Report back from Directions EMEA 2019

Starting from the second week of July to today, I had a completely packed schedule. It is a simple explanation about me blogging about the Directions EMEA after two months. August month started with 4 different Dynamics 365 Saturday community events every weekend and then came the Directions EMEA, after a few weeks time NAV TechDays. After all the travelings around the world and sleepless nights and weekends preparing for each session,  I finally manage to book some time to write a blog post about all the conferences I have attended during the past few weeks.

What is Directions EMEA?
Directions EMEA is where Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partners go to learn first-hand from Microsoft about the Roadmap of the Dynamics 365 Business Central and the best practices for migrating existing NAV customers to Business Central. It is an independent conference organized by the partners for partners and from next year onwards Directions will be known as “Directions 4 Partners”. Around 60-70% of the content delivered in the conference is directly coming from Microsoft and rest is by Microsoft MVPs or well-known experts on the technology.

How I got involved?
Wagner Silveira (Microsoft MVP for Azure) from our Theta Integration team and I was sharing the stage for the past few years delivering sessions on the possibilities of extending Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with the use of Azure services. I always felt like this is more of two worlds coming together to deliver one perfect solution. Wagner is bringing his expertise on Azure technologies and integrations while I bring my expertise on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Together we manage to come up with very exciting session topics and demos to deliver the content.
Wagner and I were part of the last two Directions ASIA conferences and this time we got the opportunity to attend and conduct 3 different sessions at Directions EMEA, which is the largest Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner conference.

Our sessions were around the topic of “Unlocking new integration potential for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with Azure Integration Services”. The audience was very interactive, and we felt the audience enjoyed our sessions. Session feedback on the conference app from the attendees also agreed with our feeling.

Even though it was my first time at the Directions EMEA, I did not feel new about it as most of the speakers I knew personally or have already worked or engaged with them through e-mails or via twitter. However, it was an exciting conference for me as I was presenting at the “Directions EMEA” and this was kind of on my bucket list for the past 6 years.

A dream came true!
I still can remember when I was back in Sri Lanka a few years ago working for ZILLIONe, I was closely following the conference and going through all the tweets coming out from other MVPs, and dreaming about attending the conference as an attendee. After a few years later down the line, I was conducting 3 sessions at the conference that I was dreamed to attend as an attendee. Special heart whelmed thanks should go to Theta for assisting all the ways possible and Joerg Rau and Craig Barberini for encouraging me to present at community events. It was Joerg Rau who introduced me to Wagner and put the idea of we two deliver joint sessions. It was the starting point of this great journey with Wagner.

Theta Team
It is not just Wagner and me, this time we had 2 other participants from Theta team. Joerg Rau is a regular attendee for the Directions EMEA conference and this year Carl Head also joins with him to the conference. Even though it took over 27 hours to get to Vienna from New Zealand, attending Directions EMEA makes a huge impact on how we engage with new technologies. In Directions EMEA, Theta team has access to the latest tech news related to Microsoft Dynamics 365 directly coming from Microsoft itself. Attending workshops and deep-dive sessions keep us at the cutting edge technology, which makes perfect for us to deliver a perfect solution for our customers when we return back to New Zealand.

Directions EMEA Party

After session packed 3 days at Directions EMEA came to an end. Personally, I enjoyed every minute of the conference. Manage to put a face to the names for some of the Business Central giants. Picked up many new concepts and technologies and tasted the Schnitzel. Loved it!

MVP group photo | Photo credit: Directions EMEA

Please provide your feedback with a comment. 

Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara

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