We are at the end of this year. I could hardly say – good year as we have global pandemic and people dye. But new year is coming and there are some lights at the end of tunnel; vaccine appears and probably we will have better year as I think it is not possible to have worse one.
Let’s see what events await us in 2021. I (and probably nobody) don’t know if these events will go virtually as this year or on site if this is possible, but let’s see what we will have.
In the first half of year, we will start with Directions events:
Of course we have more, but still not scheduled. What you can do now is to sign up and join mailing lists to be updated when they announce dates. Currently, I can suggest to do it for the following events:
On the end, I really hope we will win Corona virus and we will have minimum few events in live as conference is not only about content and it is about networking and building friendships. We as human beans still need live communications. Maybe we proved that a lot of things can be done in virtual environment, but some thing can be done only in real world.
I hope we will have healthier and more successful new year and I’ll meet some of you in person.
Directions EMEA and Asia has just started today. This is the first-time virtual Directions ever and I can just imagine how challenged it was to prepare everything in very short time. But based on what I saw today, everything is well organized. OK, this is not the same as live event and I would like to have an opportunity to meet all of you in person, but it is still the great option with not only sessions but with a lot of networking opportunities. And just to mention, this is the biggest Directions ever with 2775+ attendees. Great achievement!
Today we had the first day Keynote and after that I had my first session. Now I want to share my experience from these two parts of today’s event.
Christian Sega started with good news about numbers (2775+ attendees, 60+ countries, 147 sessions, 101 speaker…) and future of this event and finally we had an opportunity to see Mike Morton as a new GM on the Directions stage… unfortunately not in live, but again this is the first time on Directions stage.
Mike presented roughly the most important directions from this BC release and they are:
Deliver seamless service and performance
Design for compliance and security
Develop ISVs and globalization
Delight customers by exceeding expectations
Drive better together Microsoft experiences
Let’s talk about these directions in the next days. Now I want to talk more about numbers. First time we had an opportunity to see official numbers about BC SaaS customers – there are 10.000 BC online customers and by my opinion this is an amazing result. And only this, there are other impressive results…
I don’t want to forget great rest of the keynote with Claus, Jannik and other PM’s where they showed some new and really good features.
And finally, Mike announced roadmap and some new features ready for the next release. First let’s make a look at new roadmap:
Now make a look at some of the next release’s features:
Finally, we will get Report Extensibility as this is one of the highest voted idea from users and partners… this is something we are really missing.
We will get enhancement printing features in BC, improving complex hybrid setup, taking care about user access to printers, eliminating admin of print servers or printer drivers, printing from anywhere…
Easily onboard of new clients to BC using step-by-step guide how to configure and prepare your solution, and it will be possible to use for partner’s addons as well.
Better integration of BC with Teams as using BC directly from Teams.
What I wanted to emphasize… completely experience with the Directions4Partners platform was/is great (if I forget some minor technical issues… who knows, maybe only at my place😊 because of my connection). You could have a feeling you are really on a site. This is briefly my experience from my first session. After 30 minutes prerecorded session, we had additional 15 minutes for live Q&A. I have a lot of questions and I had an opportunity to have a live answering session and it was good experience. As we probably had more question, we needed to continue our chat somewhere. For this purpose, we could go out to the Q&A session room and continue with discussions about all specific topics. Really great experience. I had an opportunity to meet some of friends and big thanks to Arend JK who attended my session and who continue chat with me and few other attendees in the Q&A session room. He also helped me answering on some questions. Big thanks for you Arend as well as to Christian Sega who joined us in after session time.
I’m looking forward to see more sessions today and next two days and I really hope it will be great experience.
All Dynamics events until the end of 2020 will go virtually… or they are cancelled. I don’t know what to say… if it is a good or bad. Definitely virtual event cannot replace live one and I’ll try to explain why. But with given circumstances, I think that going virtual is the best possible option… on the first place because of our health and not losing community work.
Right now, we have the following situation with all our Dynamics events:
First, we will start with D365 Community Summit. It will go virtual instead in Nashville and it will be held in period October 7-9, 2020. Agenda is already ready and if you didn’t register, you can see details and register here.
Directions EMEA and Directions Asia, instead of Prague and Bangkok will be organized as a common virtual event in period November 3-5, 2020. More information here.
Directions NA, Orlando is unfortunately canceled for this year. But as Directions EMEA and Asia will go virtually, it means there is not any limitations for colleagues from North America to join this even.
NAV TechDays is canceled somewhere on the beginning of Corona crisis and we will not have opportunity to meet before next year.
