I have been supporting Microsoft Dynamics SL since 2007 and never had the opportunity to go to Convergence. I’m glad I now have a mentor willing to make this kind of investment in me. As a first time attendee of Convergence my expectations were based on a combination of all the other expositions I have ever attended. This might even be how it turned out for someone that didn’t engage the opportunity to its fullest potential. For those of us that did, what a rewarding time it was.
I love to participate in training sessions. For end users and support teams alike there is too much useful information to absorb in a week. A big win for convergence is the gathering of so many subject matter rock stars into one place. That these gurus sacrifice a week from billable work to share their knowledge and “real world” experience is a huge gift to the Dynamics ecosystem.
I am one who supports customers from the worldview of an IT professional as opposed to that of an accountant. During Convergence, I discovered that I enjoy getting mixed into sessions where the end users are participating in the conversation. Hearing the advice, frustrations, challenges and needs from their perspective can’t be reproduced in any other venue. I will use what I learned to take my service to them to the next level.
I didn’t discover that I really wanted to spend a lot of time out there until it was too late. I had several great conversations with vendors that support the products I sell. There are many nuances to the products we support but we never really take time to learn them all. I promised one that I would dedicate a couple of extra hours a week rereading the user manual to find these little gold nuggets. Some of that stuff is game changing.
Even better than talking to my vendors, is checking out products I didn’t know existed. Usually these are products solving problems I didn’t know existed. There are so many problems unique to the various industries it is hard to know about them all. Spending time out here can really prepare one to assist a future client. Next year I will concentrate harder on this area.
We made an effort to sit with a group of strangers every time we went to the dining hall. I also spoke to someone at the coffee stations whenever possible. I must say that as a group, those of us with an interest in Microsoft Dynamics are a pretty neat bunch of people. I can’t think of another group of strangers I meet with that I enjoy being around as much as with the folks in New Orleans this week.
Speaking of getting coffee, I heard someone say that he likes to make his taste like ice cream. I’m still laughing about that.