Friday, June 3, 2016

GPUG Amplify Anaheim 2016 - Day 3

Day 3 marks the end of the first GPUG Amplify conference. In cool fashion, this event went out with a bang by inviting none other than Bonnie Robertson to be the keynote speaker. Bonnie goes back to the days of Great Plains, Inc. and is now a renown speaker and strategists for CxOs around the world.

The closing session began with Bob McAdam, GPUG Program Director, thanking all the sponsors and speakers for their different degrees of collaboration and participation to bring this event together.
Next up was Pam Misialek to present the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap with some minor adjustments from what was presented in the General Session on Day 1.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap
To highlight are some of the major upcoming features in GP 2016 R2, due sometimes in late autumn (aka. fall in North America). You can revisit these in more detail in my Day 1 post.

Bonnie addressed a few questions from the audience to close the keynote and handed over to Bob, who updated the audience on the upcoming conferences, namely reIMAGINE 2016 and GPUG Summit 2016.

Amplify 2017 will be held at ... you will have to wait for an official announcement from Dynamics Communities and Microsoft for a date, time, and location for next spring. However, if you did fill out the suggestions survey, you will be majorly responsible for the selected location.

On a personal note, my day ended once more with a great dinner hosted by Mekorma at Ruth's Chris Stake House with the folks from Njevity and InterDyn BMI as guests to our party.

Jay Manley (Mekorma) entertains some folks before dinner

Left (front to back): Mark Jensen, Eric Karie, Ora Goldman, Scott Wiley, Angel Blum, Emily Roen, John Lowther
Right (front to back): Jay Manley, Melissa Sandrovich, Craig Klapman, Altonique Burton, Leslie Vail

Special Supplement: Getting Home

Earlier in the day, I checked out of the hotel to move closer to LAX for my next morning early flight. After much discussion with the team, we came to the conclusion that in order to avoid a sleepless night and possibly some horrendous traffic to the airport the next morning, it was probably a good idea to checkout and check in closer to the airport. So after dinner I returned to Jay's room to pick up my luggage, having made up my mind on the decision to check in closer to the airport.

I then grabbed a taxi cab back to the Marriott LAX. Having had a full week of activities, I was already running on empty, but the traffic back to LAX was impossible, spending about an hour and a quarter to get to my hotel. After a tortuous check-in at the hotel, I was finally in my room and ready to throw in the towel for the evening.

Next morning, I got up around 4:45 AM to be at the airport. I took a quick shower and went downstairs to catch the shuttle to the Delta terminal. Security at the airport was a breeze, so nothing to complain about. After picking up a bottle of water, I took my time to get to the departure gate where I sat and tried to relax for a bit before the flight -- except for the screaming child couple seats ahead of me.

Back in Atlanta, I had a rush hour traffic drive to home. Although our rush hour traffic isn't as bad as that of Los Angeles, it still stands among the worse in the country.

I-75 N in Atlanta
Anyways, I was home after about an hour driving and ready to get on with life.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP

GPUG Amplify Anaheim 2016 - Day 2

Day 2 had me down for 2 sessions. Also, I was invited to participate in an interview with the first GP Live @ #GPUGAmplify live TV stream. My first session, Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client Architecture, started at 9 AM.

Note: I couldn't get the session name to be changed as the schedule had already been printed by the time I requested the name change.

Web Client Focus  (picture courtesy of Microsoft MVP Steve Endow)
This session covered 4 main topics: web client described, web client architecture, web client infrastructure, and the benefits of the web client.  From an architecture and infrastructure perspective, we dove into how the different web client components interact between each other when a browser request is submitted to the web server until a web client runtime process is spun up on a session host.

Web Client Infrastructure
Understanding this interaction, required explaining in more detail how the Dynamics GP runtime engine and the web client runtime interacted to translate notifications and actions (messages) between the Window Manager components in each runtime.

Web Client Messaging
Finally, my session covered the benefits and scalability of the web client, when compared to RDP mechanisms like Citrix or Terminal Server.

Web Client Scalability (picture courtesy of Microsoft MVP Steve Endow)
Following my session, I went back to the Mekorma Hub to coordinate my live stream interview with Bob McAdam and his team. I was scheduled to go on at 3:30 PM, just after my afternoon session, which would be a repeat of the GP Administration session, completed the day before.

