AXUG & CRMUG Kicks Off with Advice from Storm Chaser George Kourounis – No Fear!
October Blog Series: Saving Time & Energy
Insights From: Jamie Bracewell (Edgewater Fullscope, Director of Marketing)
Edgewater Fullscope is pleased to have a large ERP and CRM team at the AXUG and CRUMG Summits in Reno, NV, and we look forward to an exciting week with our customers, partners and Microsoft friends.
Here's what I learned this morning:
In the early sessions Summit Communities Executive Andy Hafer and AXUG Chairman Brian Cates, AXUG Chairman, disclosed that 51% of attendees are first timers. Wow! I remember attending the first AXUG session many moons ago, with a small table top exhibit area. Brian and Andy confirmed that we have 1300 AXUG attendees, and 750 CRMUG attendees as of this morning. The numbers continue to rise each year as the love and adoption of Microsoft Dynamics solutions continue to sweep business users. Speaking of growing, the Expo hall is huge, with expansion to include all Dynamics groups (come see us in booth #226) if you are here.
From the User Group (UG) leadership teams, we heard interesting tidbits, including that apparently the CRMUG UK has the most fun, touting meetings, site visits and then pub crawls; and we heard of a record-breaking 167 people attending one CRMUG North Central meeting. From an AXUG perspective, we were reminded of the deeper learning workshops (Fullscope was a proud participant) that occurred in the spring, with three tracks for Manufacturing, Business Intelligence (BI) and Upgrades. The event will occur again in May 2016. CRMUG successfully rolled out its own deeper learning "Black Belt" program, and 83 people to date have received this highest level of Dynamics CRM Administrator-level certification.
Next up was the ever-exciting storm chaser and host of Angry Planet, George Kourounis. In a kickoff session designed to show us how to use fear to our advantage, he did just that. I must admit I am not familiar with George's show, but that didn't matter. His presentation showed photos of him in action – chasing tornadoes, braving monsoons and entering the fiery belly of volcanoes. And he had a scary story about bats … I'll leave that one for you to find on the Internet). He clearly is "trying to go where most people are running away from."
George reminded us of what we should already know: "fear is our friend … It's good and keeps us alive … If you don't have fear, you are a fool … Fear tells you when you need to do something."
So let's take that to our Dynamics world. Can CRM and ERP projects and upgrades cause fear? You bet they can. These are serious solutions that can make or break your business. They can even make or break careers. But in George's words, "If you want things you never had before, you must be willing to do things you never done before." This certainly applies to Dynamics. With the new release of CRM 2015 and the upcoming Dynamics AX 7.0, these solutions will bring new features and opportunities to the table, some that may initially make us fearful of change and want to stick with what we have. George would tell us to embrace those new opportunities, especially as he ended with this advice: "We're all riding this rock through space, what do we have to lose? Do the things that frighten you. When afraid, don't run -- act."
If you want more info on George, follow him on Twitter @georgekourounis or visit www.furiousresearch.com
The final AXUG session this morning for me was the AXUG Keynote and General Session Kickoff, led by General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics AX Sri Srinivasan and Dan Brown, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics AX Research and Development. The biggest highlight of this session was a demo of AX 7.0 which I cannot begin to capture here, but if you are interested, visit the Microsoft website to stay current on announcements.
With additional importance, Dan recapped Microsoft AX team's deliveries over the past 12 months, including:
- AX 2012 monthly or six-month updates
- Ensured compatibility with other Microsoft products like Windows 10
- Extended mainstream support of AX 2009 and AX 2012
- Better support through LCS, including faster resolution and issue support
- Improved regulatory compliance and regulatory communications
- More localization partnerships including translation services
- Functional improvements like advanced warehouse management
That's a wrap for the first morning of AXUG for me – stay tuned all week for more updates.