DynamicsCon Live Preview: The life-changing possibilities of Business Central Configuration Packages

August 16 2022

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Editor's Note: MSDW is a media sponsor of DynamicsCon Live, running from September 14 to 16.

Next month I’ll have the great pleasure of presenting a session with Floyd Chan at DynamicsCon LIVE entitled Configuration Packages: A Life-Changing Experience.

Likely you already have at least one question. Why will it be a great pleasure? What is DynamicsCon LIVE? What are Configuration Packages?  And why are they a life-changing experience? Let me start from the top: DynamicsCon LIVE will be held September 14-16 in San Antonio, Texas. This is the second year for the in-person conference, following a very successful string of virtual conferences driven by the pandemic. It is offered and supported by the Dynamics User Group, the first user group for the Dynamics community, which was started in the 90s. If you know me, you know I’ve been involved in similar conferences for many years, and I truly am looking forward to this event.

This will be my first user-oriented conference since COVID, so of course I cannot wait to see so many colleagues and friends for the first time in three years. Also, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the programming committee for the conference, so I can share my inside knowledge that this will be a unique opportunity for users in our community to affordably connect with true experts to solve their challenges and gather new ideas for driving their businesses forward. How so? First is the range of Microsoft solutions covered: Dynamics 365 Business Central / NAV, F&O, CE, GP, and Power Platform. Second is the investment – registration is only $500 for two packed days (and there are coupons easily available), but registration increases on August 23. Third is the litany of experts. In the Business Central / NAV track alone, there are seven Microsoft MVPs speaking, and the speakers easily average 12-15 years of experience. Not only do I doubt you have a question they cannot answer, but the conference’s intimate size (registration is capped at 500) ensures you’ll have plenty of time with these experts (in plain English – that’s free consulting help!).  Can you tell I’m pretty jazzed?

As mentioned, I’m presenting a session with Floyd Chan. Floyd is President at Qixas Group, Inc., a long-time Business Central / NAV partner based in Toronto. If you’ve not met Floyd before, you’ve missed one of the “grandfathers” (though he’s not near that old) of our community. Qixas has been around longer than NAV has been in North America, so I wonder if there is anything Floyd doesn’t know about the system. I think Microsoft agrees, as Floyd has been one of Microsoft’s premier trainers of partners for many years. In short, Floyd loves solving people’s challenges. He is also a true pleasure to know and work with, so I hope you have the opportunity to chat with him in San Antonio.

So what about our session? Floyd is graciously allowing me to ride his coattails as we both present a session on Configuration Packages. If you’re not familiar with Configuration Packages in Business Central / NAV, these were formerly known as RapidStart and more traditionally were a tool for the implementation team as a means of populating data tables during the implementation project. Today this tool is easily accessible and understood by the end-user and is a flexible (and dare I say fun?) solution for exporting data from the system for use elsewhere or providing quick mass updates.

There are practically unlimited uses for this tool. For example, I’ve exported contacts from BC for import into marketing automation tools. You can use Configuration Packages to re-format contact phone numbers, re-assign sales territories, update item pricing, and so much more.

While you can teach yourself how to use them via Microsoft Docs, Google, and YouTube, there are a few gotchas that will bite you if you’re not careful (including knowing what checkbox will erase all your data), so it always seems smart to me to spend a few minutes with an expert and learn it the right way. For those new to Configuration Packages, I’ll start with a simple overview and walk through an easy example to get you comfortable with the opportunity. For those of you who are already familiar with this fantastic time-saver, Floyd will review advanced user tips and two more complicated use cases. It’s going to be a packed 50 minutes!

Need one more reason to attend the conference? I’ll be in my cowboy boots and hat, and that doesn't happen that often. I sure hope you do not miss this fantastic and valuable opportunity. I’ll see you in San Antonio!  

About Mark Rhodes

Mark is passionate about saving people time and has spent his career applying process improvement and technology to make others' jobs easier. A 20-year veteran of the Microsoft Dynamics world, Mark has led projects of all types and size at partners large and small. For much of that time Mark had the pleasure of serving the Business Central / NAV User Group community as General Manager, responsible for a wide range of content and education for its members. Now with Continia Software Mark strives every day to help BC / NAV customers eliminate paper and manual activities with industry-leading document automation and expense management solutions. You can connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/markrhodes-mba/.

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