Posts Tagged With: GPUG
Lots of people have been sitting on the fence since last year’s Convergence 2015 when Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft was going to give new directions to one of the largest event of the company in North America (roughly 12-13’000 attendees in the past years). Microsoft wanted to target more the big company decision makers of the America Inc (and other countries of course), namely all the C-level people (CEO, CTO, CFO, CIO, name it… ).
Problem is that Convergence has essentially been followed by the base users of their Dynamics line of product, at least that was my feeling and experience since attending my first Convergence in San Diego in 2007. Lots of IT people, Finance, HR and Manufacturing dept users, all of them wanted to see the next coming ‘new’ features for the product they used. One essential reason also for participating at Convergence was the chance to be able to have a one-to-one discussion with the technical folks of Microsoft and also to meet their peers that share the same domain of business and interest. Having also the opportunity to visit several ISV’s on the Expo Center was a bonus as well.
For several months after last year’s Convergence 2015, many folks still believed that Microsoft couldn’t sacrifice such a huge event like this and make a 180° turn. Even our lovely GP folks in Fargo tried to reassure everyone that they were still fully committed to continue the development and support of GP, promising they would do all in their power to maintain some decent content for the 2016 Convergence. Then on January 13th 2016, Wayne Morris made a big announcement about this year’s coming event in April.. And this was the beginning of the end ! Convergence as we all knew it was dead, replaced by a complete new event called Envision 2016. For all the users from the base of Dynamics, this was a clear statement that there not much to expect anymore from the event as we had known it for the past 10 years. As alternative, Wayne Morris was redirecting the folks to other large events like Microsoft Ignite (Sept 26-30, 2016, Atlanta, GA), the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (July 10-14, 2016, Toronto, Canada) and last but not least the Dynamics User Group Summit (Oct 10-14, 2016, Tampa, FL).
The later one being the most interesting when it comes to content for all things GP related, since Ignite is more targeting technical and development people, and the WPC being mostly a partner event which this year will be help in Canada (I wished Convergence would come one day north of the border… sigh). With only one major event left this year for most regular Dynamics GP users in the fall in Tampa FL (GPUG Summit), the Dynamics Community organization committee started (probably quite early) some discussions with the folks in Fargo and decided to organize some other more GP-centric event for the Spring season… and so they decided to launch as experimental event for the first time in 2016 the new GPUG Amplify conference.
GPUG Amplify will be held in Anaheim CA from May 23-25. Technically only a short event of 2,5 days, it is not excluded that GPUG could organize some Academy training classes the day before (Sunday). Anaheim is also home of the Disney Land California park which is only a few streets away from the Marriott Convention hotel where the conference is going to take place, so why not combine business and fun for a full week off. One big incentive of GPUG Amplify is the price : 699$ if you’re a registered GPUG member and do your reservation before March 25th. That’s almost a third of the price of this year’s Convergence ticket , eeehh Envison, which will set you back a full 1995$
Of course there will be no fancy party with big-O names.. but there will be an Expo reception evening on Monday night and lots of networking opportunities as well. Breakfast and lunch meals are going to be provided as well, like at Convergence and GPUG Summit. Of course, this year being kind of a testing event, it’s not clear yet how much sessions will be presented, nor if there are going to be many user-driven session, but from what I could get so far, the session content will mostly be covered by Microsoft people and possibly some ISV’s (Gold & Platinum sponsors).
If you want to know more about the coming event, head over to the Contact page and an e-mail to Bob Buresh or Nancy Anello from Dynamics Communities. Pam Misialek has already posted a blog entry on the Dynamics Community forums to market the event.
I’ve yet to bring the topic up in our company with our CFO, who had started to attend with me Convergence back in 2012 in Houston, and has not missed one since then, as he too found a lot of interesting content, since he is our main financial reporting tools user (having used FRx for many years and transitioned to MR 2012 back in 2012). I hope we could be part of the very first edition of GPUG Amplify, hoping that it will get the audience it deserves and there will be more over the next years.
Until next post,
Your truthfully @GP_Beat
Edit : PS: I was just listening to the latest Enterprise Podcast from Dynamics Communities and Bob McAdam was confirming that some Academy classes would be held on Wednesday PM after the closure of Amplify at noon… And he mentioned the opportunity of spending some time at Disneyland as well for the remaining time that week !
Now that April 1st is behind us and this would no longer fall for an April fool, I can officially anounce the good news.. I’m now part of the big ‘small’ family of the very ‘select’ Dynamic GP MVP group.
