Convergence EMEA has been called the most important event of the year for business decision makers, and based on the first day packed with sessions, keynote, roundtables and invaluable networking opportunities - that’s not far off the mark. This year there are over 5,000 attendees from 2,236 organisations, 79 countries and 18 different industries! We also smashed the record in the UK attendees - it was great to see such a strong UK presence here in Barcelona this year! More Brits means more chances to network, share ideas, and build connections with influential UK business decision makers across different industries and sectors. Highlights from the day 1 from Convergence EMEA: What came across all the sessions today is that digital is changing how the business gets done. The sessions concentrated on digital transformation and insights on how start-ups, small and medium businesses as well as large enterprises across different industries can turn the challenges transformation brings into opportunities. Here are our top picks of the day: Keynote: Digital Transformation in the age of the customer The world is changing and the way people do business is transforming … fast. 94% of businesses have already added digital in the mix, however most of the companies have simply added it to their existing business models instead of redefining their business. Most companies have only scratched the surface what comes to possibilities in the digital world! Organisations know they need to integrate digital processes, but often people don’t really agree on what “digital transformation means and what is takes to get there”. According to Jean-Philippe Courtois, President Microsoft International, building a digital business transformation is a team sport, and CEOs must reinvent their roles to drive the transformation. It is more than implementing a piece of technology, it is not a one-off transformation project. To become a digital business you have to adopt a digital-first mindset, reimagine your business and connect everything. Microsoft’s role is to give tools for this transformation to be done in a structured way. We are also giving tools for people to collaborate better, as the way people work is transforming, with millennials prefering technology for communication. To showcase these tools, Christopher Capossela executive vice president and CMO Microsoft, shared a live demo on Skype for Business, Powerapps as well as CRM 2016. We are moving towards smarter, easy to use and more adaptive systems that are more flexible - and much more mobile. We also heard from Ghislaine Prins-Evers, head of digital sales transformation Heineken, how important it is for sales reps to have right information in the right place. In the end digital transformation is all about the people, the culture and the mindset. Watch the keynote Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is now available Exciting news: Dynamics CRM 2016 is finally here! We have been transforming our CRM offerings to leverage the full power of Microsoft to enable organizations to personalise customer experiences and engage customers at the right time, in the right place and with the right content. We are giving you the tools to be more proactive, and the intelligence to be able to predict trends and identify patterns -- so you know what the customer needs and wants before they do. Dynamics CRM 2016 has the advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite to preview our first intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social: Intelligent selling with cross-sell recommendations so sales reps can predict which products and services a customer will need during the sales cycle. Intelligent customer service with knowledge articles recommendations to empower service agents with answers to questions so they can more effectively resolve customer cases and solve problems on the spot. Intelligent social with machine learning capabilities powering sentiment analysis, as well as the ability to process significant streams of data to detect social posts that are most likely to be customer service cases or new leads. Intelligent collaboration with Delve functionality to surface trending content that is most relevant to what a person is working on. Capabilities in CRM 2016 are seamlessly embedded into productivity tools, including Office 365, and it has full offline mobile capabilities for phones and tablets, the ability to create task-based mobile apps, Mobile Application Management with Microsoft Intune and next generation Cortana integration that surfaces CRM data for key sales activities, accounts and deals, and mobile marketing with SMS capabilities. Find out more about Dynamics CRM Mobility – work force on the go Big topic that came across almost all sessions on day 1 was mobility - in a world where people are constantly on the go, the ability to work from mobile devices is imperative. As Ghislaine Prins-Evers, head of digital sales transformation Heineken, stated during the keynote, one of the problems that a sales person experiences is the disconnect between handling a prospect in the showroom or their office, and sharing the right information with them on the go. You might need to get a brochure or check availability of the product, which means going to back to your desk or office. What if all this information could be combined in a mobile app, enabling everything to happen while the prospect is sitting in the vehicle they would like to buy? Now you can achieve mobility of the road using business solutions from Microsoft. Dynamics CRM 2016 and mobile solutions powered by Dynamics Nav 2016 can improve productivity anywhere at anytime – they are now available for mobile devices via Windows store, App Store or Google Play. Find out more about Dynamics More productive sales teams Just providing the mobility and tools for your sales team is not enough. For maximum sales productivity and forecast accuracy, sellers need to actively use sales tools like CRM, but adopting these tools can be challenging for many sales organisations. One of the possibilities to engage and excite your team to drive better results is gamification, yet in most typical sales contests everybody is excited on day one, but then sales reps realise they have falled too far behind and stop trying, paying attention, disengage and give up. All that effort for something that is destined to fail almost from the start. But there's a solution for it! We heard how a unique team based approach can help organisation run more engaging and higher performing sales contest to motivate the middle 50%: Watch the webcast Industry focus: Manufacturing Manufacturing has changed. Mass production has its place but there is now a need for manufacturers to be totally focused on adding value, getting closer to their customers and adding intelligence and hi-technology capability to their products. This is why manufacturers are reimagining the customer journey with insights from social listening, smart connected products and advanced analytics to challenge traditional business models. Your manufacturing software needs to keep up with the 4th industrial revolution and opportunities presented by the industrial internet of things! Other transformation has happened in the customer relationship on B2B channels. Today’s business customer is as daunting as today’s consumer. Whether your goods are simple of complex, customers are savvy, want products tailored to their specifications and are tough on pricing and time to delivery. That means you need an excellent CRM as well as ERP software for manufacturing to optimise the business processes and create high value sustainable relationships. Learn how UK Manufacturers are benefitting from the Microsoft’s manufacturing capability: Find out more Networking - welcome reception In addition to the fantastic line-up of sessions and content we are enjoying in Barcelona, one of the most valuable aspects of the event is the chance to network and connect with others who have similar interests, similar roles, or work in similar industries. It was great to meet such interesting people during the welcome reception in Hall 7 - and have to say tapas were delicious! What became clear is that Convergence is not just an event where we at Microsoft simply present our technologies and innovations. Convergence is an opportunity to gain new insights that will help you take your business further, get inspired by thought-leading customers, industry experts and Microsoft executives, share your expertise and ideas, plus profit of the invaluable networking opportunities the event has to offer. Roll on, day 2!