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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 1 – Continued

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

After the Opening Keynote and the Microsoft Dynamics GP general session, it was time for lunch.

I don’t have any facts and figures this year, but the logistics in feeding this many people must be amazing and I am very pleased that I work in the IT industry and not hospitality.

Below is a picture of the meals area. In the distance are some black partitions…. that is the halfway point with about the same area of tables on the other side.

Lunch
The meals area (at least half of it)

After lunch, Mariano and I visited the Speaker Workroom where we caught up with our favourite speaker organisers, Ace Martin and Tracy Stenhjem. These guys are the driving force behind ensuring that the sessions at the conference have speakers to ready to deliver them.

 AceAndTracy
Ace Martin and Tracy Stenhjem

We finalised the presentation deck for the customisation session we were doing tomorrow and Mariano prepared for his CS15G002-R1: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Upgrading and deploying session.

The session was a great success with Mariano keeping everyone amused while they learned heaps of valuable information. No excuses now, everyone’s upgrades should run smoothly.

Mariano
Mariano doing his stand up comedy routine before his session

Session
The audience at Mariano’s session, including hecklers at the front

After the session we visited the Expo hall for the Expo Experience, Microsoft Solutions Experience and the Community Experience. It was impossible to get a photo of the entire Expo hall, but I did take a panorama shot of the middle section.

Expo
The Expo Hall (at least what I could capture at one time)

Mariano and I got separated, so I spent the next few hours wandering the Expo hall catching up with ISVs, partners and Microsofties that I knew.

 Vicinity
David Musgrave with some of the Vicinity Manufacturing team: Jeremy, Randy & Kaitlyn

OraDavid
Ora Goldman from Mekorma and David Musgrave

BrianDavidAlice
Brian Roney, David Musgrave and Alice Newsam

Eventually, I caught up with Mariano again as I was chatting with Brian and Alice from the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team.

Then it was time for the Expo to close, so we headed over to the Omni Hotel’s Lobby bar to unwind for a bit. We finished the day with dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s downstairs from the Omni Hotel and then headed home to get some rest after a really long day.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News Tagged: Conference, Convergence 2015, News

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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 1 – Continued

March 30, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 1 – Dynamics GP Session

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

So, now we are here at Sidney J. Marcus Auditorium for the Microsoft Dynamics GP Product Roadmap and Strategy general session.

I sat right down the front so I could heckle the presenters… It is in my job description. Someone has to keep them on their toes.

The session started with everyone’s favourite non technical person, Errol Schoenfish (#IfErrolCanDoIt).

 Errol
Errol Schoenfish

Errol took us through a demo of the upcoming Time Management App, by deciding (in advance) what days he would be sick on (after a public holiday) and then taking some additional annual leave. This new self service app would be released on all major platforms.

TimeManagementApp
Time Management App for Windows, iOS and Android

Next up was the MVP Shootout, a challenge of one-upmanship between Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) Mark Polino and Mariano Gomez. Each time one would mention the cool benefits of a new feature in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, the other would raise the bar with an even better new feature.

MVPChallenge
MVP Shootout

MarkAndMariano
Mark Polino MVP and Mariano Gomez MVP

SBA
Mariano even explained Service Based Architecture in under 30 seconds

Then as Mark and Mariano are finishing up and congratulating each other, Belinda Allen MVP surprises us by coming on stage to cover the new Business Intelligence features of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015. [Edit] Okay, I knew it was going to happen as I was at the rehearsal. :-)

BelindaHijack
Belinda Allen hijacks the MVP Shootout

MVPChallenge2
Where to find the MVPs … if you didn’t know already

It was great to see Mark, Mariano and now Belinda being part of the official proceedings. Microsoft needs to continue harnessing the enthusiasm of the MVPs and other community members.

After the MVP Shootout, Errol hosted demos from Jennifer Ranz and Jodi Christiansen as well as have Jason Eden from Dynamics GP customer Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) come on stage and tell us how running Microsoft Dynamics GP in cloud has helped their organisation. RREAL supply Solar Power systems to people in need to help fight fuel poverty. It is a smart, eco friendly way to help families rather than just giving cash handouts.

Jeff Trosen then joined Errol on stage to cover the Microsoft Dynamics GP Product Roadmap as well as the features for the next Dynamics GP 2015 R2 release.

ErrolAndJeff
Errol Schoenfish and Jeff Trosen

Roadmap
Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap

GP2015R2_Features
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 Features

The final section of the session was with Errol and Chad Sogge and discussed the next generation of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client. By removing the dependency on Silverlight and using HMTL5, the next web client will be able to work on any browser and any device that supports HTML5.

