Microsoft had the Ice Hockey Arena booked for at 2pm for a launch of Dynamics 365, so I had the morning, I headed out first thing and discovered that the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to anywhere within 2 miles of the hotel. This turned out to be a god send over the week, gave me some mobility. I took the shuttle to the Publix I’d seen the night before and picked up a couple of bags worth of snacks for the week and some more to bring back home to the UK. I had not brought my USA SIM enabled phone out with me so couldn’t call the shuttle to pick me up, but knowing the way I decided to walk over to the convention centre where the kind people at reception called them for me.
Waiting at the curb side for the shuttle I spotted a familiar face, walking with purpose my way, wearing in-ear headphones. It was Jen Kuntz – Canadian GP MVP! I called out and luckily was correct it was her. This was the start of the unusual experiences that summit ended up consisting of. Being in the UK you feel very detached from what is at heart a US/Canadian product community, the internet and social media helps a little, but it is rare you get to meet people from the community in the UK. On this trip I ended up meeting people I have known for, in some cases many, many years, through phone calls, reading their blogs, by email enquiries over products or problems, or interacting on social media.
Being a person that loves hugs it was great to be met by a big hug from Jen, but my shuttle arrived and Jen was off to one of the special partner only meetings. I’d only been out for just over half an hour and I was meeting people already, this was a good feeling.
After clearing some emails for work at the hotel, sorting myself out with American money, American SIM in phone and some other bits and pieces I walked back into the convention centre, where I bumped into Jen again after registering, we went off to get some Mexican food from a restaurant before the “big event” in the arena.
It was interesting, if a little amusing, that among the promo boys and girls was Acumatica bill board bombing the Microsoft event.
At the area I met up with Steve Endow (GP MVP), Andrew Dean (Envisage Software) and Habib Salim, I have known Andrew for many years, and have collaborated with Steve and Andrew on meetings before but never got to meet them in the flesh, it was great to get the opportunity like this. Three Dynamics GP developers from three continents converged on the Arena right there and then!
@Scottgu then did the keynote introducing CRM aspects of Dynamics 365 – no really there was some finance type stuff in there somewhere, I think.
Around the audience, there were mutterings about real world, when all the examples of the seamless smooth operations of D365 were shown in the slick videos and demos.
Credit to them, Microsoft were showing an integrated experience that I don’t think is found elsewhere, just I struggled to see the ERP between the CRM –I guess financials is not as exciting to show?!
We did get shown power apps, something together with flow look interesting to look into.
The session closed with a Q&A that got a little more interesting as it was not as rehearsed.
@scottgu - if you choose to adopt (dyn365) it is easy, NAV & GP, migration tools available, but existing systems continue”
“Dynamics 365 first of many releases with significant advances, looked at integrating Dynamics across Microsoft
“Dynamics CRM or AX online then it's a seamless move - AX on prem will continue
“Hybrid solutions with on prem for your core and bridge out for optional cloud service extensions
It was obvious the on prem vs cloud issue was more important to ERP people than MS had anticipated.
This zero day Microsoft day was added on to Summit, lucky that I had added a day to my schedule when I originally booked my flights, in case there was pre-conference training I wanted. I know the introduction of D365 is causing disruption in the partner channel, there was lots of tight rope walking going on during Summit this year, I think there is a lot of adjusting to the new world for everyone to get their heads around and deal with. I was involved in many discussions over new products in the channel and the way they are marketed, what they are, how they are going to be sold, who is going to use them, where the sales are coming from, how ambitious the sales targets for the new products are etc. Also ISVs are wondering where they fit in, what the pie tastes like and how big a slice they are allowed. It is all very unsettling. Shhh don't talk about the GP migration tool...
EXPO with David Musgrave...
We moved on from the arena walking over the road to the conference centre for Expo time. This is where I bumped into the GP legend David Musgrave MVP. David is a fixture when it comes to GP and a font of technical knowledge. He gave me the honour of touring the expo hall with me, where I got introduced and to meet so many people I already knew from the GP community. It actually amazed me just how many people I found that I knew as we walked the expo hall. Meeting people in person means you learn things about them, David travels with a lubricated Rubix cube, indeed he has a collection back at home and can solve them in a reasonable time! #Fact
It was so special to get to spend some time with the MVPs in the evening too. Here is the gallery of the people I got photos with.
This was enough to come all this way for, to experience all this in one day! Thank you all for being so welcoming and overwhelmingly friendly and being such pleasant people. I love this community!
GPUG Summit 2016 Tampa USA - Part 1
GPUG Summit 2016 Tampa USA - Part 3
GPUG Summit 2016 Tampa USA - Part 4
GPUG Summit 2016 Tampa USA - Part 5