Monday, March 18, 2013

Microsoft Convergence New Orleans 2013 : GPPC PreGAME





 
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Dynamic Communities events. Also, it would be my first time presenting for this week.
 
The days started out with a relaxing breakfast with my wife. After that, it was all business. At 10:30 AM I headed over to the ballroom area to get registered for GPPC.
 
GP Partner Connections Banner
The registration desk was buzzing with Katie Froeber, Shanna Hensch trying to wrap-up placing the badges inside the clear holders. This process was very time consuming and they still had a bunch of badges to filled out by hand, since they were not printed.


After helping out with the badges, it was time for the GPPC Welcome Session along with the Ask the MVP. The session featured Jesse Byam as the host who did a fantastic job at keeping attendees warmed with his jokes as the ballroom was freezing!

As is customary during these welcome sessions, we had a representative from Microsoft announce some of the immediate upcoming product and partner oriented events. This time around it was Jay Manley's turn to do the honors.

Jay Manley, Microsoft
Some of the product and partner events announced are as follow:

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP1 will be available by mid April.

  • Business Portal for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 will be available by mid April and will be SharePoint 2010 ready.

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Feature Pack (R2) is scheduled to hit the market some 18 months from now.

  • Web Client updates are scheduled to be released every 3 months, with service packs still within a 6 month cycle, with Payroll and HR ready to hit the block after Convergence.

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift 2013 will be from September 18 - 21 in Fargo, North Dakota, once again hosted by GPPC. Both Microsoft and GPPC have vowed to keep this conference on a yearly basis.
After the GPPC Welcome, it was time to hit the stage with my esteemed MVP colleagues, Belinda Allen, Frank Hamelly, Jivtesh Singh, Leslie Vail, and Mark Polino.

Running a bit late, it was time to meet up with Kerri Garbis, President at Ovation Communication to do our first rehearsal for the General Session. Kerri provided Mark and I with some great tips for our General Session delivery. After our initial rehearsal, it was time to meet up with the Microsoft Product Management team over at the Keynote Session room, in Hall J for a walkthrough of the stage and what Mark and I were supposed to do when we got there on Tuesday morning.

I have to say, the shared size of the room can be a bit intimidating and to know we will be in front of 5,000 people makes for great excitement! Can't wait for the General Session to begin!


Hall J - Keynote Room

I personally had a unique opportunity to see the video and sound engineers at work, fine-tuning every little gizmo to ensure a successful Convergence opening. There are literally 100's of computers, miles of cables, milliards of connections, speakers, cranes, at any given moment back there with an army of people moving around constantly.


Pam Misialek then showed us our way to the stage for our presentation and walked us through some details including where we would be positioned, our stance, how we should address the audience, the monitors, etc. This was a really cool experience for me, since this is the first time I am delivering a presentation in such setting.

Pam Misialek and Mark Polino
The projection screens are definitely theater size and the General Session is sure to be a success. The projection on these screens is done from the back stage, which really caught my attention. At the back of the stage the image is flipped horizontally, which makes it appear in normal mode when seen from the front stage. This technique reduces the glare caused by front projection and creates a smoother, softer image.

Projection Screens in Hall J
One last look at the room from the stage reminded me of the responsibility ahead. Mark and I feel pretty well about our 5 minutes of fame and are sure ready to put on a good show - MVP style!

A look at the room from the stage
Well, it was time to return to the Hilton Hotel where Aaron Donat and I would be delivering our PreGAME session, Implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client. We had really good attendance to our session, which ran a good 30 minutes over its original schedule. We walked through all the Web Client elements and provided live demos of Web Client and Web Management console, explaining all the different challenges with things like certificates and ports. We strongly encouraged partners to attend one of the deep dive sessions offered during Convergence and/or to join a training class.

After our session, it was time for a little R&R at the GPPC partner reception. The reception featured a Jazz group and quite a bit of interaction between partners.

GPPC partner reception
My wife and I had quiet dinner plans for the evening and went out to the ultra famous Commander's Palace where we started out with a couple Hibiscus Martinis, "Hand-crafted Jamaican Hibiscus tea, fresh squeezed lime and Bombay Sapphire come together beautifully to make a cocktail that is as stunningly beautiful as it is delicious and refreshing". Our dinner ended with a great Creole Bread Pudding SoufflĂ© with warm whiskey cream and a cup of New Orleans style coffee (with chicory).

Well, it was time go get some rest since a new days awaited with General Session rehearsals on stage and GPUG sessions.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

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