Thursday, November 10, 2011

GPUG Summit: Day 1

The GPUG Summit 2011 (twitter: #gpsummit) officially starts today! The morning started with the traditional pastry and coffee breakfast - ok, there were also a variety of juices to go along. I managed to sit at a round table with a few Microsoft Escalation Support folks and fellow MVPs Frank Hamelly and Mark Polino.

MVPs @ Work: left, MVP Frank Hamelly; right, MVP Mark Polino
Minutes later, Kim Peterson, GPUG Director kicked off the GPUG Summit 2011 (twitter: #gpsummit) with some overall statistics on attendance and industries. Suffice to say, the numbers are pretty impressive: 500 attendees from over 14 lines of industries, heavily represented by middle market organizations (11 - 49 users).

Kim Peterson on stage, recognizing the GPUG Board members
 GPUG sponsors were also recognized with folks from MetaViewer and Rockton Software taking the stage to talk about their products. This is when all hell broke loose! Mark Rockwell took the stage and reminded attendees why they should be using the GP Toolbox... BY SINGING!

Note: please do not confuse Mark Polino, MVP and author of the Dynamics GP Cookbook, with Mark Rockwell, author of the Dynamics GP Toolbox! Not that I am vouching for Mark Polino's singing abilities either, but I think he knows his limits.

The keynote speach was delivered by career coach Carolyn Baana, former Microsoft Support Commercial Services regional director. Carolyn's speach focused on the importance of setting long-term goals, fueled by short-term achievements toward the end goals.

Kim Peterson and Carolyn Baana
I also had a chance to catch up with Bob McAdam and Zubin Gidwani, who had just a few minutes aback received the GPUG All-Stars award - then again, Bob already knew he was a superstar even before he was confirmed to be one.

Bob McAdam and Zubin Gidwani
Back at the Mekorma Connections Cafe, I had a chance to catch up on emails and take a break from the hectic pace here at the conference. I also had a unique opportunity to talk about personal matters with MVP Mark Polino and get to know a little bit more of the man behind the Diet Mountain Due. Mark's wife, Dara joined in and reminded me how lucky she was to marry a geek. Dara is also surprised by the Diva status her husband has achieved in the Dynamics community.

Following the stint at the Cafe, I decided to attend a session on Microsoft Dynamics GP Upgrades: Approaches and Techniques, hosted by Microsoft's Kelly Youells - for a picture of Kelly, see yesterday's post GPUG Summit: Academy Training Day 2. The session was jammed packed with useful tips on how to upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics GP system and all the "gotchas" and considerations to move from previous versions to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 - there was an attendee whose company is still running version 8.0. Kelly outlined the importance of keeping an eye on the upgrade paths and version numbers and presented various resources online where this information could be found.

It was time for lunch at the Expo Hall. The place was packed! They were 4 food stations dedicated to Summit attendees, each running a very long line. After circling around a bit, it was time to get in line and grab some food. On the way out, I returned to the Mekorma Connections Cafe to sit down and enjoy the meal, joined by Pam Misialek, Product Manager Microsoft Dynamics GP and Jay Manley, Sr. Product Manager Microsoft Dynamics GP, where we had a chance to discuss some of the details behind codename GP 12's web client.

I must say, the more I hear about the web client, the more I am excited about the prospects for the Microsoft Dexterity community of developers - wait for my new In my humble opinion column, "Web Client? Dexterity developers rejoice!", putting the final touches to it.

At 3:00 PM PT, book signing began. This was a fun event featuring community authors Mark Polino (Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Cookbook), Chris Elmore (The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation) and Richard Whaley (Accolade Publications).

Mark Polino, Chris Elmore, and Richard Whaley
My wife was coming into town, so I return to my room to drop off my computer bag and I was off to the Las Vegas International airport to pick her up. Back at the hotel, she got settled and it was time to party... GPUG style!

GPUG was hosting the now popular Rock n' Rave event. Simply, it was very spectacular. And what would be a party in Vegas without Elvis? Now, I have seen my fair share of Elvises around, but this guy was good! The music was right, and needless to say, people were shaking it.

What would be a party in Vegas without Elvis?

It was also MVP time! Rarely, you would have a chance to have 3 Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs in one spot -- with their wives. MVP Frank Hamelly was at the party with his wife Sheila, MVP Mark Polino attending with his wife Dara, and me, with my wife Marina. We had a chance to get the ladies together, only to have our inflated egoes popped. This was after all a bad idea, now that I reflect on it.

Little known fact: Mr. Polino may be MVP to the rest of the world, but at home he still has to take the garbage out and pickup the dog's poo. I don't have a dog, but you still get the picture.

Dara Polino, Mark Polino, David Eichner, Marina Dzyura (Mrs. Gomez)
With sessions ahead, it was time to call it a night. Wife and I went to dinner and had a great time catching up, but sessions are ahead of me.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC


Carolyn Baana said...

Excellent recap of the day. I had a great time presenting at the summit!

Mariano Gomez said...


It was great meeting you and I hope to listen to another great keynote.

Keep in touch!