Developing for Microsoft Dynamics GP by David Musgrave (Australia) and the Microsoft Dynamics GP Developer Support Team (USA)Syndicated From: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/DevelopingForDynamicsGP/
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Wednesday 21st March 2010.... The final day of the Convergence conference.
Breakfast was busy, even those who were up partying last night were up and about and getting ready for the day. Everyone headed over to the Convention Centre as today was the Closing Keynote with a very special Guest Speaker.
Once we were seated, we were surprised with a quick Line Dancing show before the session started. It turned out that the dancers were Convergence conference attendees who were willing to dance in front of everyone with only a single training session the night before. Well done guys, you were great.
Line dancing by Convergence attendees after one evening of learning... Yee haw
The session started with Doug Kennedy, Vice President - Microsoft Business Solutions, telling us that this was the largest Convergence ever. Last year there were 9,500 attendees and this year there were 10,250 attendees. There were 268 sponsor companies showing their offerings at the Expo hall. On the night of the Convergence Reception we ate over a tonne of BBQ Brisket, and over 5,000lb (2268kg) of excess food was donated to the homeless people of Houston. During the conference the wireless network infrastructure peaked at 3,200 concurrent users on the system. At one stage during the Opening Keynote session, Twitter blocked tweets from the network as there were so many being sent, it thought that it was a Denial of Service (DOS) spam attack.
Doug Kennedy giving us the rundown on Convergence 2012
One part of the Convergence experience that I think is amazing is the volunteer work performed by the attendees. Sadly, as I am normally busy with preparation as a speaker, I have not been directly involved. But many of the other attendees arrive a day or two earlier than needed and donate their precious time to give back to the host city. This year again saw Microsoft staff, partners and customers make a difference with home maintenance and neighborhood beautification projects and many other initiatives. During this session we got to watch a video of the volunteers in action, accompanied by an original piece of music from Nick Brophy and the Heroes. Well done to all the volunteers, it makes me proud to be part of the Microsoft ecosystem. Thank you.
Volunteer work by Convergence attendees makes a big difference in the lives of those less fortunate
After the audience had a chance to dry their eyes. Doug reminded us that we need to complete our conference evaluations. To help encourage this while supporting a good cause, Microsoft will donate US$1 to every evaluation completed to Dance Houston.
Don't forget to complete your evaluations
To show us where those funds would end up, we were treated to a small show from the Dance Houston team. They included many styles from street dancing to latin to ballroom. A great display of the joy of dance.
The Dance Houston team showing their moves
The penultimate task for Doug was to announce the location of the next Convergence Conference.
Well... Convergence 2013 will be held on the 18th to 21st March 2013 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Centre in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Hope to see you there. One very interesting tidbit of information I learned was that the architecture in the French Quarter of New Orleans is actually Spanish. There was a fire which destroyed most of the buildings and as the city was under Spanish control at the time, it was rebuilt in the current Spanish style of the era.
Convergence 2013 will be held in New Orleans, LA, USA
The final task for Doug was then to introduce the Guest Speaker for the conference: General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.).
From his early days as a grunt in the US Army, he rose through the ranks to become a four star general and has served as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State for the USA. You don't have to be a US citizen to appreciate the achievements of this man. I was very excited to hear what he had to say. I knew it would be fascinating given his knowledge and worldly experiences over the years.
Guest Speaker: General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
General Powell discussed a number of stories and life experiences. While I can't do them full justice, a few of them stood out for me.
Full house listening to General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
Rapt audience listing to Colin's stories and experiences
His parting comments were: "You know you are a good leader when troops will follow you, if only out of curiosity. Just to see how you get them out of the mess. This is because they trust you. Trust is the glue that holds an organisation together and the lubricant that helps it move forward.".
Then it was question time, with the attendees being offered a chance to ask Colin questions and put him on the spot. One attendee asked to shake his hand and ended up coming up on stage to receive a hug from the man himself.
One Convergence attendee even got a hug from Colin
As the question time was running a little late, Mariano and I had to leave early so we could get ready for first presentation of the day.
Thank you Colin for an inspiring speech.
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