Summit 2019: A New View from Amanda Mayer

November 12, 2019New View Strategies

Missed Summit this year? We’re sharing a series with our team’s experience and insights from Summit 2019. Amanda Mayer , who was awarded with a 2019 All-Star Award at Summit, shares her thoughts:

The Past

I can’t believe another Summit has come and gone. This year had me thinking back to the beginning of my involvement with the user group, some 8 years ago, as an end user. I stumbled across a small offering of user group led sessions at Microsoft Convergence in 2011 and was instantly hooked. I heard then about another conference called Summit, that was run the user group. A place where I could go to meet other users, partners, third party providers…. the list seems like it’s never ending. Attending that fall I remember meeting this amazing woman and experienced this immediate sense of awe. The knowledge she had and was sharing with other users (like me!) was a little bit like coming home. And really, that’s what this user group is to many of us, and what Summit is about. Summit feels a bit like a family reunion now, after all these years. Many years have passed since that first Summit (when it was still called Forum, anyone remember that?), many late nights finishing my presentations, FastPath parties and partner dinners. I’ve gone from being an end-user to a consultant and one thing remains the same. I always walk away from Summit having learned something new and I hear that from everyone I talk to about their experience.

The Present

This year I had the opportunity to see Summit through the eyes of a new attendee (some of our clients) and I’m even more impressed. Instead of walking through the expo trying to find the best swag, I had the opportunity to walk through with those new attendees, guide them through the labyrinth of booths and information and help them make connections to providers that may offer solutions to those burning questions. Besides the obvious networking that occurs, it’s great to be able to help people connect with similar questions and hurdles they are trying to overcome. And I loved it! My presentations this year were new, focusing on costing, and I was pleasantly surprised to have full rooms for both. It reminds me that there is still so much functionality in this ERP and end-users are hungry for more information. The conversation in my Costing Methods session was lively, engaging, and sparked strong opinions with the people in attendance. The opportunity to talk through a decision-making process with like-minded individuals is priceless and one of the main reasons to attend Summit every year. I also had the opportunity to attend the Women in Technology presentation, given by Meenakshi Singh, Holly Kutil, Adriana Di Vito, and Kate Pinyan. As always, I’m impressed with the women who choose to stand up in front of our community and discuss the constraints and conflicts that women are plagued with daily in the workplace. We talked about standing up for ourselves, actions we can take when not being heard, how to take control of our careers and make opportunities for ourselves. This community (sisterhood) is growing and we will be heard.

The Future

Just before Summit a new version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was released (2019 Wave 2), and Summit was the first opportunity for customers to see this new version. It’s clear that the future of Business Central is bright. I was excited to see that this new version includes many of those little bits that have made Dynamics NAV our favorite platform for years, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite enhancements to get you excited:

  1. Carry line descriptions to G/L entries when posting: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked by an end-user how to get better descriptions in the G/L when posting Purchase Invoices. It’s a bit of a hassle to have to drill into a document to see the details when evaluating the transactions of an account. This enhancement improves the efficiency of your finance team in BC in an impressive way.
  2. Departments: Well, it’s not called Departments in BC, but for those of us who come from NAV, I’m sure we’ll continue to call it that for a while. Now, we can get a quick overview of other areas to navigate in the system without always having to rely on searching.
  3. Bookmarking: In NAV, if there was an often-used List not standard with your Role Center, we’d use the Add to Role Center functionality, reducing the need for development for a single user. With Bookmarking, we gain that ability back and it’s fantastic.
  4. Personalize the Acton Bar: Customizing your Ribbon in NAV was one of the key ways to ensure your user experience was focused on your daily work. Now called the Action Bar, with this enhancement you can move and hide menu options for improved efficiency.
  5. Open Page in New Window: Those of us who like to multi-task loved the ability to open multiple pages within NAV. You’d find yourself doing this often but were forced to open multiple browser tabs to achieve the same result in BC. Until now. Once in a page, you can easily pop out that window into its own tab.
  6. Saved Views: Saving the best for last, Saved Views is by far my favorite Wave 2 enhancement. As an end-user, personalization of the system is one of the biggest selling features. The loss of saved views when moving to the cloud hit everyone hard. I think this is the enhancement that makes current BC users ecstatic and may just be the tipping point for those companies that are considering staying on-premise over moving to the cloud.

As always, Summit is an event that I look forward to every year and encourage all end-users to attend. I know it always renews my passion for this product and community. See you next year in Nashville!

Interested in hearing more from Summit 2019? Take a look at recaps from Mark Rhodes, Cari Corozza, and Kim Congleton.

 

The experts at New View Strategies are experienced Dynamics NAV and Business Central trainers and business process consultants who have walked in your shoes as former Corporate Controllers, Directors of IT, and Solution Architects, and believe increased utilization of your business systems is critical to the continued success of your company.
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