It’s great because of all the GREAT people that make this group a real family… and it’s probably the smallest MVP group dedicated to a Microsoft product : there are only 15 active Dynamics GP MVP’s around the world with 2 new ones added on April 1st, 2015, with myself and Mahmoud AlSaadi. And it looks like I’m the only Canadian one as far as I could inquire from the official Microsoft MVP site, which means either that Kanuks are not big Dynamics GP fans or that it is just too cold and people spend more time shovelling snow around half of the year then caring about Great Plains :-)…
Hold on ! Great Plains.. isn’t that a place somewhere in the middle of North America, where all the crop farms are ? we have some provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba that are actually sharing that qualification: always windy, hot in the summer and darn cold in the winter. There is no spring or fall season… just winter and summer. Reminds me when I was in Fargo in 2011 in March and it was no different from Montreal at this time of the year.
That said, I would never have imagined that when I started to work in 2003 with Dynamics Great Plains (aka GP) that one day I would end up being one the few subject matter experts for that product… quite a long way since those first days where I was hired to do some process rework for a manufacturing company to optimize the production forecast with big Excel workbooks. In those days I was relying on the newsgroup forums (only a few ones dedicated to GP) that were barely monitored by Microsoft, but mostly by dedicated users like Mariano Gomez and David Musgrave, to only name a few.
It was after a few years later that I really understood the power of the ‘community’ when Microsoft took back control of the newsgroups and put them into a controlled environment to be able to better ‘moderate’ the discussions and keep the spammers away from the subjects. Since those days I was grateful already for the numerous tips and hints that I had received from other users, that I seamlessly started to give back what I had received during a few years.
During the life I spent in IT (which covers almost 30 years back in the early 80’s), I always made a point to keep up with the latest technology and try to be ahead of everyone else, mostly by educating myself or getting ad-hoc training for the products I was working with. I never really had a mentor as such, since most of the people I was working with always came to me to ask questions… The wheel turned and one day it happened that I was myself asking for questions about a product I had no idea how to work with. As my motto has always been “if you know how to do it, you’ll save yourself lots of trouble in the future”, so rather then relying on a partner to fix problems, I just looked around on the net.. that was when started the long Journey about my apprenticeship with Dynamics GP :-).
I’m happy with the road I decided to go at that time since it opened me already much better opportunities in my professional work back in 2009 and many others that came along when joining the GPUG community. Today I’m at a point I only dreamed about several years when looking at all those MVP VIP’s (Valuable Informed People) that where providing advice and technical content to others in need. I’m now too one of the very few Dynamics GP SME (Subject Matter Experts) around the world and hope it’s only the beginning of another lengthy joyful journey.
Thank you all for your support and recognition. Looking forward to more exciting online & in-person discussions.
Until next post..
Friday Nov. 21st was the first local GPUG chapter meeting held in the brand new offices of Microsoft downtown Montreal. The meeting was scheduled from 8:30am to noon, but I showed up there five minutes before eight to be sure that everything was ready in time. I arrived at the door at the same moment as the nice lady from the reception and we had a short chat about the company I’m working for, which she found very interesting (who’s not fascinated by CSI Miami😊?), before she led me to the room that was reserved for the meeting.
The new conference rooms are really nice and the setup was quick and easy (kudos to that new control console for the projector in form of a mini touch pad). The first attendees arrived already ahead of time at 8:00 and were promptly headed to the room.. At 8:30 we had 4 attendees in the room, out of the 8 that had registered to the meeting… so we waited a little moment more, starting to chat about GPUG and the recent Summit in St-Louis. Shortly after arrived the catering service with coffee, some pastries and fruits.. Thank You GPUG for this sweet attention.
As no other participants showed up, we decided to start the meeting and went on with the opening of the session and starting the discussion about kicking off a new local chapter in Montréal. The discussion went on well for about 20 minutes to explain what the purpose and the benefits of a local GPUG Chapter are.
After that brief intro, we moved to the actual meat of the morning, an educational session about Disaster Recovery Planning for Dynamics GP, a session that I had presented at the GPUG Summit in St-Louis last month. The PowerPoint material can be found here : GPA01-GPUGSummit2014_SessionDeck_DisasterRecovery.
After the session presentation and a short cofee break, it was time to have a brief review of the previous month’s GPUG Summit 2014 in St-Louis, MO. The video below will provide you a quick glimpse of what the event was like.
Here is also a short presentation of the next GPUG Summit 2015 destination, the beautiful Reno Lake Tahoe in Nevada.
The meeting went on with the presentation of member’s showcase, as I made a half-hour introduction of Ultra-Electronics Forensic Technology Inc., also known as FTI. I went thru the history of the company and our current position in the market, with a presence in more than 60 countries around the world, and being a leader in the domain of ballistic identification. More about FTI can be found here : http://forensictechnology.com/about/
I think I was able to capture the audience with the presentation of our company, especially when considering that most people associate Forensics with the CSI TV show (see more about this here). However, not many people know that the ballistic identification system that is used in the TV show is really an full working IBIS station that FTI sold to the producer many years ago. For those who want to know more about our company, there is a full load of brochure to download from our site.