I decided then to go for lunch and had a chance to catch up with my good friend Linda Rose from RoseASP. Our conversation went from personal to business, to how we spend our time at work. Linda is always a very interesting person to converse with as she has so much knowledge about the Dynamics GP application hosting space, plus she has some awesome anecdotes to go along.

After lunch, I decided to go check out the room where I will be delivering my next presentation, and lo and behold there was Linda, ready to deliver her session, Upgrading to Dynamics GP 2016 in the Cloud: 3 simple steps. I decided to show my support and sat into the session, where I learned a few interesting things about cloud hosting and licensing.

Linda Rose and I after her session
Following Linda's session, I delivered my repeat session on Microsoft Dynamics GP Administration. Frankly, I was surprised once more to have a standing room only attendance. As is customary, I treated the group to a picture and a little stretching exercise to overcome post lunch time food coma.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Administration (repeat) Session
You can read more about the topics I covered in this session from my Day 1 post.

Finalizing my session, I had to run quickly over to the Expo hall where I would be mic'ing up to be interviewed live for the first GPUG Amplify live stream event. This was actually a new and innovative approach by Dynamic Communities to get information out in real time to folks who were not able to attend Amplify. The live stream encompassed the views of customers, partners, Microsoft staff, and Microsoft MVPs alike on Amplify. The following is the interview I conducted with host Bob McAdam.

Following my interview, I met up with my good friend Kari-Anne Paterson with Briware Solutions in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Kari-Anne was up next for a live interview with Bob McAdam.

Me and Kari-Anne Paterson
You can listen to Kari-Anne's interview here.

After Kari-Anne's interview, we decided to go sit at the Mekorma Hub to decompress and catch up. Kari and I share our Caribbean heritage so talking about music and reggae came very natural to us - Kari is Jamaican born. We listened to a few tunes on my computer and the day was over by the time we decided to move on.

I had dinner with my Mekorma colleagues and Njevity folks over at McCormick & Schmick's Grille, where we got to enjoy some good shrimp kisses as you can tell by the picture below.

Chris Dobkins (Njevity), Me, and Craig Klapman (Mekorma)
It was time to go sleep and get some rest for the last day of the conference.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

GPUG Amplify Anaheim 2016 - Day 1

The morning started out with the General Session, hosted by Bob McAdam (Twitter: @4mcadam). It was amazing to see all the folks who were in attendance, perhaps for the first time, in one place for this conference. The numbers really sunk in by looking at the crowd and it was really great to know that this conference will really take off in the next few years.

General Session
Bob did an excellent job taking the baton from Kim.

Bob McAdam
Pam Misialek was next to deliver a very impressive opening, showing the trends at Microsoft and how technologies like HoloLens will be used in the future to enable virtual reality technology for consumers and businesses.

Jeff Trosen and Chad Sogge (Twitter: @CSogge) were next to discuss the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap and the innovations that are being implemented in the product.

As is customary at the General Session, we were treated to some GP 2016 demos by the dynamic duo of Jody Christiansen (Twitter: @JodiChrist) and Jennifer Ranz (Twitter: @JenifferRanz1), both program managers with the Microsoft Dynamics GP team.

Jennifer Ranz and Jody Christiansen
The General Session ended with a list of features that are drafted for GP 2016 R2. Some major highlights are:

  • Multi-tenant support for OData Services
  • PowerBI in Web Client home page
  • SmartList Designer smart lists available in Advanced Lookups
  • OneDrive support for emailing documents from GP
  • SmartList favorite protection
  • Self-serve W2 printing
  • Disable garnishment reports in posting setup
  • Barcode field on Item Maintenance window
  • Link credit card invoices to original invoices
  • Cancel PO linked to requisition
  • Adjust customer balance calculation to use unapplied credit amount
  • PMATB w Options - print transactions where document number has special chars

After the General Session, it was time for my first presentation of the week: Microsoft Dynamics GP Administration (at 10:15 AM local time) which focused on 3 main areas: administering the environment, administering the application, and administering the web client. All in all it was an excellent presentation with a great (standing room only) attendees. This presentation mostly covered considerations for a trouble-free administrator and end-user experience in a Microsoft Dynamics GP setting, rather than re-hashing the different configuration elements within the application.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Administration attendees
After my session, I returned to the Mekorma Hub, only to find a great deal of customers and partners asking about our products. I sat in for a bit to assist with any questions on our newest product, Multi-batch Management (MMM) and the GP Power Tools which we represent on behalf of David Musgrave and Winthrop Development Consultants.

Mekorma Hub

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP