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Attending a Convergence Sessions vs a Research Session – it is an easy choice

Picking which concurrent session to attend is one of the annual dilemmas I have faced at Convergence. Given a conflict, I have always opted to attend one of the focus group sessions that interested me over a session presentation at the same time slot. Why? Check out my reasons that follow, but in a nutshell, the focus groups offer real, live insight that can’t be obtained anywhere else and the presentation sessions are typically recorded and viewable after the event.

Here are 3 reasons why you should sign up for and participate in one of the research sessions scheduled by the CRM Engineering Team.  If one of the scheduled focus group sessions fits into your area of interest you should definitely sign up and participate.

The reasons are:

  1. Gain insight into the future direction of the product and influence its direction. Really, that’s not marketing fluff, you will get insight into where the product might be going, how the user interface could function and see into the Microsoft crystal ball. Insight into the possible future direction of the product often goes past what is even shared under NDA with Microsoft MVPs, partners, and participants in technology preview programs. Your feedback could influence the direction of the product. I have seen it happen.
  2. Meet some of the members of the CRM product management team up close and personal. You will find out how dedicated they are to building the best CRM product. CRM is not just a bunch of bits and bytes. You will be able to share with the people at your company  your experience interacting with the people behind the product. However, due to the NDA you will sign you will not be able to tell them anything about what was discussed.
  3. Get a Microsoft gratuity, which in the past you would select from a list of Microsoft hardware and software. You can use the item you select, give it to someone else – they make great birthday, holiday and Father’s day gifts. Note: I did not say Mother’s day or Anniversary gifts, been there, tried it, trust me it does not go over well – even as a joke. Or I heard that you can even turn it into cash by selling it on eBay. Be advised that if you participate in more than one session you could end up receiving items that total more than $600 and in that case you will get a 1099 Form at the end of the year to file with you taxes.


If one of the scheduled focus group sessions fits into your area of interest you should definitely sign up and participate regardless of the other session(s) going on at the same time.

The sessions are on the following topics:

  • Using external data sources to increase sales productivity within CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Licensing model
  • Hosted Email connector overview and feedback
  • Social Customer care concept overview and feedback


I have signed up to be a participant in the CRM Online Licensing model session – hope to see you around the table.

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