Archive for the ‘Microsoft Events’ Category

Microsoft Convergence 2015 – Opening Keynote

Today over 12,000 packed into the Phillips Arena to hear the opening keynote delivered by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Microsoft Executive Vice President of Business Solutions Kirill Tatarinov.



The takeaway them of the keynotes was:

Empowering people and organizations





There were some key announcements or demos from today’s keynote. These were:

  • Office Delve
  • Microsoft Social Engagement
  • Azure IoT Suite
  • InsideSales for Dynamics CRM
  • Dynamics CRM Spring ‘15 Preview (‘Carina’)
  • OneNote integration with Dynamics CRM
  • Skype for Business Preview
  • Office 2016 Preview
  • Surface Hub
  • Power BI

Full details of the announcements can be found by reading the formal press release from Microsoft here:

You can listen to the keynote video via this link:

I captured some slides of these announcements or demos. These are shown below.



Office Delve


Microsoft Social Engagement (formally known as Microsoft Social Listening)

Microsoft Social Engagement

Azure IoT Suite

Azure IoT

Inside Sales


Dynamics CRM Spring ‘15 Preview (‘Carina’)

Dynamics CRM

OneNote Integration with Dynamics CRM


Skype for Business (Formally known as Lync)

Skype for Business

Skype for Business2

Office 2016 Preview


Surface Hub

Surface Hub

Greg Olsen


Microsoft Convergence 2015 – Welcome to Atlanta

Another year has gone by and the Microsoft Convergence has landed. It returns again to Atlanta.  Here thousands will pack into the Georgia World Congress Center venue to attend sessions, be part of the exhibition and do LOTS of networking.

Convergence Banner


As I work my way though the week, I will endeavour to post various information and photos here on this blog to share this years experience.

Greg Conference Badge

Tomorrow we kick off officially with the Keynote. This sets the scene for the whole week and gets us all motivated.

Looking forward to it!

Greg Olsen

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 – Global Premiere Event

October 29, 2013 Leave a comment


On November 4, 2013, Microsoft is hosting an hour long, virtual Global Premiere Event, live from Barcelona! Join us to hear live amazing stories from companies who are creating compelling customer experiences and using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help bring those experiences to life, see the new version in action!





Greg Olsen

Microsoft Dynamics 2013 – Announcements Released at WPC 2013

I thought I would add a blog post of some of the announcements for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 (a.k.a Orion) at the latest Worldwide Partner Conference 2013.

I did a blog post when I was at Convergence 2013 in New Orleans earlier in the year about Orion. So if you would like to see that post also, then head to the link here.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Themes

The current 2013 themes can be categorised into 4 categories:

Reimagined Experience

Cleaner, faster, more intuitive interface drives productivity

Process Agility

Agile process guidance so you can respond to rapidly changing business needs

CRM on the Go

Access what you need where you need it so you can connect to customers

Social in Context

Work across boundaries to create the right customer experiences

Marketing Pilot Availability

The following countries will have the first availability for Marketing Pilot in Q1, CY14:


  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • United States


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
    CRM Upgrades

The big question that will be on everyone’s mind .. what about upgrades?

Microsoft has announced at the WPC that CRM 2013 will upgrade your Ribbons, Forms and JavaScript to the new process form user interface. This is great news!

Microsoft Licensing – New Versions

With the launch of CRM 2013 comes the launch of new licensing versions. This was already announced earlier by Microsoft.

New versions will be:

  • Essential
  • Basic
  • Professional

These versions will be the same for both CRM Online and On-Premise.

Pricing For CRM Online (USD$)

  • Essential – $15 per user per month
  • Basic – $30 per user per month
  • Professional – $65 per user per month

INCLUDED: 1 non-production license. Great for development and testing!

Pricing For CRM On-Premise (USD$)

  • Essential – $79 per user (CAL)
  • Basic – $342 per user (CAL)
  • Professional – $984 per user (CAL) or $787 per device
    CRM 2013 Server License: $3938 per instance


CRM Mobile – iPad, iPhone, Windows 8 and Android

Microsoft will be introducing new mobile client applications on iPad and Windows 8 tablets, giving users access to powerful functionality and analytics on the go.

Not long after CRM 2013 is released, Microsoft plans to offer new touch-optimised mobile experiences for Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phones, extending user access to CRM information.

This info has also been released with Microsoft’s latest press release.

Exciting times ahead for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Greg Olsen

Windows 8.1 – Preview Guide Available For Download

Today at the BUILD conference in San Francisco, the new operating system update Windows 8.1 Preview was released. With the operating system update release, comes a product guide.

You can download a copy of the product guide from Microsoft here


For future reference, I have uploaded it here as well.

Greg Olsen

Build 2013 – Keynote Kicks Off Tomorrow

Cloudy San Francisco hosts tomorrows Keynote which officially kicks off this years BUILD conference. However, I’m writing this blog post from Auckland, New Zealand.


BUILD is the biggest Microsoft developer geekfest event for the year worldwide. It’s going to be great to see what Microsoft showcase for the development world tomorrow. Talk of the street is Windows 8.1. What else will there be? I have my predictions. We will soon find out!

BUILD 2013

Make sure you tune into the live stream of the keynote here

Also, make sure you check out some early blog posts and photos from Roshan Mehta via his blog here.


Greg Olsen

Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Blog 4- Orion Roadmap & Look n Feel Screenshots

Wednesday 20th March 2013 session at Convergence 2013 in New Orleans, Jujhar Singh delivered a session titled CSCRM08 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Product Recap & Roadmap Primer. Now this is a session I had been waiting for. It contained the roadmap and look n feel of the next major release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM code name Orion, which was released publically today to customers, partners and other attendees of Convergence 2013. I will continue on the theme of photos. They explain most of it – I’m sure you can read from the photos right?

The roadmap can be displayed in 4 areas:

  • Polaris
  • BCM
  • Polaris Update
  • Gemini
  • Orion
  • Orion MKT



The next major release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will come in the form of the Orion release in the second half of 2013.

The major themes for the Orion release are as follows:

  • User Experience – Continuation of the journey in Polaris
  • Ubiquitous – Role-tailored applications for Sales Professionals. (Ubiquitous key word replaces the word Mobile. You will be hearing this a lot more).
  • Productivity – Internal Collaboration for the on-premise customers & Server Sync enhancements
  • Business Process – Process-centric theme continued to the next level
  • Online – Online first focus to continue (this means CRM Online will get all the new features first before OnPremise)


Now lets take a look at the new Orion User Interface. Firstly, you will notice it has no ribbon. Next it has no left navigation bar. The navigation bar is now at the top (as shown in purple colour in the screenshot below).


This new UI drives a better user experience for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Everything is happening in the one browser window. Note: I have no information on the Outlook UI. You will need to wait for Microsoft to announce this.

If you have used, then you will be familiar with the dropdown navigation. This experience is now similar within Orion as shown below.


More UI screenshots can be seen below





The mobility roadmap for Orion


Platform in Orion


The Next Frontier …

This slide gives you a snapshot of what is coming


This is the look n feel of the MarketingPilot application which will be a part of the Gemini release. Note the flat UI.



Exciting times ahead in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


Greg Olsen

Microsoft Convergence 2013–Blog 3–Opening Keynote

Today, Tuesday 19th March 2013, we were greeted with the Opening Keynote. This is the must attend session to kick of Convergence 2013. After taking in a good breakfast at the hotel we all headed over to get our reserved seats at the Keynote – right up the front!


Yep you read it right. 11,500 attendees to Microsoft Convergence 2013. Great turnout Microsoft. Also means 3,000+ partners in attendance.

What I will do for this blog post is post the photos in the order I took them and you can then consume the information from them. A picture is worth a thousand words .. right?


Walking into the Keynote area


Wow! that is a heap of seats. Thanks to those who had to set them all up. You deserve a beer or three.


Keynote Music



The team representing New Zealand start to fill up there reserved seats – that includes me!





Large attendance for Convergence 2013 Keynote


Speaker list for the Keynote, which included the customers sharing their experiences with the Dynamics products.



Officially announced today. Microsoft has acquired social monitoring analytics vendor Netbreeze to integrate with the Dynamics CRM platform. NAV 2013 and GP 2013 will be available in Windows Azure from June 2013.



5 Billion GBs of data is collected in 10 minutes!


Microsoft’s View: Devices and Services





Chobani share their experiences to the attendees



Weightwatchers share their experience to the attendees



Revlon share their experiences with the attendees



Now we start to see the demo information (via photos in this blog post)



Multi-tasking apps in Windows 8. Skype call goes out to Reuben in this demo.



The CRM UI flow process


Yammer integration with CRM. “Liked by Hamish Hill” – nice one!


Taking the power Netbreeze. The new product coming to the CRM platform


Analytics in motion!




