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It's been a great start to day one so far (as I am writing this throughout the day to save trying to remember it all later!). This isn’t going to be about everything that happened today, however it’s the things that were most interesting to me.
Wayne Morris was the official keynote speaker, and spoke a lot about SMB (small and medium businesses). Some of the more interesting stats talked about or displayed to me were:
Next up was Chad Sogge who was presenting GP “now”. Part of this included four partners talking about their experiences with the cloud, service-based architecture and/or the web client. The cool part for me (but irrelevant to anyone else!) was two of the four companies are near me in Waterloo region. Watserv is based in Waterloo and Diamond Municipal Solutions has an office in Cambridge that I can literally walk to from my home. I love seeing Canadian firms at these events generally but it’s even more neat to see those who are local to where I live and work.
My favourite moment of this partner showcase was Martin Olsen and the eOne Solutions demo. Not only did he show off an upcoming Service Builder product, he explained the difference between men & women and had the crowd in stitches. Now we all know what “sure” means! I’d try to explain it but you just had to be here! I think he thinks we women are complicated!
Next was Jeff Trossen and GP “next” which was declared to be Dynamics GP 2016, with an ETA of April 2016. The biggest feature will be a redesigned HTML5 web client, although it was clear that this wouldn’t mean rewriting much to get existing web client code to work with it. They showed Diamond’s products as an example of something they simply installed and it worked without touching it. Hopefully all ISVs have the same experience when “upgrading” their web client code to GP 2016.
Here are some of the new features planned that caught my eye. Note: nothing is confirmed to be a feature “for sure” until closer to release time.
The HTML client was also demo’d on an iPad to show it will work with any browser on any device.
Jen Ranz and Jodi Christiansen demo’d some of the new features next and it was good to see it in action, live.
The rest of the day we started to split up into Sales & Marketing sessions (at the hotel) and Consultant & Developer sessions (at Microsoft). Here is what I attended and some of my takeaways or thoughts on those. It was a busy day as always and by approximately 4pm I found my brain was full and not much else was “sticking”!
Njevity – “Azure Uncovered”
Jodi Christiansen – “Oh Data”
Chris Dew – “Demonstrating the WOW of Dynamics GP 2015”
Belinda Allen – “Excel Experts Unite”
By this point in the day my brain was full, I don’t think I could have reciting my address let alone learn anything else new. I was hoping to sit in on Belinda’s Power BI session which followed my last session, but I knew it wouldn’t register. I briefly sat in on the Create your own workflows session until I realized it was heavy into Dexterity. So I wandered over to the 1-on-1 experts room where John Lowther and Bob McAdam were hosting the session. Some great discussions on hosting partner differences, multicurrency and generally hanging out until the evening reception.
It was a great day overall… my only “beef” was the timing of lunch was very late (for me)… it was at 1:30pm which my body clock still thought was around 2:30pm, so needless to say I was starving and the long lineups for lunch didn’t help! I think everyone would have loved to eat earlier if they could.
At the end of the day, after a very long first day, everyone congregated at Microsoft for an evening reception. Free food and drink always gathers a crowd! As in previous years, it was a great evening with an excellent selection of food for us to choose from and free beverages of your choice.
Since I was really tired from the day and the busy travel day the day prior, I ate and had a beverage but left relatively early after only about an hour at the reception. It was a beautiful day, just over 30 degrees Celcius, so I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and walk back to the hotel. I’ve done that in prior years, and it’s a long walk, a little over an hour, and just under 6kms! After sitting all day, it was nice to just get some exercise, even if it was only walking!
There was a “Smartner Party” hosted by eOne Solutions in the evening, same as last year, but same with last year, I fell asleep in my room before attending! Sad but true… thankfully today (Tuesday) as I finalize this blog post, I’m more alert than many of the other attendees this morning!
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