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Convergence 2013 – Memories from New Orleans

Sivakumar Venkataraman - Click for blog homepageIt was indeed a Convergence to remember…

It all began with a 29 hour (3 connection flight) from Bangalore to New Orleans. I flew Emirates (wonderful service…really) from Bangalore to Dubai, and then from Dubai to Dallas. However, missed my connection at Dallas to New Orleans by 10 minutes and was held up at Dallas Airport for over 8 hours…. Convergence had still not yet started for me…. 🙂

Finally was accommodated into the final flight for New Orleans that day. New Orleans airport welcomed me with hoardings and boards all around the airport for Convergence.

I reached late into the hotel which was a good one about a mile from the Convention Center. I was staying at the 17th floor and I did have a good view of the Mississippi from my window with Marriott and Sheraton in the foreground…

The Convergence Hall was huge (not exaggerating, but true)… Its about 1/2  a mile from one end to another of the convention center, and the food court was on the far end. 🙂


The opening day began with the speech from Kirill Tatarinov, the president of Microsoft Business Solutions.

There were huge expos set up for the Dynamics suite of products which pulled a lot of crowd during the week. I was present mostly at these expos and it was fun, interacting with customers (trying to check out on functionalities in the product which was promised by the partner to them) and also with partners (who were trying to bring in their prospects to have us talk to them about the Dynamics ERP and CRM products.

I got an opportunity to interact closely with the Dynamics GP product team like Jay Manley, Kevin Racer, Pam Misialek and Daryl Anderson.

I had interactions with the support team resources like Ryan Binek, Kelly Youells, Jay Oberlander, Jonathan Fear, Aaron Donat, Ken Hubbard, Lisa Christiansen and many more…

A lot of questions from partners and customers came up on Management Reporter (one of my favourite topics). The whole bunch of energetic folks were there for questions all the time and were the busiest teams around there at Convergence. Starting from Jill Carter and Ryan Sandness and the support team which includes Erik Johnson and Corey Severson, they answered countless questions from partners and customers on how MR will take over FRx down the lane.

Also got to meet the MVP community folks like Jivtesh Singh and Mariano Gomez. At a point, we infact started looking into Dexterity code right on the spot when Mariano was around. Dynamics GP and Dexterity means religion to us. 🙂

Cipher Dynamics and AKA Enterprise Solutions (partner where I had worked before I joined Microsoft) had stalls at Convergence and I had a chance to meet Alan Kahn, Jack Ades, Manpreet Kalsi, Rinku Wadhwani, Adolfo Ramirez and Roma. Got a quick minute to click a picture with Rinku.

On the final day, we had a closing note from former Secretary General of United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, and it was a good speech which he delivered on his experiences.

Finally on my way back to Bangalore, tired and exhausted, but with lots of excellent memories of Convergence 2013!!!