Day two round up from Directions EMEA

It’s the morning after the night before and here’s my round up of learnings from day two at Directions EMEA.

Second Microsoft keynote – more live demos

The second Microsoft keynote delivered more details around the ecosystem we can expect for D365 Tenerife. Whilst I’m no technical expert, business as usual until it is issued is definitely the approach we need to take. Several live demos were carried out for the audience, we saw how simple it is to add an external accountant via the accountant hub. For small businesses this is often what is needed. Thresholds are set per company and single or recurring tasks can be scheduled with ease. As an accountant you can then drill down into each client’s tenant in a seamless way. Productivity is improved so that’s a win-win.

We saw an example of the integration you can have between social media, e.g. car servicing B2C Facebook page, bookings of work straight into Outlook calendars, and then invoicing via desktop and mobile app. It was seamless, simple and for once connectivity wasn’t a problem – and given that 2,000+ people could be using the Internet connection here in the hotel that’s no mean feat. We were then shown a business intelligence demo where a simple line of text in an email asking for “20 tables” could generate an invoice for the client without them even needing to go to a business app (obviously there’s bit more to it than that). For a client that seamless approach ensures they remain productive whilst still using NAV.

Then GDPR was mentioned for the first time. I’m actually quite surprised that it wasn’t mentioned earlier. And actually it was only mentioned in passing and at the same time as SOC and ISO. As a community that deals in data, I would have thought that it would mentioned a lot! We are looking at it very closely at TVision and are working with a pilot client and external provider to provide a case study at our NAV Summit event next month.

gdpr mention

Perfect marketing session

Next up a session perfectly titled for marketers: How to Increase Online engagement and Drive Conversion. Sharka Chobot from Neural Impact delivered a session that had many people in the audience nodding pretty much throughout. What she said made a lot of sense – don’t sell a product, sell an answer to a pain point of a prospect using the emotional buying cycle rather than a rational one.
rational buying cycle

I think in marketing we all know it’s obvious, but sometimes people lose sight of this and just web copy that talks about the product and not how it alleviates manual data entry thereby saving valuable time in the working day, etc. I really liked the idea of using imagery to show the old situation, e.g. paperwork stacked high desk with someone looking stressed, and then new situation after using your solution, e.g. lying on a beach relaxing or watching a child’s sporting activity. Sharka then mentioned “trust” – which was the identical message I heard inn a session yesterday. You have to trust the person you’re about to do business with – and your website needs to show content that will allow trust to develop.

I also listened to Sharka again later on in the afternoon at a session with social proof from a few of her existing clients. Effective landing pages were shown to the audience and the thought process of how the content was created was also discussed. A lot of food for thought! I think the most interesting slide was about the lack of marketing investment made by companies. On average it is just 1-1.5% of revenue, yet she was saying it should be 7-10%.

ave marketing spend

Document capture and expenses management from Continia

Having never seen a Continia demo, it was interesting to listen to their talk and see their document capture and expenses functionality. They will be attending our NAV Summit next month so our clients will be able to see first hand the updates to their desktop and mobile user experience as well as what’s coming soon. We also saw an amusing use of placeholder text in a PowerPoint presentation. Instead of using the standard but somewhat boring ipsum lorum, they just quoted: “Place catchy title here” under the images of their new apps that are coming. Well played.

Day 3 has no keynote and is only a half day, and already it seems quitter. But that could be because last night’s party night got the better of people. Catch up on my day one blog if you missed it here.