My Directions EMEA 2023 thoughts

Directions EMEA 2023 is over (but not the conference season for me – one more to go in just a few days in Poland).

I would like to share with you my thoughts on this year’s event (yes it was amazing as always -nothing new here).

Biggest topic: AI, AI, and one more AI

You cannot leave Lyon without the impression that AI will be the biggest change for next year. I was thinking about how we can prepare for it in my company and how to incorporate that into our products. I love the idea of helping users with this tool however I feel the biggest challenge is to find where to add it not if we should add it.

So if you ask me what I will do after the conference – I would create some kind of focus group with our partners/key users to hear their feedback and opinions on where the AI can be useful for them. There are still a lot of unknowns in this area but for sure would love to not stay behind.

Best sessions: Roundtables

I was impressed by how the format of the session was good. If you ever see in the agenda roundtable – JOIN THEM. Why? People gave Microsoft a lot of feedback about the functionality they would to see, the user experience to improve, and more. I was at least in 4 roundtables. And even if you think – I am a developer why I should go to the UX session? Think twice – I learned a lot about how other people think about user experience in Business Central but also I learned what principles Microsoft wants to follow in its core product. Based on that, as a developer, I learned how to design/develop features in terms that users will be more happy.

From the other side in the product/Business Central modules roundtable, I learned what are plans for Microsoft in the next months. Even if no promise is made I already know how to talk with the customer to not do some things that in short may get to standard product.

I am sad that there were not so many ISVs during Jobs or Service discussions. They could be surprised that some of the solutions that I know would need significant refactoring.

What is the best new feature: it’s deep under the surface

Back a bit to AI, if you want my honest opinion about the things that are in the product so far – I am not so impressed. I am talking about bank reconciliation and marketing text. But this is my perspective as a person more in logistics and manufacturing. However, I was sitting next to more finance people and they like the things much more than me.

For me, the best new features are those which users will not see in their daily work. I will name a few:

  • changes to mobile client – I love that it getting more and more love
  • Virtual Tables for Power Pages – I am waiting for some projects for this so happy that will be able to do so stuff
  • Database schema changed – from one table for each table extension we will have just one for all extensions. This is a huge improvement in performance
  • Business foundation layer – this one will have the biggest impact on existing solutions. But I will write a blog post about this one. It deserves a separate article

What next: preparation for the 2024 season started

There are so many opportunities to learn in 2024 that you cannot miss. From one-day events in the local language (Spain and Poland), through Days of Knowledge in four countries, to 3 Directions on 3 continents.

But that’s the future now I am going back to hope. One more flight and I am in Warsaw. See you soon!

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