Directions NA 2017 Recap

It’s been quite a week at Directions in Orlando. I’ve written about the confusion in the halls of the JW Marriott Grande Lakes resort, and I wanted to follow up about the closing keynote, and share an article by Microsoft’s General Manager for Business Apps & Strategy.

First the closing keynote, which was a very impressive thing to behold. This week has given me even more respect for Marko Perisic than I already had, because of the way that he owned what he said during the opening keynote, the way he listened to the event attendees during a few Q&A sessions, and how he has taken responsibility to do something with the feedback that he’s received this week. I already knew how much he cares and how much his team cares. Over the past decade I’ve gotten to know many of them quite closely, and they are really a great group of people that have their hearts in the right place. We are in good hands with them.

So, there are 4 items on the todo list:

  1. The ‘white label thing’ is not going to work. We are Microsoft partners, and we need the Microsoft brand.
    • I think the white label thing got taken out of context a little bit. I know someone said “once you change 1 line of code you own the product” but of course it’s more complex than that.
    • The point is that this is a Microsoft product, and we create things to extend it. We add to it, but it is still a Microsoft ecosystem, and we need to be able to leverage that
  2. Delaying the release until spring is creating confusion, and the delay in decision is going to cost many partners a LOT of money. Marko has committed to see if he can fix that
  3. Non-NAV Partners have nothing to sell at the moment. Microsoft needs to be more clear about how non-NAV partners can move into Dynamics 365
  4. Microsoft needs to be crystal clear toward the user group, and there is a firm commitment to be more involved with the user groups

Now toward the end, Marko shared a picture of a word cloud. This was the result of an internal survey, where everyone in the NAV team expressed their feelings toward the product and the greater community. I don’t know about you, but this gets me going every time. If I may speak for myself: the feeling is mutual.

One other thing that was posted a couple of days after Directions was this:

I think that the whole “NAV is dead” thing was totally misunderstood. Maybe someone was talking about the name NAV, but I really don’t think it actually is dead, or even that there are plans to kill it. I do think Microsoft at the corporate level doesn’t always have a clue (which is a polite way of saying that it seems like sometimes they have no clue whatsoever), and I also think that one way or another there is going to be just one “ERP” in Dynamics 365.

Personally I think that the NAV flavor has a really good chance of being that one flavor. For sure we are NOT dead, and there is a LOT of really good and exciting stuff ahead of us.

 

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