WebClient
The next generation web client

ErrolUsingApple
Errol using an Apple iOS tablet to access the web client

ChadUsingAndroid
Chad using a Samsung Android tablet to access the web client

WebClientExample
An example screen from the next generation web client

Audience
The room was packed with a lot of excited Dynamics GP users, customers and partners

And on that bombshell, the session ended and it was time for lunch.

Day 1, to be continued …

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News Tagged: Conference, Convergence 2015, News

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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 1 – Dynamics GP Session

March 30, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 0 – PreGame

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

The conference starts today with the partner only pre Convergence event, PreGame.

PreGame

The PreGame is organised by Dynamic Partner Connections and is a partner focussed half day event. It is described as “Over 600 Microsoft Dynamics partners gathered in Atlanta, to hear from 70 expert speakers during 25 partner-centric sessions contributing to 1 Dynamics Partner Community”.

The day started with Mariano and I going to Georgia World Congress Center to register for Convergence 2015.

Welcome
Welcome to Convergence 2015

While at the main entrance between Buildings A and B, we met with some of the LATAM Microsoft team.

Mexico Office
LATAM Microsoft Dynamics Team with Mariano and David.
Do their tops mean that I have lost my Superpower?

We then walked over to the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel for the start of the PreGame event. This was my first chance to meet up with some of the other Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs (other than Mariano) and with some of the GPUG team.

GPUG & MVP
David Musgrave, John Lowther MVP, Belinda Allen MVP,
Kim Peterson GPUG, Mariano Gomez MVP and Bob McAdam GPUG

At this time I should point out a common misconception. I am not a Microsoft MVP and have never been one. As a Microsoft employee for 13.5 years I was not eligible and I have to be outside of Microsoft for 12 months before I can be eligible. So, even though the actual MVPs and many in the community treat me as an “Honorary MVP”, it is not official.

For my first session I went to the session “ISV Confidential: How to Work the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem and Get Results”. It was a great session with a number of experienced ISVs on the panel giving us the benefit of their experience. They explained how big flashy product launches are not as effective as the prolonged approach with reputation building and word of mouth marketing. A consistent and long term marketing presence is needed to build the client base. It was also a good opportunity for me to get some feedback on the pricing model I am planning for the rebadged Support Debugging Tool.

We then had a Dynamics GP general session: “Product Strategy and Roadmap”. This was a preview of the content we would see in the Convergence Dynamics GP general session, with a bit more depth. It allowed the partners to be ready for any questions their customers attending Convergence might have.

The usual suspects were there, including Errol Schoenfish, Pam Misialek, Chad Sogge and Jeff Trosen.

Errol
Introduction by Errol Schoenfish. #IfErrolCanDoIt

Not sure if Pam is telling me off for taking a photo, emphasizing a point or throwing down a rap tune.

Pam
Pam Misialek laying down the law

The main take away points from this session where the latest product roadmap slide. The Roadmap now shows planned releases for GP 2015 R2 and GP 2015 R3 as well as the next version in the latter half of 2016 onwards.

Roadmap
Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap

We also got to see some more details of what is planned for the upcoming releases. Below is a summary slide of what is planned for the GP 2015 R2 release due mid 2015.

GP2015R2_Features
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 features

We had a demo of the All-in-One document viewer for Purchasing which allows you to see the entire flow of documents between Requisitions, Purchase Orders, Invoices and Receivings for a vendor. Very cool. This All-in-One view will be added to other series (Sales, Inventory, etc.) in future releases.

We also had a preview of the next generation of the Web client which will work on HTML5 rather than Silverlight. This will make the vision of any browser on any device a reality.

After the general session, I went to the “User Panel: What Do Customers Really Expect?” session. This was an interesting session which hopefully helped partners to understand how to best work with their customers. A great example that came out of that session shows how not to have good relations with a customer. Without mentioning any names: A customer who had not heard from their partner for a while, invites the partner to lunch to touch base and re-establish a working relationship. The partner sends three representatives who enjoyed a nice meal paid for by the customer. Shortly after, the customer receives an invoice for 6 hours consulting (3 consultants for 2 hours). An excellent example for relationship building… NOT.

The final session for the day was the PreGame Closing Keynote featuring the new Vice President Dynamics Partner Sales and Programs, Direct of ERP Partner Strategy, Victor Morales.

