11d3a18c-236e-49bd-8415-824ff0958521wallpaperLast week we were lucky enough to travel to New Orleans, LA for Microsoft Convergence 2013.

This year was the biggest year yet, with over 11,000 attendees. If you’ve never been to convergence before (like me) this experience is unforgettable. Not only are the sessions fun and informative, the expo hall is the largest, most energetic expo you will ever see! Not to mention the swag and fun games the VARs and ISVs use to get you into their booth!

Almost every minute of every day is planned for you. Breakfast and lunches are included, sessions run all day and of course, there are plenty of Convergence sponsored parties to choose from at night. Matchbox20 even performed a private concert for all attendees at the end of the week!

I would have to say it was really impressive to see how far Microsoft Dynamics CRM has come. Although the conference covers all Dynamics products lines, the CRM product was all everyone was talking about. From the keynote speakers to the demos of new features it was all about CRM this year- which is very cool. As the Marketing Manager at Rimrock Corporation, I can’t help but be excited for what CRM has to offer in 2013:

MARKETINGPILOT

marketingpilot-microsoft-dynamicsLast year Microsoft acquired MarketingPilot. This will be marketing automation to the fullest. Microsoft has now re-written the user interface and are launching some imbedded and integrated elements with CRM. This will allow for functionality like email blasting, tracking and analysis that in the past was not available with CRM. A very cool look and feel and some outstanding functionality for professional marketing departments. I’m not quite sure what this means for ISV’s (like ClickDimensions or Marketo) but Microsoft will be releasing details on pricing in the next 30 days.

NETBREEZE

netbreezeMicrosoft announced at Convergence that is has acquired NetBreeze. This will enable multi-lingual social analytics. This should ultimately be included innately in the application once Microsoft has worked out all the details on how the two platforms will work together. Look for something in the next few quarters. By the way, some Yammer integration is currently available with CRM but there is a lot more to come.

CRM USER EXPERIENCE

In December, Microsoft released its 2012 release to the CRM Online environment. This new User Interface will be the groundwork for their future direction of the product. Flat, modern, less clicky user interface that will be accessible and useable on all types of devices (laptops and tablet devices). In the next release of CRM (Orion) which will come this summer, the new process driven user interface will be available for both on-premises and on-line and will be available on all entities (even custom). The processes will also be available to go across multiple entities like lead to opportunity to quotes to orders. Very useful and more expandable.

More Information or a Demo