Yes, like many of you, we were supposed to be at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in-person last week, but with the state of the world that could not happen. We have to admit that, in our opinion, the biggest benefit to attending a conference like this is not the content, but seeing friends and acquaintances and meeting new ones. Secondarily, learning new things and getting a “feel” for where Microsoft is headed with all this new technology is of great value. So, with the Biz Apps Summit going virtual this year, could this secondary benefit add enough value to be considered a success? Well, here are a couple observations…
It was FREE! Microsoft made the virtual conference free to all! You simply had to register for it. We’re no math geniuses, but your return on investment argument is starting off pretty strong here! Having the ability to attend the conference virtually and for free has two distinct benefits.
- More people can attend since there is no longer a $ barrier.
- More can attend partially, since they may not have planned to attend in person because their schedule would not allow it.
Bonus: It appears that all sessions are accessible after the fact too, so you can watch them on your time, review a session, or catch a session you missed!
Great move by Microsoft!
The Microsoft Triune is clear! Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and (the broader) Microsoft Cloud. James mentioned this numerous times during the keynote. The initial message focused on the themes of…
- Dynamics is NOT just for small to midsized companies, but for the “enterprise”!
- There is a fundamental change from “reactive” to “proactive” with the continued onset and development of IOT and AI. James Phillips mentioned contact centers as an illustration of this.
- Everything is connected (People, Products, Assets, Customers)…and the Microsoft Bus. Apps platform can help with those connections and handle all that data!
Microsoft further solidified its definition of “business applications” with this triune and brought forth clear illustrations about the multi-layered architecture that supports the themes above.
In addition to the Keynote, we were able to attend 3 other sessions on the following topics: Power Apps, D365 Guides, and Power Platform governance. Nothing was earth-shattering, but everything was insightful. The one topic that stuck out to us regarding Power Apps was the message to the development community that “low code” doesn’t mean the platform cannot be flexible and extensible. Again, another smart highlight from Microsoft.
In short, the content and themes further exposing Microsoft’s roadmap, in combination with how they executed this virtual event, gave us additional confidence that we are working in the right industry and with the best technology platform for business applications. We would say the 2020 Microsoft Business Applications Summit was a “virtual” success!