and the things they’ve discovered along the way. There will be roundtable sessions where there will be a sharing between the users – and that’s the one thing that keeps me volunteering year after year. As long as I’ve had an association with the D365UG/AXUG, the direction of the group has consistently been for the user community.

So this isn’t about Microsoft, it’s about the users and how we can help each other be more successful and how we can help the product grow and develop to what it needs to be for all of us to be very successful in the business that we’re in today.

Deutz: Microsoft is extremely involved in Summit from an educational perspective. We have a separate track that is just for Microsoft and they’ll offer in that track sessions on new functionality and the direction they’re taking with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. We also have other sessions called “feedback sessions” where the Microsoft product team and user experience team are looking for real-time input on new functionalities or user interface experiences. So they show something and a small group of 20-25 users interacting give them feedback. It’s an opportunity for users to be part of shaping the future of the product line.

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.

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