Directions US 2012: Final thoughts

Directions US lies behinds us all .. and yet again .. A GREAT convention with a lot of info, a lot of enthusiastic people, and a lot new information to come home with.

Besides the fact that I’m jealous about all the people that bought a Microsoft Surface (I decided to wait for the “Pro” .. and I regret already …), I’m glad I attended the convention. For me, it wasn’t so much about “what’s new in NA2013” anymore, but more about .. “how to handle it in a strategic way of thinking” – thinking about the CfMD regulations, the fees, the new license model, the (new?) focus on SMB, .. let’s say: we – as partner – are going to have to change. So I want to be prepared .. .

My sessions

I think I can say that my sessions went quite OK. I’m not used to do Chalk Talks, and I didn’t have the opportunity to visit other CT’s, as mine was scheduled on the first day .. . I had to “moderate” about 1,5 hour of interactive talks about “Tools” in NAV. And it ended up in quite a good discussion in my opinion. I mostly remember this:

  • People wanted to know whether there are tools to easily upgrade from Classic to RDLC. We all know what that answer is: No. You’ll have to do it manually, think about all the tools there are now (not only RDLC, but also BI, Odata, …)
  • Source Control. Okay, I pushed this into the session, but it turned out to be quite a discussion. Is it necessary or not? Am I too small? Which tools are available. In particular, Marko Perisic (Microsoft) and Soren Klemmensen were very responsive and defending the idea (that I share, by the way :-)) that “Source Control” is a MUST not an option.. . Don’t think “how much is this going to cost me”, but think “how much am I going to save.. .

Even, part of the discussion we had, he decided to start blogging about Dynamics NAV and Source Control with TFS. You can read his blog here: (he even mentions my session :-)).

The other session I had was about Partner Ready Software. You know .. with Mark Brummel and Gary Winter, where we talk about new ideas, new concepts, .. design patterns for Dynamics NAV that we think are “innovative” and can be used for making the software “repeatable” .. let’s say the “new” focus of Microsoft. If you want to sell volume, to sell more, and loose less time on implementation .. then also let’s make the software and product itself ready for that … .

The session went quite well, I think. We had lots of congrats and good comments after the session .. which makes you confident for the next.. :-). I talked about the design of an eID-reader solution that is (or at least should be ;-)) extendible, flexible and repeatable.. . And yes .. I’m going to blog about it :-). But all in time…

The Location

The location of the convention was good nevertheless: it was in Phoenix, which means: nice, hot, good weather.. . It was on a Golf Course, which means: luxelicious :-). Who doesn’t love that?

And it gives some nice after-convention-opportunities. I heard people going to Vegas for Poker-fun .. or for Halloween. Other people were going to the Grand Canyon. Me? I went with my good friends Olga en Gary for a few days to Sedona .. and we had a great time!

Next Time

If it was up to me .. I would be there next time again! Of course. But I must say .. somebody is making that quite hard. Next year, Directions EMEA and Directions US are – about – the same time. Not like it always was: EMEA in March/April, US in October/November .. which makes more sense in a planning way of thinking.

So, if you want to attend both EMEA and US, it takes up too much time in a row. In my opinion, people are going to have to choose which one to go to. Furthermore, ISV’s have about all their marketing-exposure in only one month time. What about the rest of the year? I sure hope this doesn’t break up the US and EMEA communities.

Nevertheless: you still got 2 great options to go to .. and with the announced yearly-release-cycles it’s for the best that you attend at least one of them :-).

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