My Busy, first filled Dynamics Conference Season

It’s conference season!

In fact, it seems like it is always conference season in the Microsoft Dynamics channel.  But for me, the next few months are especially exciting and represent many “firsts” in my ERP career.

  1. Dynamics GP Tech Conference

The first conference I will be hitting is The Dynamics GP Tech Conference in Fargo, North Dakota. Historically, this one has been a bit later, but this year it is August 8-10.  So it will be my first time in Fargo in August.

This was also the first time I have been on the planning committee of a Partner focused event. It has been a really fun process trying to figure out what I personally want to see in a conference as a Partner instead of trying to anticipate what a Dynamics GP user wants to see.

I will be presenting three different sessions at GP Tech conference, which is another first for me. I’ve always gone as an attendee only, and I am pretty excited to have the opportunity to teach other partners as well.

My sessions are:

  1. Power BI: OData, Security, and Office 365 – a 90-minute, deep-dive on Power BI focused on the actual implementation as opposed to just building dashboards. This is my first time presenting with fellow MVP Belinda Allen.
  2. Dynamics 365 Overview – A session with Errol Schoenfish from Microsoft to talk about Dynamics 365 for financials.  This is also my first time presenting with Errol.
  3. Project Tracking Panel – a panel discussion led by Kim Peterson on Project Management options for Dynamics projects.

You can read a few more details in this blog post by Delaney Freer: Dynamics GP Tech Conference | Q&A with Instructor Rod O’Connor

Who should attend?

I hope that more senior folks – senior consultants and developers – will turn out this year for GP Tech Conference because it really is a much deeper dive into the products than they will see anywhere else. It is a technical conference, it is meant to give that hands on look at what is new in Dynamics GP. The knowledge will be really rich this year and I feel confident everybody will come away having learned quite a bit.

I also believe that a Partner only conference is a great place for ISV partners. It is a chance to sit and talk openly and freely. At other events ISV partners need to be focused on end users, and rightly so. But at the GP Tech Conference it is our chance to talk more about the nitty gritty of the products and the implementation and to really solidify relationships, or forge new ones.

  1. NAV Directions Conference

As a long time Dynamics GP partner, it is definitely a first for me to attend a Dynamics NAV conference. And not only will I be attending NAV Directions September 17-20 in Orlando, FL, I will also be speaking at it for the first time.

The reason for this “first” is because this conference is supposed to be THE event for Dynamics 365 for Financials content. As a new Dynamics 365 for Financials partner I want to get as much exposure to this as I can.

The session I am presenting is based on a very popular blog post I published in January called “My 30-day experiment: Can I Run My Small Business on Dynamics 365?” I will be sharing the stage with Martin Olson from eOne Solutions talking about the tools and methods I used for the implementation, converting data from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365, and tying all the products together. Plus, what I have done with Payroll in Dynamics 365 since I published that blog post.

Who should attend?

I think that anyone who is serious about Dynamics 365 for Financials should be at this event.

Since this is my first Dynamics NAV event, I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the NAV partners, hearing their stories and learning how they are working with the product as well.

  1. GPUG Summit

The next conference after that is GPUG Summit in Nashville, TN October 10-13. I have been on the planning committee for this one as well – on three subcommittees for particular tracks.

There will be more than 175 sessions this year, and I will be presenting 4 of them:

  1. Dynamics GP Admin – 5 Things your boss thinks you already do: In this session we’ll cover some of the maintenance tasks that should be done regularly to keep GP running smoothly.
  2. PowerBI looks cool…But What’s it for?: In this session we will cover how to use PowerBI, but with an emphasis on including Dynamics GP as a data source.
  3. Finding data in Dynamics GP – A guide for data enthusiasts: This session is exactly what the title implies. We will focus on where data goes after you click on save or post.
  4. Upgrading? Don’t forget management and end-user support: This is a session that I have done for the past few years. Although there is an actual presentation piece, this session usually evolves into a highly interactive session where Project Managers share ideas and thoughts.  I’ve actually learned something every time I’ve done it.

GPUG Summit is very much a user conference. Although I sat in on the planning committees, each of the subcommittees was led by at least one Dynamics GP user. Bob McAdam was very involved in every single meeting and he made sure that we held true to the “for the user, by the user concept”.

Who should attend?

At GPUG Summit there will be a lot of hands on type sessions but also a lot of higher level sessions. I can see both decision makers and end users coming to this conference.

The end users that I’ve dealt with in the past have always come away with a brain full of new knowledge and ideas for what they could do with Dynamics GP when they get back to the office.

For the decision makers, there are a lot of ISV partners to meet, a detailed look at what is new in Dynamics GP and a whole track on upgrades. This will help them plan for the upcoming year to get more out of their investment in Dynamics GP.

One of the other nice things about the UG Summit events is there are several user group events happening simultaneously so there can be some nice crossover. You could find yourself wandering over to a NAVUG session, for example, because it is talking about a Power BI report that you want to take a look at or a CRMUG session on customer service.

The GPUG Summit conference has been growing every year and I feel like it has really hit its stride. It feels like a major event now, while retaining the really big GPUG chapter meeting feel as well.

And of course, I am looking forward to my first time in Nashville, Tennessee at the legendary Opryland Resort.

Will I See You There?

As you can see, my schedule for the next few months is packed with exciting events and lots of “firsts”. I hope to see you in Fargo, Orlando or Nashville. Or all three!

If you would like to make plans to meet up, contact me at 844-BRIWARE or

By Briware Solutions,

Follow me on Twitter: @Briware_Rod