It was an amazing week spent at GPUG Summit in Tampa. In honor of the overwhelmingly successful 10th Anniversary of GPUG Summit, I’ve compiled ten tidbits from my time in The Big Guava to share!
- This was the biggest GPUG Summit to date! The growth of this conference is something that will benefit the entire Dynamics GP community. Seeing this growth from 483 attendees in 2011, to the 2,000+ attendees this year is extremely encouraging. And we look forward to that number continuing to grow in the coming years!
- Bob McAdam and Aaron Back sporting full tuxedos in honor of the 10th Anniversary at the GPUG Summit General Session was perfection! These two fully embodied what I envision the James Bond of software to look like.
- Great news! Microsoft reinforced that Dynamics GP is an ongoing commitment. They shared a development roadmap through 2019 and emphasized that they will be focused on addressing user generated requests for improvements.
- Dynamic Communities’ dedication to giving back to the community will serve as inspiration for years to come. From the rousing performance by The Portico Chorus during the Summit Opening to hiring Inside the Box Catering to feed attendees, the outreach in the local Tampa community was evident. This is such an honorable impulse, and I hope that all involved with Summit find their own ways to adopt it into their lives and their businesses.
- Since I’ve only been in this industry for a year, I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of attending a Microsoft-sponsored event. Prior to Summit, we heard there might be a bit more “spectacle” as a result of their involvement. Walking to Amalie Arena on Tuesday afternoon for the Microsoft Vision Keynote, spectacle is exactly what we encountered. Men and women dressed head-to-toe in white waving Microsoft flags, some on foot, others on hover board type machines. It seemed so out of place! I thought I was in The Hunger Games or some sort of futuristic gathering.
This was only further reinforced when these same folks, this time dressed in what can only be described as a body suit of Christmas lights, paraded through the Expo Hall announcing that fireworks would be starting shortly. Was it cool? Sure. But it also left a lot of people scratching their heads. If Microsoft really felt the need to throw money at this event in the form of spectacle, how about a performance from the artist Flo Rida? Now that would have made sense!
- Microsoft Dynamics GP users are eager to learn! In addition to the 2,000+ GPUG Summit attendees, there are currently 49 local GPUG chapters across the country meeting on a quarterly basis. The Summit attendees were extremely engaged and fueled with a fire to increase their Dynamics GP knowledge! The consensus among exhibitors was that the number of meaningful conversations taking place at booths was at an all-time high. Cheers to all those Dynamics GP users and partners who are committed to learning! We salute you!
- In the sea of finger foods, sweet and savory, available in the Expo Hall, I stumbled upon the mini cannoli’s. I happily indulged.
- As I sat through the two plus hours of demo conducted by Scott Guthrie and his Dynamics 365 team during their keynote, a cloud of discouragement formed over my head. Why you ask? Because this new and exciting product that Microsoft has positioned as the future for businesses on a global scale had ZERO women involved in the product launch. This has always been a sensitive topic for me, as a young woman trying to forge a path in this male dominated field.
Redemption came the next morning though, when I was absolutely elated to see Jodi Christiansen and Jennifer Ranz take the wheel and drive the Dynamics GP demo at the GPUG General Session. I hope Microsoft takes note and continues to provide visibility to these highly capable and articulate professionals who happen to be women.
- All conferences should be required to take place somewhere with palm trees and sunshine. After being in meeting rooms for sessions or visiting with users in the Expo Hall, stepping outside and letting that warm Florida sunshine hit your face is about the best feeling a person could ask for!
- Hello, it’s me. A proud representative of the millennial workforce. We often get labeled with a bad reputation, and I’ll be the first to admit that it is justified in certain situations. I like to think that I’m the exception ̶ at least that’s what I tell all of my Instagram followers. Anyways, I was pleased to see us get a shout out from Errol Schoenfish, Director of Product Marketing for Microsoft, during his opening remarks at the GPUG General Session. He was imploring folks in the audience to embrace the modernization of business as we know it. He supported his claims with a couple of concrete statistics:
- 78% of millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there
- 74% of millennials believe new technology makes life easier
Like it or not, this is true! Millennials are the new workforce and if you want to attract the cream of that pumpkin-spice-latte-loving crop, then innovation must be an integral part of your business development plan.
Bonus Tidbit: We look forward to seeing everyone next year in Music City – Nashville, TN!