Before Victor spoke we had a presentation from Brian Deming who introduced us to the new independent, non-profit membership organisation which will service the professionals for all Dynamics products. Its initial focus will be on certifications for Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV and eventually for Dynamics SL. This organisation is The Association of Dynamics Professionals and its website can be found at http://dynamicspro.org/. Please go to the site to register your interest. They plan to officially launch the association in September 2015, however, if you are interested in helping with the development of the certification exams, please contact them now.

DynamicPro
The Association of Dynamics Professionals

Hal Howard then spoke to us about Dynamic Communities (including the user groups, such as GPUG) and  gave us some interesting statistics.

DynamicCommunities
Dynamic Communities

Finally, we heard from Victor Morales, who explained how he is still new and learning lots about Microsoft and his new role. He is very open to feedback and improving the working relationships between Microsoft and its Dynamics Partners.

Victor
Victor Morales

Victor also provided us with some statistics of how both the Microsoft Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics ecosystems are growing.

CloudAndDynamics
Microsoft Cloud and Dynamics Momentum

The session finished with a quick question and answer session. The day ended with the Microsoft Partner Reception where partners could relax and have a drink and some nibbles and chat with other partners. The networking that occurs at these sorts of receptions can be some of the most valuable time spent at a conference.

One last stop: Mariano and I went to the MVP Mingle held at Stats Food & Drink. This event was sponsored by FastPath and Data Masons and allowed the MVPs for all the Dynamics products to socialise and relax together. I abused my “Honorary MVP” status and gate crashed. Well, Mariano was my transport home, so I was not going to lose him. I spent much of the night chatting with Beat Bucher (another Honorary MVP).

During the closing session, the upcoming events were highlighted, so here is a quick reminder to mark your calendars.

  • reIMAGINE 2015 in Fargo, ND, USA on 21-23 September 2015
  • GPUG Summit 2015 in Reno, NV, USA on 12-16 October 2015
  • PreGame at Summit 2015 in Reno, NV, USA on 13 October 2015

Hope to see you at these events.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News Tagged: Conference, Convergence 2015, News

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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 0 – PreGame

March 30, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Pre Conference

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

Wow, Time has gone so quickly. I had the good intentions of posting about each day of the Convergence 2015 conference on the next day. I had already created all the blank placeholder posts in preparation.

Then reality struck…. With days starting around 6am to get ready and drive into town and finishing at midnight or later, it was just not possible to write the blog posts and get some (not enough) sleep.

Anyhow, I am back in Australia now and will attempt to give you a taste of what the conference was like.

I arrived on Friday 13th (lucky I am not superstitious), which gave me Saturday to sleep in a little. I did not want to sleep in too much as the quicker you can shift your sleep patterns, the quicker you can get over the “Jet Lag”. Atlanta time was currently a full 12 hour shift from Perth, so I was completely messed up.

So I got up about 9am and said hello to Mariano’s demon dogs (ok, it happens to all dog’s eyes when you use a flash). Mariano and his kids were out doing volunteer work for the day and so the puppies were pleased to see me.

DogsAngel and Ebony

I remembered that I had not taken a photo of the stash of Aussie contraband that I smuggled into the USA, so I laid it all out and took a photo (minus two packs of Tim Tams and a pack of Chicos already given to Mariano).

Stash
The Stash: 12 of 14 packs of Arnott’s Tim Tams, 5 of 6 packs of Allen’s Chicos
and 2 tubes of axle grease Vegemite

I spent the rest of Saturday working on the customisation presentation that Mariano and I would be delivering in a few days time. I decided it might be handy to have some demos for the presentation, as

  1. Sessions with only PowerPoint slides are boring
  2. People have come to expect it with our sessions

So, I created the primary demos based on the same customisation built using Modifier & Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Modifier & Visual Studio Tools and Dexterity. I also fine tuned the presentation deck.

I got a relatively early night and tried to get a good night’s sleep…. Hard when you wake up multiple times because your body clock keeps saying “Get up you lazy sod, it’s daytime.”.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News Tagged: Conference, Convergence 2015, News

See more here:
#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Pre Conference

March 30, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Downloads for Menus for Visual Studio Tools

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAs previously mentioned on this blog, Winthrop Development Consultants has an agreement with Microsoft to continue the development and support of the Menus for Visual Studio Tools.

It will be re-released once it has been rebranded.

I have updated the Winthrop Development Consultant’s web site Product page to provide access to the downloads for the previous versions.

