#GPUGSummit 2017 Pre Conference GPUG Academy and Meetings

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI know that we are approaching the end of November and that GPUG Summit 2017 was in October, but I had been working flat out to get the new builds for my products released.

Now that I have achieved that goal (so pleased to have that completed), I wanted to share some more of my experiences at GPUG Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

We left off the last post after the Dexterity Training and having the weekend at the amazing Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Now it was time for the two days of GPUG Academy training and other pre-conference sessions.

The day started with a walk past registration, down to the GPUG Academy rooms. The Registration area was already getting busy as people arrived for their training and for the conference itself.

I won’t bore you the details of the day of training, other than to say we had a great time learning about GP Power Tools, with an Introductory session in the morning covering System Features and Administrator Tools module and an Advanced session in the afternoon covering Developer Tools and Database Tools modules. If you haven’t seen GP Power Tools in action, watch this demo and try to get some training next time it is included at GPUG Academy. You won’t regret it.

After the training, Zubin Gidwani from Dynamic Budgets organised a dinner for a number of the ISVs, partners and their customers at the Caney Fork Restaurant. The idea was to get a quick bite to eat as many of the attendees had an event to go to afterwards. The numbers for the event grew rapidly and the plans for some pre-ordered meals turned into a full buffet. The food was good and the company better.

The venue was taxidermy heaven with the walls full of hunted animals and fish, as well as all kinds of hunting and fishing paraphernalia.

After dinner, there was a Community Leader Appreciation Event organised by Dynamic Communities for the user group chapter leaders and other leaders that make the community great. It was a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry music hall, which is the home of country music in Nashville. I walked over with some of the other diners.

We arrived late and went to the wrong entrance, but a staff member found us and brought us to the correct location. I took a photo of the main stage from the auditorium as we walked through.

I was glad I did as, in the end, that was all I saw! I usually have a Victorinox Cybertool Swiss Army Knife on my belt and no-one had mentioned that the back stage area required you to pass through security. As the security guard refused to look after the tool for a short time, my choice was to dispose of an expensive knife that I had owned for many years and catch the tail end of a tour or leave…. so I left and called it a night. 🙂

The next day started with Community Leader Development Training for the chapter leaders of the user groups. I was able to stay for the first bit of the training, but had to leave for some meetings.

While I was walking around the venue between meetings, I took some photos of the final preparations being made for the official start of the Summit conference the next day. All the signage was up around the hotel and its atriums.

Winthrop Development Consultants sponsored the water coolers in the rooms for the GPUG related concurrent sessions. (Gotta love those carpet colours! 🙂 )

The Mekorma booth in the Expo Hall was all set up and waiting for attendees to visit: A great place to learn more about Mekorma and Winthrop Development Consultants products.

After my meetings, the next event on the schedule was the Summit Partner Exchange, an event for partners to get together and discuss issues that concerned them. It started with a general session before breaking out into individual sessions for the different products.

The general session started with some welcoming music by a country duo, originally from North Dakota, called Tigirlily. These girls have fantastic voices and were very entertaining.

During the session, a number of things were discussed, but it was the comments by Martin Olsen from eOne Solutions that made the biggest impact on me. Martin was discussing the cloud and how to move businesses to the cloud. He was a voice of reason and explained that you need to make the move at your own pace when you are ready and, for some businesses, the move to the cloud might not be what they need at this time.

After the general session we broke out into product sessions and so I joined the Q & A session for Microsoft Dynamics GP, facilitated by the one and only, Pam Misialek from Microsoft.

During the session many issues were discussed, including: updating of documentation, especially the SDK; maintenance and enhancement of eConnect; and why Microsoft’s next project is code named “Tenerife”, even though it is the location of the worst airline disaster in aviation history. But the main topic ended up being the future of the Microsoft Dynamics GP product.

So here is the bottom line paraphrased by me:

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP has some 48,000 sites and is a cash cow for Microsoft.
  • While partners are still selling Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft will keep developing it.
  • If partners spread rumours that GP is dead, and leave the GP world, it be a self fulfilling prophecy.
  • So, get out there and promote GP! There are lots of new features to learn and use.
  • In addition, there are many ISVs who are continuing to invest in GP and make it better.

After the Partner Exchange meetings, the Expo Hall opened for a Welcoming event for all conference attendees. I spent the time down at the Mekorma booth talking to people about the Winthrop Development Consultants products: GP Power Tools and Batch Posting Service Toolkit.

When the Expo Hall finished for the evening MVPs Mariano Gomez, John Lowther, Belinda Allen, Steve Endow and myself headed over to the MVP Mingle event at Dave & Busters, organised by Mark Polino and the team at FastPath. This was a gathering for MVPs and All Stars from all the products to socialize, have something to eat and play some arcade games.

While at the MVP Mingle, I was also able to add some Stack-A-Ribbon awards to my name badge so that I was all ready for the next day and the start of the Conference proper.

On the way back from the MVP Mingle, Mariano and I met a very famous person in the country music world in the hotel lobby. While he was not very talkative, Mr Cash was gracious enough to pose for a few photos.

Time to get some sleep. More to come.


This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

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