by Brandon Hoog

If you have never been to the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence conference, you have no idea what you are missing!  I like to think of Convergence as a one stop shop for all things related to Microsoft Dynamics.  Customers of the Microsoft ERP products have a single place to go for training, networking, and information on additional software solutions.

It's best to think of Convergence as a marathon through a great amusement park with 10,000 of your closest friends.  Everyone starts with a bang at the opening keynote during which you will get a broad overview of all the Dynamics products and will hear some great customer stories.  Then, everyone heads to their favorite land.  Your favorite may be AX or SL or perhaps GP or NAV, and many may head toward CRM. 

Once in your land, there are many great rides to choose from.  No matter what your product focus is, there are many different types of sessions you can attend on the ERP that interests you.  There are high level overview sessions and deep dive technical sessions as well as interactive discussions.  So whether you're a thrill seeker or a novice (or for that matter an accountant or IT professional or business leader), there is a session for you.  You may need to attend both GP and CRM sessions and thankfully the extensive schedule offers plenty of time for learning about multiple products.

Much of your learning at Convergence also comes from networking.  Whether it is during a meal, in the vendor expo, or at another social event, you will be amazed at how much insight you may receive from a brief conversation with someone who has shared the same difficulty as you or has determined a new and improved way of handling a process in your system.

Just when you think it may be time to go back to your hotel room, the fun continues (remember this is a marathon)!  There are receptions, vendor dinners, and the big Convergence closing party....and enough great food for an army.  Therefore, when you finally exit this great multi-day experience, you will return to work invigorated and excited about your Microsoft ERP environment and the new relationships you have formed.  But it is important to note, as with any good marathon or amusement park visit, don't forget your comfortable shoes!

Brandon Hoog is Chief Information Officer at Harrison, Walker & Harper in Paris, Texas.