Legendary Podcast: Steve Chinsky on the Value of Community, Lessons Learned, Community Summit 2023 Highlights

Welcome to the “Legendary Podcast,” hosted by Dynamics Communities Editor Cam Sessinger. The “Legendary Podcast” is a video podcast series featuring Community Summit North America Legends, highlighting their career expertise, community involvement, and Community Summit experiences.

In episode 1, Cam Sessinger interviews Steve Chinsky, UG Expert, Legend, All-Star, Microsoft MVP, and Director of Dynamics Practice, Accelerynt. The two discuss the recent Community Summit North America event and the importance of community.

This episode is sponsored by Community Summit North America, the largest independent gathering of the Microsoft Business Applications ecosystem, taking place Oct. 13-17, 2024, in San Antonio, Texas. Register today to connect with thousands of users across the Microsoft business applications ecosystem at the for user, by user event.

Highlights

01:17 — Steve is a Microsoft MVP, a Community Summit North America Legend, a Dynamics BC/NAV All-Star, and has been involved in the Microsoft business applications space for over 15 years, and has maintainted a strong focus on working with Business Central for the last 24 years.

“The community has been my my bread and butter, you know, it’s my passion to just, year after year after year, do Summit and be on this Summit committee for the content and everything like that.”

03:53 — Steve notes that the most recent Community Summit event was (at least) the 15th he had attended. “I don’t think I’ve missed one,” he adds, “except maybe in the early days of my learning of Navision (NAV) because I was so new.”

05:42 — In reflecting on the Community Summit North America 2023, Steve shares a few key takeaways. First, he was impressed with the number of new attendees. Additionally, he was “blown away” by the sheer number of Microsoft employees who were present and sharing information, education, and updates to the Business Central product specifically.

“That in and of itself was kind of like bringing back the spark, where people can come there and both get educated by your Microsoft person, educated by an MVP, educated by a speaker, educated by a customer who did a session.”

Another highlight for Steve was the Expo Floor and large number of partners and ISVs who came prepared to demonstrate their tools and solutions. Lastly, he notes his passion for speaking and the value that added to his overall experience, in addition to connecting with familiar faces and networking.

09:15 — In speaking to the benefits of community, Steve explains that it’s two-fold. First, users “are the foundation” of Business Central, who help guide the Programming Committe in their planning and deliverables.

“But overall the theme, the running theme has always been, what does the user want? What do our users need? And what do our users want to see?”

Additionally, Steve raises the notion of session times. What kind of times to users want for Education Sessions? Users who are interested in volunteering for the Summit Programming Committee can reach out to Steve.

14:16 — If you are new to the Microsoft Business Applications space or Community Summit, a good starting point is to reach out to User Group Experts on dynamicscommunities.com and engage on the Forums. For those who are looking to learn more about Business Central, Steve suggests completing the trainings on Microsoft Learn or check out the on-demand sessions from past Community Summits. Additionally, the Business Central/NAV User Group hosts monthly webinars in which you can learn about the nuances of the product.

17:21 — As the conversation comes to a close, Steve reflects on lessons learned through his many years working with the Business Central product. His first lession: “Don’t assume anything is going to go perfectly.” The key to this is to not put too much pressure on the project team. Additionally, ensure the project manager has clear plans, objectives, and tasks. When it comes time to test, Steve cannot emphasize the importance of testing enough.

Something else that is striking to Steve is the mass adoption of Business Central. Businesses of all sizes, across 155 countries, are now running their businesses using this product.

24:40 — Anyone who is interested in volunteering their time and expertise on the Community Summit Programming Committee can contact Steve through dynamicscommunities.com or LinkedIn.


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