After a fantastic few days leading up to the conference, the first day of GPUG Amplify South Africa 2018 has finally arrived.
Jennifer accompanied me on the first day to help Angie Ryan and Katie Froeber with registration and then be there later for the end of the day when there were cocktails.
We ate breakfast at the hotel before catching the shuttle for the 15-20 minute drive to the conference venue.
Arriving at the Canvas Riversands, we were welcomed to the conference.
Just before the conference Welcome and Keynote general session started, Mariano and I got the attendees involved with a little bit of physical action and a wave.
The session included a welcome from Bob McAdam who was awake (and dressed) at 3 AM (US Time) to present remotely. We only had a few connection issues that did not affect the flow of the session much. Bob presented information about GPUG and its membership and the services it provides. Part of the deal included for attending the conference was a free year’s membership to GPUG.
Following Bob’s introduction, Katie Froeber demonstrated the GPUG website and all the features it offers to members.
After Katie’s session (where we lost our connection with Bob), we managed to get Bob back online and he presented an overview of the major new features in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018. Thanks Bob for staying online with us in the wee hours of the morning. Next time we want to see you attend in person. That said it was great to have Katie and Angie come over. 🙂
Next we had a Keynote from Wessel Pieterse from Microsoft South Africa who presenting a session titled “Transforming Business for the Digital Age”. He discussed Microsoft’s transformation into the company you see today and the sequence of industrial revolutions that have moved mankind forward.
The transformation was more than just the company’s logo, but this is still a fun slide.
He mentioned how using cloud services such as Microsoft Azure allows companies to easily expand their system’s capabilities on demand and even quickly “spin up” duplicated test systems to run test upgrades. There are many benefits of moving to the cloud and Microsoft Dynamics GP is cloud ready in a number of different configurations.
After the general session we had the breakout sessions. Mariano and I presented the first three of our sessions:
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018: Customizing The User Interface
- Partner Solution Showcase: Winthrop Development Consultants – Simplify Administering your system with GP Power Tools
- Yet Another 25 Dexterity Development Tricks and Hacks in 45 Minutes
The sessions were well received and we had some great questions. The GP Power Tools session saw lots of people nodding their heads and smiling when they found the solutions to their problems. The tips session was great as many of the tips were new to the attendees and they expressed their wish for another, fourth, session in this series with the next 25 tips. Now Mariano and I need to come up with tips 76 to 100.
After the sessions Pieter Cornelius, launched the first GPUG Chapter in South Africa with encouragement to customers to get involved and partners to get their customers involved.
Then we had time to relax at the Cocktail Reception and Expo. A wide variety of drinks and nibbles were available including South African Biltong (jerky).
Got to love the little mobile bar that served the drinks.
After the cocktails finished, we took the shuttle back to the hotel and called it a night.
Day 2 of the conference was full on for Mariano and I. Jennifer did not come in as there was not much for her to do and so she did some sightseeing instead. I noticed the GPUG signs in the morning as I arrived.
We presented our remaining 5 sessions, including on repeat session:
- Ask Us Anything About Microsoft Dynamics GP Development
- Developing Microsoft Dynamics GP Extensions w/ Microsoft PowerApps & Flow
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018: Customizing the User Interface REPEAT
- Partner Solution Showcase: Winthrop Development Consultants – Leveraging GP Power Tools as a Developer
- Understanding Microsoft Dynamics GP Security
The Ask Us Anything session only had two people as many of the developers were attending another session and we had already answered their questions during our development workshop on the previous Friday. Even so, we easily filled the time we had answering the questions that were raised.
The session that Mariano presented on PowerApps and Microsoft Flow was well attended as it was not specifically hard core developer material and was a subject that people are very interested in seeing. Using PowerApps to link via an On-premise connector, we can display data easily in a mobile app for any screen size (tablet, phone, etc.) and then use Microsoft Flow to add workflows and actions to make changes. Mariano’s demo showed a simple batch approval app allowing batches to be marked as approved from his phone.
As the conference was winding up I got some photos with my US friends.
After the conference, Mitch Holfeld drove me back to the hotel where we picked up Jennifer and went to the Cycle Lab Fourways Megastore. The reason we wanted to visit a bike shop will become more apparent in an upcoming article soon.
After we got back to the hotel, Mariano, Jennifer and I kept up a tradition started by me for the Fargo’s Dynamics GP Technical Conference and ate an Indian dinner at The Raj Indian Restaurant in the Montecasino complex.
Day 3 was a post conference GPUG Academy training day and I presented two half day sessions on GP Power Tools. We covered the System Features and Administrator Tools module in the morning’s introduction session and Developer Tools and Database Tools modules in the afternoon’s advanced session:
- Academy – Introduction to GP Power Tools
- Academy – Advanced GP Power Tools Tricks and Tips
The final dinner for the international guests and some of the Braintree team was held at Tiger’s Milk restaurant.
As I was not presenting any training on Day 4 (second GPUG Academy day), I was able to sleep in a little. After a late breakfast Mariano, Jennifer and I relaxed and wandered around the casino complex one last time. Both externally and internally, a lot of effort has gone into the design to make it feel like you are in Italy.
They even had a number of different fountains inside the complex.
Can you spot who is hiding in the photo above?
After checking out of the hotel, the three of us went and visited with Tim Gordon (from Alphasoft). Tim had kindly offered to look after us with a Braai lunch before we needed to head to the airport for our flights out of South Africa. It was nice to chat and unwind after the conference and even play some driving computer games on the gaming rig with force feedback wheel, gears and pedals.
Before we knew it, the time had come for an Uber ride to the airport and the trip to South Africa for this year was completed.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.