Recently the Adra Match team travelled across the Atlantic to New Orleans, Louisiana, to take part in Microsoft Convergence 2013. This annual conference draws crowds from across the world, keen to uncover new ways of delivering better business value to their customers with Microsoft Dynamics ERP & CRM solutions and all other connected partner technologies. 

Microsoft convergence 2013
New Orleans, LA, Microsoft Convergence 2013

 What were the big tech trends?

Convergence was a great opportunity for Adra Match to see what advancements the technology world had to offer. And in addition, what Microsoft and its partners had to offer in terms of business solutions.

‘Cloud’ and ‘SaaS’ (Software as a Service) were certainly a buzzword for many attendees at Convergence. Some of the most frequently asked questions to Adra Match staff were around software-as-a-service (SaaS) and Cloud-hosted technologies. Especially whether BALANCER enhanced accounting software is available in the Cloud (which it is) as well as touting the benefits of their own software’s Cloud capabilities.

The interest in Cloud-hosted technologies is to be expected. The Cloud enables quick and easy installation of new products, often without a long license period, allowing setup to be completed within hours or days rather than weeks or months. Furthermore, given that Cloud-hosted technologies are not resource-intensive, they allow CTOs and procurement officers to all but bypass the IT department on installation. This makes them cheaper, more flexible, scalable and available on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

Balancer on MS surface tablet
BALANCER accounting software works on the Microsoft Surface tablet

 

What were our highlights?

Besides the wonderful opportunity to show off the exciting new product from Adra Match,BALANCER, there were a few key highlights we should mention:

–     Keynote speeches –This year the keynote speeches were delivered by Kirill Tatarinov, President of Microsoft Business Solutions Division, and Kofi Annan, Former Director General of the UN. Both speeches were great, although, admittedly, Kofi Annan had the entire crowd absolutely captivated throughout his speech on ‘convergence’ and ‘unity’. 

 

–     Microsoft’s Live Wall –The Convergence team did a wonderful job coordinating the social media at the conference. The Live Wall acted as the hub for all social media about the event, updating with tweets and other social messages throughout. There was also ablog page, videos and a “virtual conference’ section with videos and updates from across the conference.

–     Entertainment –New Orleans is particularly famous for one thing: jazz. The registration queue took several hours to process (11.5k people is a lot to register!) and so to entertain conference attendees the Microsoft Convergence team featured a jazz band playing everyone in. There were a couple more jazz bands playing at the conference as well as the infamous Matchbox Twenty closing out the event.

microsoft convergence 2013, automatic accounts reconciliation
Anders Eriksson, Product Manager, at the final Convergeance fiesta

–     The Adra Match ‘happy hour’ bar –The Adra Match stand included a little oasis, offering weary conference goers the opportunity to relax at the end of the second day. As expected, the bar drew in a good crowd – all of whom were very interested in uncovering the true potential of theBALANCER accounts overviewsoftware, how it integrates with MS Dynamics and its Cloud functionality.

Adra Match, Microsoft convergence
Adra Match bar: Martin Thunman, CEO, Adra Match chats to event attendee

–     Information overload solution – Adra Match assisted event goers with a guest blog: ‘5 step solution to event information overload’ – which detailed how to make sense of all the learning’s acquired once you leave the conference. The post received great feedback from frazzled Convergence attendees writing page after page of event notes, the MS Convergence team even ran a mobile and tablet app for aggregating mass notes and data.

As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, Adra Match ventured to Convergence to unveil to the market, the benefits of enhanced accounts overview software BALANCER. The solution is an automated accounts reconciliation software that provides considerable reduced risk, enhanced traceability & overview functions and speedy financial reporting to the accounting process.

Adra Match had a fantastic four days at Convergence, learning about some of the most exciting business software solutions in the world. The overarching message of ‘unity’ was reflected in the 85 countries being represented by the 11,500 event attendees. The sheer scale of Convergence made it the biggest international conference Microsoft has ever run, beating even its renowned Annual Worldwide Partner Program conference. In fact, the conference was so popular that the official Convergence hashtag,#Conv13, was in the top 10 US trending terms on Twitter twice over the week!

Learn more about the new Adra Match’s enhanced accounting software BALANCER, by watching the video.

Did you attend Convergence 2013 – or have done in the past? Share your highlights and insights in the comments section below…

Microsoft convergence 2013