Camping by a beach for 18 days straight in perfect weather with extended family all around. Does it get any better than that? I was so relaxed I am surprised my heart did not stop!  So no apologies for the blogging void – I was having too much fun.

But 2012 is going to be a big year for eOne and I am now burning to get going with big plans.  I thought I’d outline a couple of things going on here at eOne.

1. eOne goes CRM 2011: The first thing is that I am now officially a heavy SmartConnect user.  We have moved internally to Microsoft CRM and I took on the job of converting all our data, and ongoing integrations using SmartConnect.  Firstly I am loving CRM, and I have proven that SmartConnect is as easy to use as I have been telling everyone in my demos. Which is great.

What I have learnt through this process is a bunch of little things I think should change in SC. The dev team were not so excited by all the little feature requests I have logged.  I will blog more about the conversion process, the things I learnt and things to watch out for with CRM integrations.

2. New User Interface Coming:  SmartConnect is getting a makeover, face lift and transformation. Last year we moved to an entirely standalone version of SmartConnect and decoupled from the GP user interface. This has allowed us to rework the look and feel and how all the components hang together. I am excited about how the user experience will improve with this release. Target date is March.  You can imagine that these changes are also leading us be able to expand into other CRM and ERP markets.

3. SmartView Goes Standalone: We had so much fun moving SmartConnect outside of GP, that we are now doing the same thing with SmartView. This is really exciting as it allows you to give all the power of SmartList’s to everyone in your organisation – even if they are not GP users.  This leads to some really fun stuff like SmartView on other devices like Ipads, Android Pads and windows pads.

4. First SmartConnect User Group Meeting:  During convergence 2012 in Houston (March 18th) we will be holding a 2hr user group session. This is a great chance for all our customers (and their partners) to gather together, learn what is new, understand our roadmap, learn form eachother, ask questions of a customer panel, ask questions of our development and consulting teams. The success of this event will lead on to a bigger user group even the following year.  You invites will be coming shortly so please be sure to come along and join us.

5. Web client:  We are working with Microsoft on the GP12 web client for SLB and eXtender. There is a way to go but this is exciting stuff for us and you as customer/partners. There is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes. If you ever hear it said that Microsoft are not investing in Dynamics GP you are sorely mislead.

6. New Website/Customer portals/Forums. I am really excited about this. We are changing the way we do business, and becomingng much more open to our customers and partners. All support calls will soon be logged online, and you can get updates from our support crew via the same portal. We are also opening up some interactive forums which we hope will foster more information sharing between our customers/ partners and our development team.

7. Partner Program. We will be releasing information soon aobut changes to our partner programme. Do not get scared these are all positive. We are looking at options to ensure customers and consultants have the best, easiest and fastest ways to get support when they need it.

So that is just a snapshot of what is coming. I am excited about 2012 and we hope to make the lives of our partners and customers easier by continuing to lead the way with great software solutions.