2018 began with a clear vision for my team and I – embrace Digital Transformation and transmit our know-how to our customers. Internationally. In addition to hectically moving on with projects and daily business operations, we were eagerly anticipating eXtreme365 EMEA for partners, which took place on March 19-21 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Aiming to remain on top of the fast pacing Dynamics world, we packed our business travel kits and 5 of us headed towards sunny (in our minds) Dubrovnik.
Before I jump into the cheese details, let me give you some foundation on the event. eXtreme365 is an annual conference for Microsoft Dynamics partners and customers – an immense Dynamics 365 education & networking platform. It was established back in 2010 eXtremeCRM and with the introduction of Dynamics 365, the organization was entirely re-engineered to incorporate all Dynamics 365 fundamentals. Filled with beneficial sessions and planned into streams of Sales & Presales, Marketing, Operations, and Technical, the event also provided for parallel Executive Exchange assembles, where a diverse range of strategic and tactical management matters are tackled.
As a Dynamics Partner, eXtreme365 is a must-attend conference to keep on delivering highest quality consultancy, implementations and innovative solutions. The event gathers together at one location some of the smartest and most knowledgeable functional and technical consultants, solution architects, and Dynamics 365/CRM developers. What I personally love about eXtreme365 is the community – an enthusiastic and passionate community, curious and keen on discovering Dynamics 365 roadmap. In almost every session you can meet Dynamics 365 (CRM) MVPs, principal architects from Microsoft, the people driving not only the platform, but the entire concept forward.
When hearing Dubrovnik, probably a clear majority of people would imagine that being located in Bulgaria, we would easily and rapidly get there. Well, not per se. After 3 connection flights around Central and Eastern Europe, we managed to land safely in the beautiful city.
This is a ‘Dynamics’ World
In recent days Dynamics partners worldwide face the largest challenges ever. The recipe including cloud, new pricing models, subscription pricing, high demands of augmented quality, increasing demands for quick implementations, the new types of competition, successful user adoption, ongoing innovation and altering buying trends – all call for the re-engineering of business models, ongoing change, and continuous learning. These trends are all fused into the latest concept of Digital Transformation.
eXtreme365 Dubrovnik 2018 was all about Digital Transformation. This was the refrain that melodically accompanied every presentation, session, and panel discussion. But how do we achieve that and persevere the added value for our customers? I summarized it in a few major takeaways:
- Common Data Service & PowerApps
- Outlook App
- Sales Navigator and LinkedIn
- Unified Client Experience
- Massive App Improvements
In addition to the widely intriguing keynotes and these major topics we should all consider from now on, the event has placed an emphasis on attracting more women in developing successful careers in technology.
Dynamics 365 online and what we’ve conventionally known as Dynamics CRM continues to evolve. Jean-Philippe Courtois – Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, discussed the “Dynamics 365 Product Roadmap” and particularly how to further accelerate Digital Transformation with the upcoming system releases, while a crowd of over 1000 participants watched a live link to Business Forward from Amsterdam.
In addition to the VPs live keynote, we observed some erudite keynote speakers on stage as well. I particularly fancied the memorable keynote by Cecilia Flombaum – Business Applications Partner Lead, Microsoft Corporation, on “Business Applications from Microsoft, an Unparalleled Business Opportunity”. Her energy and personality are overwhelming to attend to. Cecilia touched upon the following foremost topics:
- How to help Dynamics customers cut costs by optimizing operations
- How to increase productivity and customers’ margins to empower employees
- How to engage Dynamics customers to help them augment their revenues
- How do we drive new streams of revenue by transforming products?
Mike Ehrenberg, Technical Fellow & CTO – Business Solutions, Microsoft, delivered a keynote on “Winning in the Market with Dynamics 365 and Intelligent Business Cloud”. Mike answered questions like “What it means to market Dynamics 365 at a strategic level?”, “How is the game changing?”, “How do we get insights?”. As Mike explained, people don’t buy Dynamics 365, so they can put data in, but they rather buy it, so they can get insight out.
This is the first part of my post about eXtrem365. The next one will be with more details about all the exciting new features and developments around Dynamics 365. So stay tuned!