GPUG Summit 2013 is almost here! This is our 7th year hosting the event, and the GPUG team is more excited than ever about what will happen in a few short weeks in Tampa.  We could go on and on telling you about how awesome we think GPUG Summit is... the exceptional peer-led sessions, the fantastic networking, the exciting keynotes, the buzzing hallways, the impressive Expo....not to mention the top-notch attendees!

But...you'll likely benefit more from learning about GPUG Summit from some folks who've experienced it for themselves.  There's a lot of Summit buzz around the GP community lately, and we've captured a few recent posts that help paint the picture of what GPUG Summit is really all about.  How about you? Why do you participate in Summit? We'd love to hear!

 - Our friend Anya Ciecierski over at CAL Business Solutions shared "10 Statistics About GPUG Summit 2013 You Should Know."

- Mark Rockwell from Rockton Software came up with his top "5 Reasons to 'B' There." Mark has been known to perform a song and dance at Summit...it alone is worth the price of admission!

- Zubin Gidwani from Dynamic Budgets contributed this advice via a GPUG Collaborate discussion board to a first-time attendee who was looking for insight on what to expect in Tampa...

Honestly, GPUG is a work hard play hard group. One of the best ways to get connected is to track down the presenters and organizers as soon as you arrive. Come join us for Dinner/ Coffee / Drinks. During the day we can have hectic schedules, in the after-hours we are easy to find and are very approachable.  We keep track of each other over Twitter, Foursquare, the social media flavor of the month, and if all else fails (texts and phone calls). We tend to travel in groups and converge upon common locations. One of the hidden values of GPUG Summit is all of the in-between conversations.

The Summit is an incredible opportunity to learn how to learn about Dynamics GP. We are all Subject Matter Experts whether we realize it or not. You have functional knowledge from your day to day operations. If you are new to GP, you likely bring outside perspective and prior experience. All of that knowledge, business perspective, best practices, technical knowledge, people management skills, etc., is incredibly valuable to your peers.  We tend to get stuck in our respective trenches and silos, and its always a pleasure to share some of your stories at GPUG Summit and find out you are not alone.

Over time as you become more involved in GPUG, you will discover that what you know is less important than who you now to contact, to seek answers. This is a self-help group. We are a group of customers (end users of GP as an ERP), consultants who are scrambling to support the end users, and software developers who are constantly stretching to expand their offerings to shore up the gaps. While there are MVPs and All Stars who tend to have amassed considerable knowledge, at the end of the day this industry is still all about financial software, new business demands against it, possible glitches, and the need to apply best practices, find fixes and/or work-arounds. If it was easy most of us would be bored and would have moved on, its challenging and it keeps us all on our toes.

Don't hesitate to try to break out of your shell and ask questions. Ask questions in sessions, in the hallways, in the venue lobby, waiting for a taxi, walking to dinner, etc.

As you become more involved in GPUG your response to the following question should evolve along these lines:

I'm having a problem with X, do you know what I should do?

1) No, but let me know if you find out.

2) No but why don't we go ask Kim Peterson for a pointer

3) You missed a great training academy course for that on Monday, but I think there is a conference session on that topic on Thursday, check the program guide

4) Last night at dinner I overheard X,Y & Z talking about that you really need to track those presenters down

5) I saw 2 companies with 3rd party add-ons which could address that on the expo floor, and one has a partner showcase tomorrow to demo their product

6) We discussed that at the lunch roundtable yesterday, here is the business card of the accountant in LA who really knew her stuff, she's leaving on Saturday and was open to sharing her solutions with anyone who needed it, text her and see if you can meet up. And please ask her if she would be willing to be a speaker at our upcoming regional chapter meeting.

7) I seem to remember that being covered on the Collaborate message boards, over there is Beat, ask him and he should be able to give you the URL

8) Yes I've seen that before, there is a patch on Customer Source for that, and a couple of people have posted their SQL scripts to query for that condition on the Collaborate file share.

9) Did you see the Microsoft support staff here, those are the actual people who are writing the code and answering the phones. I now have a business card and they just troubleshooted my problem, remoted into my server and helped me fix that while we were here on the floor.

10) I honestly wouldn't have a clue, but I know that Debbie Clark is our go to for Multicurrency, Leslie Vail knows the core financials like the back of her hand, Richard Whaley wrote the book on transaction posting flows, Mark Polino's presentations and Cookbook will tell you how to do it better and faster, Reporting Central's The Closer can pinpoint why the GL and the sub ledger don't match, John Lowther's backs up his transaction logs every couple of hours to mitigate such data loss, Fastpath Software and Rockton Software have audit trails to tell you who potentially corrupted that data,  Mariano Gomez can teach you how to get your users to report those errors more efficiently with the Support Debugger, David Musgrave can probably add a scanner for that to the Debugger, and we should alert Chad Sogge that we have submitted a fix request on Microsoft Connect, and that we used the GPUG Power of US and have logged over 100 vote ups for this issue this week to flag this as a high priority fix. Hopefully that will get you started...