This article recaps and discusses the highlights and takeaways from Convergence 2015, hosted in Atlanta, Georgia from March 16th to March 19th, 2015.

Convergence 2015 has come and gone already – hard to believe.  What a conference!  It was great, especially as a first time attendee, to meet the thousands of people who made their way to Atlanta to discuss Microsoft Dynamics, data and corporate performance management, and Business Intelligence.  The Solver team had a lot of quality conversations about BI360 and its role in the Microsoft arena.  As a Gold Level sponsor, Solver was a big part of making Convergence 2015 the biggest and best conference yet.  Additionally, the BI360 expo booth was hi-tech and hi-touch, with multiple stations for demos and interaction with the product.  From big screen viewings of BI360 to showcasing access to data through Excel, the Web, and the mobile application, attendees got several opportunities to see the product in action.

If you were unable to attend this year’s edition of Convergence, let me discuss some of the main points that Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, touched on in his keynote:
“The purpose of Convergence for Microsoft has grown.  It’s become this premier business event.” Nadella discussed the shift of the conference from a Dynamics community gathering to a Microsoft tentpole event.  He pointed to business decision-makers’ ambitions to change and improve their businesses as the driving force for the development of technology today.
Mobile first: Microsoft is focused on the “mobility of the experience, not the mobility of the device.”  Nadella acknowledges the assortment of devices that we have as a business end users, and he stated that Microsoft is dedicated to a mobile experience, not just the mobile device in which you achieve data access, management, and analysis.  Interaction, intelligence, and a system of devices will improve the personal and professional experience through collaboratively collecting data and moving it through the Cloud.
Empowering Organizations: Microsoft Delve is a system that functions as a professional, inter-organizational newsfeed that details what is relevant to the user about the progress of the company.  This application functions as a blend of a social media newsfeed and something like Pinterest, where you can organize what is of interest to you as a user regarding the business.  Delve and Yammer function together to foster organization and collaboration regarding company-wide productivity.  And with PowerBI, attendees saw how Microsoft is making certain strides toward trying to compete with Business Intelligence offerings already on the market.
“The real idea, in a world of big data, is to recognize the small patterns and insights and then, to act on it.” Nadella emphasized the importance of connected devices and tools to engage, track, and act in response to data trends and trajectories.  Microsoft is committed to innovating in an effort to give you the arsenal of tools to connecting the dots for your company, within your industry, and as a part of the larger business world.
If you were able to visit Solver at Booth 1116, you had the chance to see BI360 is accessible, easy-to-use, and powerful whether you choose to interact through Excel, web, or mobile platforms.  There were several conversations about how BI360 is a great replacement and upgrade for FRx and Management Reporters users.  And finally, Solver was able to showcase Web Budgeting, the latest roll-out in the BI360 Suite.
“Solver presents: BI360 BI Suite – reporting, dashboards and budgeting,” the Sponsor Session presented by Nils Rasmussen and Morten Tonsberg, saw an excellent turnout with hundreds of attendees excited to learn about business user friendly, modern, powerful self-service BI processes.  The audience had front-row seats to view the dynamic BI360 suite, seeing everything from automation, drill-down capabilities, Web budgeting, and the mobile application for on-the-go analytics.
A big thank you to everyone who stopped by the Solver BI360 booth and attended our sponsor session at Convergence 2015.  It was the Solver team’s pleasure to hear about your businesses and learn about your needs when it comes to BI processes.  We look forward to seeing you again next year at Convergence 2016.  Stay tuned, as we’ll be announcing the winners of the Microsoft Band in the next week or so.

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