Special guest post by Microsoft Dynamics partner:  Dennis Bruce, Data Masons Software

Isn’t asking someone how many times they’ve been to Convergence like asking someone their age? Let’s agree and just say that I’ve been around the Convergence block a time or two. Enough to know that without Convergence, I might as well find a nice, sturdy cardboard box to call my office…

Right before leaving for Seattle to attend the Dynamic Communities User Group Events, I received my annual “Convergence 2013 New Orleans Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities” email from Marci Eversole. And I’m sure that as Marci hit “Send” on that email, she knew I would be one of the first registrants on behalf of Data Masons – Convergence is a business critical event for our company.

Marci and her team have Convergence running like a well-oiled machined. For sponsors and attendees alike, this means we can focus on our experience and not all the logistical details that could make or break our time away from the office. So from the beginning, the focus on the event is to foster top-notch educational and networking opportunities throughout the program, as demonstrated by the array of tracks, expo hall promotions, volunteer commitments and social activities. This focus alone sets Convergence apart from other industry events.

Personally, this event is my one consistent opportunity to reunite with old colleagues, meet new faces in the Microsoft Dynamics community and talk to them one-on-one about their latest goings-on in the world of Microsoft Dynamics. In a time where most of us are keyed into multiple social media outlets, these face-to-face meetings are even more valuable as they’ve become fewer and far between. And I tell you, it’s these relationships and the knowledge sharing conversations they ignite that help drive my success throughout the year.

For Data Masons, missing Convergence would be like developing software in that nice, sturdy cardboard box I mentioned. As an ISV provider, this event gives us access to 3 essential audiences that are critical in helping us maintain our competitive advantage:

1. Microsoft Dynamics End Users: We confirm the needs of end users and share our expertise with successfully implementing integrated EDI with companies of the same profile;

2. Microsoft Dynamics Partners: We hear directly from the implementation partners on new or evolving client- and industry-specific EDI requirements; and

3. Microsoft: We put on our biggest listening ears and pay close attention to Microsoft as they educate us on their strategy and product development. As an ISV, we believe it’s critical that our development and implementation strategies have the same focus as Microsoft’s, as our goal is to be an extension of what they are providing to the community.

Without Convergence and without talking directly with these 3 key audiences that are crucial to our success, like I said, we might as well develop our ISV solution in a box with no insight into the larger community. And believe me, I would much rather be networking with the best minds in the business than sitting in a very small box …

See you at Convergence!