OK, I wanted to explain why I’m not a fan of virtual events… but to be honest it is probably better to have them in comparison with cancelation all these events. With virtual event you can still have an opportunity to listen prepared content and this is good. But… attending conferences is not all about content… content is important of course, but more important is an opportunity to openly ask what you need and not to get an answer only from presenter. You have an opportunity for discussion on sessions, but probably more important during the pauses. All these networking is not possible to be created in a virtual world… minimum it is not possible in this moment. And communication between presenter and attendees actually doesn’t exist in the virtual event. And when I’m talking about all of these, this is not problem only for attendees, it is not inspiring for lecturers as well (it is not the same when you have people in the front of you and when you have camera and laptop).
But again, with these circumstances, this is much better to have virtual events than not having them at all. And I must admit in a few digital events I’ve already participated, organization was really the best possible what somebody can make in a virtual world… and probably beyond my expectations. But again, this is not the same ☹.
And on the end, our hopes for the next year are that we can see each other in a live. I hope we will have much better health situation and we will attend minimum these already scheduled events:
Directions Asia, April 15-16, 2021 – Bangkok, Thailand
Directions NA, April 25-28, 2021 – San Diego, CA, US
Directions EMEA, October 7-9, 2021 – Milan, Italy,
NAV TechDays, November 16-19, 2021 – Antwerp, Belgium
A couple days ago, we had an opportunity to participate first Business Central Virtual Event. This was good opportunity to see what is new in Business Central and the team during these times when we don’t have in person events (Directions Asia and Directions US are postponed to the end of this year).
With all existing and new features Business Central confirms that this solution is an important member of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft family, available for easy using and integration and collaboration with other systems through Azure cloud.
It is presented to us a new Business Central GM – Mike Morton, an experienced Microsoft leader, who introduce himself to the community as well as his first plans for Business Central. As important results he mentioned that now Business Central on cloud has 6000+ customers with 250+% YoY growth.
During this event we had a great opportunity to see some new features as well as to hear what is planned for the future releases. One of these great features planned in the next release is SmartList Designer – a great reporting tool inspired with GP tool and created in PowerApps. Further we could hear about new integration with teams as one of the most important integrations with other Microsoft products.
I don’t want to write about all features in this new release (2020 Wave 1), as you can find all details here. I just want to emphasize a few of these features. Finally, we have all languages available for using… and not only Microsoft official localizations, but also partner translations for much more countries. And one of my favorite features – integration with CDS; really great improvement which will have a huge impact on future implementation; I want to write independent blog post about this feature and this is a reason I don’t write here more. There is a lot of UI improvements (Collection of pages with already configured filters per pages, now you can bookmark reports as well, pages with two parallel lines, you can collapse or expand your lines on the page e.g. in CoA, personalization is really improved…). Finally, we can purchase resources… something partners developed in the past, but now available by default. Many great development improvements as well as on the server/database side (e.g. database read-only replica for reports, API pages, and query objects).
After amazing conference in The Hague this fall – Directions EMEA, we have two another great events until the end of this year. First in Europe, NAV TechDays will come in November 22-23 and after that we will go to US on eXtreme 365, December 2-6, Austin Texas.
This event was dominantly Dynamics CRM conference for a years, but in a last few years, we have more and more topics in ERP area as well. And now it is Dynamic 365 conference and it is very important because we have more and more partners from CRM world who want to start ERP practice as well.
This time we will have a lot of interesting content there and I’ll provide six sessions about Dynamics 365 Business Central, each in 75 minutes (7,5 hours in total – not so bad).
We’ve just finished amazing NAVUG Summit in Nashville and got all confirmation about NAV future as SaaS and on-prem options. But in this period we can start to make a plan for the next year about the most important events, because almost all of them are already announced.
First in the spring 2018, we will have Directions Asiain Bangkokin period March 15 – 16. By my opinion, this event will be very important to attend, because Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ is planed for this spring.
After that, one month later we will move to Europe to Summit EMEA in Dublin, Ireland in period from April 24th to 26th.
Later this year after summer, on the fall 2018, we will have another well known conferences. First we will start with Directions NA, this time in beautiful California, in San Diego between September 30 and October 3.
This time, NAVUG Summitwill come before Directions EMEA, and it will be in October 15-18 at sunny Arizona in Phoenix.
And on the end, one month after North America premiere, we will have Directions EMEA, this time in Hague in Netherlands. It will be held in period October 31 – November 2.
Of course, we have one more very important – NAV TechDays, but we still don’t know when it will be the next year.