The new Winthrop branded product will be available for the last three versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP; GP 2010, GP 2013 (including GP 2013 R2) and for GP 2015.

Get the previous versions from http://winthropdc.com/MVST.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Dynamics, GP, Menus for Visual Studio Tools, Microsoft, News, Products Tagged: Menus for Visual Studio Tools, MVST, News

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Downloads for Menus for Visual Studio Tools

March 27, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Downloads for the Support Debugging Tool

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAs you should have heard by now, Winthrop Development Consultants has an agreement with Microsoft to continue the development and support of the Support Debugging Tool.

It will be re-released once it has been rebranded, renamed and updated.

However, Microsoft has removed the downloads for the Support Debugging Tool from PartnerSource and so even previous releases cannot be downloaded.

I have updated the Winthrop Development Consultant’s web site Product page to provide access to the downloads for the previous versions.

Please note that the new Winthrop branded product will be available for the last three versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP; GP 2010, GP 2013 (including GP 2013 R2) and for GP 2015. It will have improvements and new features and will definitely be worth updating to once released.

Get the previous versions from http://winthropdc.com/SDT.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News, Products, Support Debugging Tool Tagged: News, SDT, Support Debugging Tool

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Downloads for the Support Debugging Tool

March 26, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Getting There

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

Hello from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

My journey to get to Convergence 2015 was relatively uneventful (which is good), but long (which is expected).

I booked my flight with Delta as their base hub is Atlanta. My itinerary showed that I would be able to complete the journey to Atlanta with two flights: Perth to Sydney and Sydney to Atlanta. This sounded great as I normally have to take three or four flights to get to my destinations in the USA.

I left home at 9:00pm on Thursday 12th March after a long day out. My wife and I had met a couple while on a cruise holiday back in June 2014. They mentioned that they would be boarding another cruise holiday from Perth in March 2015, so we offered to show them around Perth for a day before they boarded the ship. I had packed my bags on Wednesday night and spent the day visiting Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach, a few wineries in the Swan Valley area (I was driving as I don’t drink) and the Botanic Gardens at Kings Park. We got home at 8:00pm, just enough time to eat and get changed.

Below are a couple of my favourites from Sculptures by the Sea (love the Roo getting revenge):

Sculpture1

Sculpture2

Anyhow, after arriving at Perth airport at about 9:30pm, I was able to get checked in and drop off the baggage fairly quickly and so had time to relax before the flights started. While waiting at the gate, I met Michael Marosa who used to work as partner in the Dynamics GP world for many years. He now works more with Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV, but we will forgive him.

My first flight was a “Midnight Horror” (aka “Red Eye Special”) leaving Perth at 11:30pm and flying through the night arriving at Sydney at 7:00pm after 4.5 hours flying.

This left me with 5 hours to kill in Sydney before boarding the Delta flight to Atlanta. I found a place where there was seating and a power point and charged up my Lumia phone, Zune (yes, I like my 64GB Zune HD. Listening to music on a separate device is better than arriving at your destination with a phone that has no charge) and my noise cancelling headphones.

Plane

Then it was 12:15pm, time to board my direct flight to Atlanta…. Only to have my boarding pass replaced at the gate with a flight to Los Angeles and then a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta (with the same flight number). While it was a single flight it was not non-stop as I had believed. Oh well, two flights was too good to be true.

The international flight arrived a little late into Los Angeles at about 8:00am and had a very tight connection to the ongoing domestic flight to Atlanta. The next flight was already starting to board as I was going through passport control and customs. I managed to get to the flight in record time, it was one of the quickest transitions from international to domestic that I have ever done in the USA. I have missed flights before because it usually takes a couple of hours.

The final leg left Los Angeles at 9:00am and arrived at Atlanta at 5:00pm local time. As I walked to baggage claim (I know there is a train, but it was full and I needed a walk), I came across a display of sculptures from Zimbabwe.

Sculptures

After collecting my baggage, Mariano arrived to pick me up and take me to his place. He has kindly offered for me to stay with him while in Atlanta. In fact I would be in trouble if I didn’t stay with him.

 Atlanta

So the journey finished at about 6:00pm Atlanta time when we got home. Atlanta is currently exactly 12 hours reversed from Perth. My trip door to door started at 9:00pm Thursday night (Perth Time) and arrived at 6:00am Saturday (Perth Time), this gives a total travel time of 33 hours.

Looking forward to seeing everyone.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News Tagged: Conference, Convergence 2015, News

More here:
#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Getting There

March 14, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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