Directions 4 Partners

Directions EMEA 2021 – A community that sticks together

The worldwide network of companies whose products and services are based on Microsoft ERP and CRM technology is huge. What sounds anonymous at first glance is, at second glance, much more than a network: It is a partner network.

A Community for microsoft partners

Since 2007, Directions 4 Partners has been a community that enables Microsoft partners to meet and exchange ideas. The community consists of the two areas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and ASIA. The partners come together in one place every year to forge connections and be inspired. They meet, talk, discuss, develop, and celebrate. During these three days, a unique sense of community develops. Because, although the participating companies are at times competitors, everyone feels like they belong. The mood is friendly cooperation, with everyone speaking to everyone.

On the closing day of Directions 2019 in Vienna, YAVEON was excited to hear where the next event would take place in 2020. To our great delight, we found it was to be Milan. And then everything changed:  Due to the corona pandemic, the partner event had to be canceled. What happened next was incredible. In just a few weeks, the Directions team organized a virtual event with lectures, breakout rooms, and a virtual evening event. In such situations, it becomes clear what community and cohesion can create.

New year, new opportunities: Directions 2021 in Milan

2021. It’s finally time for events to take place again. Team YAVEON was delighted to hear that Directions EMEA would take place in Milan (under strict hygiene restrictions). After a two-years, we’d finally experience the classic Directions partner feeling again.

The process? A little different than usual - but at least as exciting

On Tuesday, October 26, Team YAVEON made its way from various locations, sometimes in carpools, to the nearest airports. For many, the trip was the first flight since the beginning of the pandemic, and Frankfurt Airport was quieter than we’d ever seen it. Security, check-in, departure, landing, and arrival to the hotel – at least as far as the process was concerned, everything was still the same and yet exciting as never before.

We set off the next morning. Approximately 1,600 participants of Directions streamed towards the Convention Center. The feeling: Pure anticipation. Even after the break of two years, we felt that familiar Directions feeling right from the start. Once we’d arrived, had our temperatures checked and our Greenpass scanned, we received our lanyards - and we were right in the thick of it.

Directions Begins

The halls were filled with stands at the appropriate distance, and there was even a new concept for promotional materials. We could pick up information from a contact-free kiosk. Which had even more benefits - as everyone only took what they were really interested in, we reduced waste and protected the environment. And then it started. The first keynote begins, followed by numerous sessions on various topics.

What was the YAVEON highlight of the first day? Clearly, the presentation of our CEO York Braune. With the theme "The perfect storm" he describes a current phenomenon that is both important and challenging. Throughout this year’s Directions, the topic of the “Cloud” dominates from the first to the last second. And one thing is certain: YAVEON is right in the center of this development. But other issues were covered at the event, such as knowledge sharing, professional development, and community collaboration – it's about working together. And this was also evident at the team dinner.

Reduce complexity

Day Two was at least as exciting, and provided insight into innovations around Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. What makes Directions so special is that, there is always time for conversations between the lectures, and the exchange of experiences and new ideas. The motto is simple processes, reduced complexity, and excellent results.

The day flies by, and then it’s the evening of the Community Party. Did it feel weird, with so many people in one place?  Definitely. But we felt safe due to the well-designed hygiene concept, and the mood was simply indescribable. Once again, it was clear that Directions is all about partnership.

We will admit that we had tired eyes on the last day of the event, as some of us didn’t get enough sleep! The final keynote was followed by additional fascinating sessions, and then the event in Milan was over.

Looking back, we can say:

It was fantastic!

Though virtual communication works, there’s nothing like meeting in person. It did feel a little bit strange to be in such large crowds, after so many months of social distancing. But we all felt comfortable, due to the excellent organization and hygiene measures.

Once again, we came away certain that Directions for Partners means true partnership. We are proud to be an integral and proven part of the Microsoft network.

The Author

No extra comma, no missing punctuation mark. Katharina Keil breaks down complex topics into simple and understandable sentences. Her texts have everything you would want from a good content marketer: Exciting stories, peppered with the necessary expertise, insightful examples and metaphors, and above all: Added value for the reader.

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