As we came to the end of the morning, it was time to wrap the meeting and head back to our respective offices. My feeling is that it was a first step into what I hope will be a long successful local GPUG Chapter. Despite the fact that we were only five people attending this first meeting, I’m confident that we’ll be able to build a strong chapter. From the discussion that I had with one of the present partner, there seems to be way over 300 customers using Dynamics Great Plains in the greater Montreal area, so there is definitely room for more members :-).
For now, there were no nomination to fill the position for the local chapter, but I welcome any member to register and fill for a position.Below is an excerpt from the GPUG Chapter manual :
Local Chapter Leadership Roles
Persons leading Chapters must be Microsoft Dynamics GP Users. The roles defined below, provide guidelines
for what common duties are necessary for a smooth running chapter:
- Oversees delivery of and facilitates Chapter Meetings
- Serves as a point person to GPUG and represents the chapter
- Communicates final agenda, location, schedule and other items needed to execute the meetings
- Helps find and selects subject matter experts who can help present
- Oversees survey/feedback/continuous improvement of their chapter
- Provides feedback to GPUG on topics, presenters, member participation
- Participates in GPUG Chapter Leadership calls and training when possible
- Will assist in sharing duties with Chair Person
Vice Chair for Membership
- Oversees chapter membership roster for accuracy and completeness
- Welcomes attendees, updates attendance reports and submits to GPUG
- Generates creative ideas to drive User and Partner attendance
- Participates in GPUG Chapter Leadership calls and training when possible
Vice Chair for Communication
- Oversees communication to members at a local level via GPUG Collaborate, social media, etc.
- Assists in driving attendance by utilizing the GPUG membership directory, partners, ISVs
- Document activities of meetings, presenters and topics and record Chapter history
- Submits summary of meeting for GPUG Magazine (photos are great)
- Participates in GPUG Chapter Leadership calls and training when possible
The following openings are available :
- Co-Chair Person
- Vice Chair for Membership
- Vice Chair for Communication
GPUG has a great wealth of material to support the regional chapters and provides also the logistics to help organize the meetings, so there isn’t really a giant amount of prep work, except to plan at least two presentations for each meeting.
The 2015 Meeting Dates have been set and should help everyone to plan accordingly their attendance :
1. Wednesday Feb. 18th, 2015
2. Wednesday April 15th, 2015
3. Wednesday Aug. 19th, 2015
4. Wednesday Nov. 18th, 2015
The meetings for Q1/Q2 will be held in Microsoft’s offices downtown Montréal, from 8:30 to Noon again. For the second part of the year, we might be able to have them organized at one of the members corporate office and take the opportunity for a member showcase.
Some of the 2015 Meeting Topics that were suggested:
1. GP 2015 & GP 2013
2. GP Web Client
3. Support Debugging Tool
4. BI & Reporting/Project Accounting
I want to Thank again here the people from Microsoft Canada in Montreal, especially Stephan Mondoux for inviting us to use their brand new meeting rooms, and of course Whitney Derks & Jennifer Dufresne from GPUG for arranging the catering. Thank you also to the participants that took some time off from their work to attend this event.
The goal for next year is to spread the word and try double the number of attendees we had for this first meeting. Until then, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Your truthfully chapter Chair Person.
PS: Bellow is the link for the regional GPUG Chapter certificate.
Last month was released the Summer/Fall edition of the GPUG Magazine 2014, and as there is now less then 2 months left for the GPUG Summit 2014 in St-Louis MO, I’d like to encourage all Dynamics GP aficionados to download and read the content, especially the article about the coming Summit on page 8 & 9…
This Fall I’m going to be (if nothing unforeseen happens ) in St-Louis for my second GPUG Summit and I’ll be presenting some of the interesting sessions that are totalling over 200 this year. Check out the schedule here on the web site : http://gpugsummit2014.sched.org/
Don’t miss the opportunity to meet some of the most engaged users of the community by attending the GPUG All Stars event and the GPUG Idol session where some of the best tips and tricks are shared with other users in the room.
This edition also has a tribute page to remembering our long time GPUG member and friend Riachard Whaley. Several of his friends were very sadden to hear the news as he passed away the day of his 63rd anniversary. My good friend Leslie Vail wrote some words about him in her blog, always worth reading.
Enjoy your summer !
PS: I forgot to mention that you’ll find me on the Accolade Publication booth to help Richard’s daughter Betsy to raise some interest from by-passers for the excellent books Richard published.