I had the pleasure of attending and presenting a session at DynamicsCon Live 2023 in Scottsdale Arizona this past week. It was full of good sessions, good networking, and good food.
DynamicsCon Live 2023
For those unfamiliar with DynamicsCon, it was launched as a twice-yearly virtual conference in 2020 in response to the lack of in-person conferences during the pandemic. Now DynamicsCon Live occurs once a year, put on by the Dynamics User Group (DUG), and is geared towards an audience of Dynamics 365 platform end users.
It’s a newer addition to the conference line-up, but DynamicsCon Live is growing quickly! This year saw over 600 attendees and almost twice as many sessions as last year. In 2022 there was one session per product per hour, but this year there were two breakout rooms dedicated to the more popular products: Business Central, Finance and Operations, Power Platform. There was also a big increase in sponsors and vendors, with 45 sponsor tables.
One thing that really sets DynamicsCon Live apart this year is that it features a dedicated stream just for cross-product sessions. This means sessions on how two or even three products in the Dynamics ecosystem work together. As you probably know, there is a lot of opportunity for cross-pollination between Dynamics products, so this stream is a smart innovation on the part of DUG. I attended a session in the cross-product stream on transforming SMBs with the Power Platform (hosted by Mary Myers) that showcased how Power Automate, Power Apps, and Power Virtual agents can interact with Business Central data to revolutionize the way SMBs operate. We often leverage Power Platform apps to augment Business Central for our clients, so this was of particular interest.
How Buy Business Central – The Right Way
I had originally planned to present a session on how to customize Business Central “The Right Way” but made a last-minute decision to include a section on how to buy Business Central “The Right Way” as well, as that seemed especially relevant to an audience of end-users at DynamicsCon Live 2023. If you need to have your Business Central customized, how should you prepare to manage and receive customizations. This all starts with your Business Central Partner. A good Partner will ask questions and work to understand your business and unique needs. They won’t be afraid to say no if you request something that is not needed or doesn’t make sense. A bad Partner, on the other hand, just blindly agrees to anything you request and just starts programming. As we’ve seen time and time again at EFOQUS, the right Partner can really make or break your Business Central experience from day one, so doing a bit of extra legwork up front is definitely worthwhile.
AI for Business Central – A Solution Looking for a Problem
While the conference was full discussion about all things Dynamics, there was one supposedly ‘hot’ topic that didn’t seem to get any attention: AI. Despite all the buzz about AI and new ChatGPT type developments, we have yet to see an AI solution that’s really useable within Business Central. For now, attempts to leverage AI in Business Central seem like a solution looking for a problem, rather than the other way around.
What’s Next for DynamicsCon Live?
Next year’s DynamicsCon Live promises to be the largest one yet! The conference will be held in Denver Colorado, and over 1000 attendees are expected. With this rate of growth, DynamicsCon is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated annual conferences for the Dynamics community – something that’s even more impressive when you consider that Microsoft itself has little to no presence at the event. DUG started as an online forum in the ‘90s, and they’ve stayed true to their community and collaboration-based beginnings, so if you have thoughts or ideas to share for the next DynamicsCon Live, make sure to let them know!
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