Social experience inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM


That concludes blog posting number 3. Hopefully the photos were helpful, especially if you couldn’t make Convergence this year.

Greg Olsen

Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Blog 2 – Bourbon Street & Experience Center

March 19, 2013 2 comments

If you reading on from my last blog post, then the next couple of things to blog about would be the trip to Randy & Andy’s Convergence 2013 party and the Convergence Experience Center. Consider this blog number 2 of the series.

I attended the Partner Q&A on Sunday 17th March. Quite a few asked the panel questions and they responded with the answers. Some of the content would be released at the opening Keynote for customers.

Once the Partner Q&A wrapped up it was off to refresh up and attend the Microsoft NZ drinks get together. This is a opportunity for the Kiwi team to get together and say hi and have a good chat over a drink and then head into the famous ‘Bourbon Street’ of New Orleans to the ‘Randy & Andy’s Convergence 2013 bash.


On the way, we got to experience (first time for me) the famous Bourbon Street. Few photos below to give you an idea of what it is like. I laughed as one store which sold clothes during the day converted to selling beer at night via beer kegs connected up out back. You don’t see clothes stores selling beer in NZ right? Correct me if I’m wrong.




The art of throwing green bead necklaces everywhere from the balcony was (how should I describe it?) “interesting”.

It was a good night out with the other kiwi folks and managed to down a few drinks (yea one too many!) and woke up the next day with a slightly sore head!

So after the hot chocolate from Starbucks at 1pm the next day kicked in and my energy levels on the rise, it was off to the Convergence Experience Center.


On Monday 18th March when I entered the Experience Center I was greeted by Karaoke in the Convergence Theater. You could hear this throughout the whole building. I didn’t stick around this area to see if anyone else got up for a sing.

Below are a few other photos from the Experience Center.



The cakes shown above were awesome. If there was a Facebook ‘like’ feature on this post, then I certainly will be giving it to the cakes on this table.


Xbox Kinect darts being played out at the Microsoft stand



The main message for this year’s Convergence 2013 is ‘A World Ahead’.

Well that concludes blog 2. Need to keep them brief as I only get small windows to do write ups. Next blog post should hopefully contain the Keynote.

Thanks for reading.

Greg Olsen

Microsoft Convergence 2013–March 18-21 2013–Blog 1– Arriving

Well this blog will start a series of hopefully a few blog posts during my time here in New Orleans (yes I have arrived).


The journey to the USA started from the Auckland International Airport. Boy did it start! What I mean by this is that the automatic link from NZ to USA for check-in failed and AirNZ had about 150 people (approx) backed up for check-in. “Anyone on the Los Angeles flight? Please make you way forward now”. Cry’s from the AirNZ staff as check-in is about to close for those passengers. I had more time as my San Francisco (SFO) flight was a bit later. The next laugh I had was with the people leaving Auckland to head to USA after being on a cruise ship and having way to much luggage. “Sorry madam, you are over your allowance to board this aircraft”. Little did they know they couldn’t take there 4 suitcases onto the the plane with the 1 bag, 23kg limit. Why did they need so much stuff? I’ll let you guess the answer to that.

Well I managed to get through check-in and security with enough time to spare. Met up with Joerg Rau from Theta Systems (NAV expert). He was having the same laughs as I was, so it was good to compare the jokes.

Landed in San Francisco in good time. Managed to get about 5 hours sleep on the 12 hour flight. Arriving in San Francisco photos below.




From San Francisco we jump aboard United Airlines and head to New Orleans (p.s. I have to get the pronunciation right, it’s basically new-OR-linz. Keep working on it Greg!). Just under 4 hours later we arrive to a nightly lit city and it’s time to grab our suitcase and taxi to the hotel.

Below are some arrival photos into New Orleans.




Once the taxi arrived to the hotel we get greeted by the party goers on the footpath. Gee a bourbon would be good right about now, but I need sleep. So it was check-in time, have a shower and off for a sleep!

Next day begins (Sunday 17th March 2013)….

Eyes open, it’s 10am. Nice I had a good sleep. Time for another shower and get ready to meet up with the others. Starbucks for a hot chocolate. Facebook check-in begins!

Next its off to the Convention Centre to register and pick up the goodies. Another laptop bag and the essential agenda material. “Where is the Microsoft Surface Pro”,  we ask the attendant at the materials collection counter. Blank face. Don’t think she got the joke.

Here are some convention centre photos below.




Right, time to fly. Need to keep moving. Off to the next “event”.

Greg Olsen