Thursday, October 18, 2012

GPUG Summit 2012 Seattle - Day 1

Let the show begin!

This is the only way to describe Day 1 of GPUG Summit 2012 Seattle. The day started out with breakfast in room 304 of The Conference Center. Attendees had one last chance to check out the sessions they were attending for the day, before the opening General Session.

Breakfast at the Opening General Session
Mama Kim took control of the stage, welcoming all attendees and talking about the benefits of GPUG, joining the regional chapters, and participating in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community as a whole. She then presented some formidable statistics on GPUG's growth over the past 5 years, the number of attendees to this event - 2000 users across all products, 550 Dynamics GP attendees.

Kim Peterson, Director of GPUG
Kim gave way to Mike McDowell who explained away the functions of the GPUG Advisory Board and the importance of the volunteer work performed by its members. Mike provided a comic relief to attendees when he described being a sort of croc hunter.

Mike McDowell
The General Session continued with the introduction of event sponsors and keynote speakers. We had the opportunity to listen from Doug Bertram, Regional Sales Manager at MetaViewer, who introduced the company's value proposition and products.

Next up was Jeremy Epstein, VP Marketing and Social Media Navigator at Sprinkl. Jeremy's high powered and exquisitely funny delivery of the risks and benefits of social media and how organizations in this day and age can live or die by the "attention economy" spear. Jeremy stressed the importance of identifying anti-social behaviors within the organization and work to root these out before it's too late.

Following was Andy Snook, President at FastPath, Inc. and a sponsor of the event. Andy introduced his company; clients; and its security, auditing, and compliance solutions. FastPath is known for its Microsoft Dynamics GP integrating products, Assure, Audit Trail, and Config AD. Click here for more information.

The final speaker of the morning was no one other than Neil Holloway, VP of Business Strategy at Microsoft. Neil introduced Microsoft's next wave of products to hit the market during 2012 and proceed to describe Microsoft's Dynamic Business vision and approach.

Neil Holloway
As usual, no event is ever complete without awards, and it was time to select the 2012 GPUG All-Stars. I have to say, I was very proud to be considered among a select group of individuals representing the partner community. However, this time the accolades go to Richard Whaley, Microsoft Dynamics GP MVP, Mark Polino, and Howard Swerdloff.

GPUG All-Stars 2012: MVP Mark Polino (IBIS) and Howard Swerdloff
Well, and who better than Mark Rockwell, President at Rockton Software to put the final highlight to the General Session? Mark has become famous for his product jingles and this time we got a taste of his singing skills? Rockton Software is the author of Microsoft Dynamics GP integrating products SmartFill, Auditor, Dynamics GP Toolbox, Dynamics Report Manager, and Omni Price. Click here for more information.

Mark Rockwell from Rockton Software jingling his products capabilities
With the Opening General Session over, it was time to go find a quiet spot to prepare for my first session of the day. On the way, I came across the folks at Mekorma who are sponsoring The Hub at the Summit. The Hub is a gathering place to catch up on emails, bounce around ideas with other customers, and get answers from the experts.

The Hub @Summit courtesy of Mekorma Software
Left to right: Les Shannon, Steve Linz, and Ora Goldman
Closer to The Conference Center's exit, I ran into fellow consultant and blogger Gloria Braunschweig, President at Computeration and Kim Peterson, GPUG Program Director. The ladies were also enjoying some peace and quiet and chit chatting about the old days of Stampede.

Gloria Braunschweig (Computeration) and Kim Peterson (GPUG)

As the time approached, I moved down to room LL3, where I would be delivering my first session of the event, ITP06 Getting Started with Modifier and Visual Basic for Applications. As mentioned yesterday, I picked up this session as a result of a last minute eventuality. The session went very well, with only 4 attendees in the room. I have a feeling the change from the original schedule for this session impacted the turn out. However, I truly enjoyed working with a small group of mostly new IT users who had no exposure to Modifier and VBA.

My session ran close to another commitment on my calendar. As it turned out, I had been invited to shoot a video for the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 to be held in New Orleans. It's amazing to think that this event is just around the corner. The video session went pretty well with the Kitterman Marketing team making it very relaxing and enjoyable all the step of the way.

Mark Sanders (Camera), Debra Bouchegnies, Dusty Henry, and Nikky Naiser from Kitterman Marketing
Following the video session, I went over to the Expo Hall to catch up with the latest ISV offerings. I ran into Amy Alley (Dynamic Communities) and Craig Goldman (Mekorma) and managed spend sometime chit chatting about their event experiences. Frankly, I have been running into Amy for the past 3 years in a row. And Craig? Well, since probably the past 5 years.

Amy Alley (Dynamic Communities) and Craig Goldman (Mekorma)
Walking around the Expo, it was obvious that users, partners, and ISVs come here to really learn about the new products and technologies being offered by the long list of ISVs lining up the various aisles of the room.

Expo Center abuzz with activity
Another highlight of my evening was dinner with the MSDynamicsWorld team of Adam Berezin and Jason Gumpert. Adam and Jason organized a small dinner at Palomino Restaurant & Bar for some of its writing contributors in town. We were also joined by Tanya Henderson, Project Manager at S2 Technology and Lisa Armstrong a Microsoft Dynamics GP consultant in the Washington D.C. Metro area.

MSDynamicsWorld dinner
Left to right: Adam Berezein, Jason Gumpert, Gloria Braunschweig, Mark Polino, Tanya Henderson, Lisa Armstrong

After dinner, it was time to prepare for my early session at 8:00 AM the following morning and get some rest.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC


 Dan @ How To Get Instagram Followers said...

That's very helpful information..thanks for sharing it to us.

Rockton Software said...

Thanks for the mention! Glad you enjoyed Mark's singing skills.