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Microsoft Envision 2016: the chance to be part of a changing (business) conversation

It’s less than a month until this year’s Microsoft Envision conference, to be held in New Orleans on 4-6 April, and the Intergen contingent is getting excited, busily filling in their thought leadership dance cards and trying to work out how to cram as much as possible into three action-packed days (and, most importantly, how best to report back here to share the key takeaways and gems from Microsoft’s product strategists and business leadership).

Microsoft Envision 2016 keynote

As a veteran attendee of Microsoft’s Convergence (Envision in its previous incarnation), I for one am particularly excited about this year’s event. Here’s why.

It’s all about business

The world of work is changing fast, and so are the conversations we’re having about how we work and what we need to do to get the job done as best we can – whether that’s delighting customers, stealing a march in a competitive marketplace, improving our organisational productivity or creating new efficiencies right across our value chains. For those of you who attended last year’s Dynamics Day (and if you didn’t, you can find the highlights here), you’ll know what I’m getting at.

In just a matter of a few short years, perhaps even less, the conversations we’re having – with each other, our clients, Microsoft and our partners – have completely changed. Where at Convergence of old we’d get deep into the detail of technology roadmaps and product features, with a smattering of thought leadership woven throughout proceedings, Envision is a business event for business leaders. In this context, technology is simply the enabler for business transformation, not the topic of conversation itself.

If you check out the Envision homepage and agenda, there’s not a product name in sight. Instead, there are more than 200 sessions to choose from, all touching on themes like your leadership role in business transformation and industry innovation, disruption, and leadership.

To me this is a major step in the right direction and it will be fantastic to see business and technology leaders coming together to understand how to make the most of the Microsoft stack in a business context, exploring the new paradigm of productivity in a digital-first world. All topics that are just as much of interest to a forward-looking organisation’s CEO, CMO or CFO as they are to the CIO or CTO.

Inspiration through real life examples

To me, Envision is a must-attend event for another reason, too. It’s a chance to take a step back from the daily hustle of doing, and to be inspired, in person, and do a whole lot of thinking (for example about how we bring this inspiration and new thinking to bear on our own clients’ business transformation programmes). There are precious few opportunities globally to really connect with the Microsoft product strategists and business leadership. The Microsoft platform plays such an integral role in everyday business, and it’s truly eye-opening to see – though real life examples – what world-leading organisations are doing to transform their businesses atop the Microsoft platform. It’s an opportunity to really see what the market beyond Aotearoa is doing. A little bit of online research is all well and good, but there’s nothing like hearing it with our own ears and seeing it with our own eyes – living and breathing the stories and soaking up the product and business leadership.

It’s in New Orleans

But I’m sure you’re less interested in the food we’ll be eating and the music we’ll be listening to than in the thought leadership and inspirational stories we’ll be bringing back with us in our bag of tricks. So the less said about the local colour the better. (Suffice it to say I’m extremely excited about heading to New Orleans.)

We’ll be back from our travels in just over a month, and will be bringing you updates, stories, highlights and recaps. If you have any questions about the event or requests for specific information for us to recap on and share with you, we’re here to help – just let us know. And – even better – if you’re planning to attend this year’s Envision, we’d love to see you there. Some of the best Convergence (and now Envision) conversations happen in the lunch queue or at the end of a busy day with a glass of beer in hand. So make sure you drop us a line if you’re New Orleans-bound! 

Posted by: James Page, Practice Director Partners, Alliances & Channels | 17 March 2016

Tags: Business Intelligence, Dynamics CRM, innovation, Microsoft Dynamics, BI, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX, Data Intelligence, Microsoft Envision

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