Five Lessons from Microsoft Convergence 2012

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Keeping a finger on the pulse of the technology industry is one of the keys to achieving continued success in this ever-changing marketplace.  As businesses evolve to meet the growing demand for efficiency, transparency, and agility, it’s more important than ever to understand customer challenges and evolve with them to address those needs.

As I have discussed in previous posts, the Metafile team sees tremendous value in taking an active role at conferences like Microsoft Convergence, whether it be through conversations with prospects, meetings with partners and customers, participating in educational sessions, or attending Microsoft’s presentations. This year proved to be a highly informative and dynamic (pun intended) event, and the entire Metafile team left Houston feeling energized and even more prepared to help our customers succeed.

Here are five key takeaways from this year’s Microsoft Convergence:

  1. Cloud: While Microsoft is a staunch champion for the transition to the cloud, many partners are determining how best to approach this shift with their customers, including how to balance between on-premise and hosted solutions. Microsoft urges partners to work with each customer on an individual approach to each implementation. As stated by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner during his keynote, “the important thing I want you to note is that we're building a cloud where you decide where and how you want to go to the cloud.”
  2. Tailored Approach to Business: Years ago, it was common for a technology company to develop a tool to meet an industry need, and upon implementation, the customers’ business had to be shaped around the tool. But as Kevin Turner championed, technology is never one-size-fits-all and it’s key to take a personalized approach to each customer by learning the pain points specific to their industry and business, and taking a thoughtful and systematic approach to implementing the solution in order to maximize its effectiveness.
  3. Engaging with Partners: With potential partners, it’s key to connect with not only the marketing and sales teams, but to meet first with the developers to get their buy-in. Developing this relationship from the onset of a partnership ensures that companies and solutions seamlessly work together and anticipate potential technological incompatibilities from the beginning.
  4. Intuitive and broadly integrated solutions: Customers are looking for solutions that go beyond addressing just one function. They expect software that deploys throughout the organizations, into functions like accounts receivable, HR, CRM, and more. Additionally, customers want solutions that integrate with multiple ERP solutions, and partners have a need for solutions that replace manual workflow processes and automate them, as opposed to serving as an electronic filing cabinet.
  5. Simple is better for multi-location organizations: Cloud-based solutions enable de-centralized organizations to streamline and simplify back-office technology, including accounting functions. With a cloud-hosted solution like MetaViewer, multi-location businesses can digitize and push invoicing to a main location, where it is processed and accessible from anywhere.

If you attended this year’s Microsoft Convergence, what did you learn?

-Nick Sprau, Metafile Information Systems, Inc.

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