GP Tech 2018 – Day 1+

I’m back in Fargo, ND for the annual Dynamics GP Tech Conference. Today was the first day of the conference (Monday August 20th).

I arrived on Saturday morning, with very little trouble, except some minor stress of believing I might have been bumped from the 2nd leg of my flights to Fargo. It turns out, if you book in a low enough class of ticket, you aren’t assigned a seat until you are at the gate in the airport. No choice of seats, you get what you get and you’re technically on standby until then and could get bumped. Fortunately, I did not, but next time I may not be going for the absolute cheapest fare I can find.

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And then there were 10…

This post was somewhat hard to write, to find the right tone, to express my feelings succinctly enough without seeming ungrateful for what I’ve just been awarded.

Yesterday, I received the official news from Microsoft that I had been awarded with an MVP Award for the 2018/2019 period, my first “renewal”. Leading up to yesterday, there were a tremendous amount of messages, emails and social media threads among the various channels that MVPs communicate in (some official, some not) where people were announcing they weren’t getting renewed. Included in this were several within my own award category, Business Solutions, within my own peer group of those focusing on Dynamics GP.

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MVP emails gone mad!

At the end of April, I thought I would do an experiment. I kept track of nearly every email that I received as a part of the MVP program for the entire month of May. I deleted nothing. However, some emails such as calendar invites are auto-deleted in Outlook once you accept or decline the invitation, so I may be missing a few. (I know you can change that behaviour in Outlook but I didn’t want to change my normal settings for the sake of an experiment!)

As a Microsoft MVP, depending on how many Distribution Lists (DLs) you subscribe you, you may get a LOT of emails. I was curious to keep track of exactly how many on a random month. May was that month!

There is no “one” reference point since every MVP will customize what DLs they subscribe to, if any, and what other forms of communications their product group prefers to use. For this post, my reference point, I subscribe to 2 DL’s in Business Solutions, which for the sake of NDA I will call “the primary one” we are all told we should follow and one for my own product group, Dynamics GP. Those in Business Solutions will know what I mean.

There are 7 different DLs in Business Solutions, not including ones marked as “Retired”. I also subscribe to 1 Data Platform DL, out of 16 in that award category. There is absolutely no way to effectively keep up with the information if I chose to subscribe to more, let alone what I already subscribe to, so, I must limit myself to a handful of DLs to keep sane!

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What the MVP NDA means to me

When we receive the Microsoft MVP Award, the first thing after “accepting” the award officially is signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Each time our award is renewed, we must acknowledge, accept and sign it again.

That NDA is an individual agreement between Microsoft and ourselves as an individual, not our company or employer, not our family, but us, individually. Additionally, even though all MVPs have signed the NDA agreement, we are not to share NDA information with other MVPs without pre-approval or through authorized NDA channels. I’m getting this part verbatim from the MVP site, by the way, to avoid mistakenly describing something in my own words that aren’t precisely true.

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Collaborate Canada 2017 Follow Up

After the Collaborate Canada Toronto 2017 event, I had posted a poll on the GPUG Toronto Chapter forum to attempt to gauge, via an informal (& unofficial) poll, why the attendance was so low in Toronto that day. The premise of my poll was to attempt to reach some of the 480+ members listed in this chapter to determine why only 30 or so people attended the GP portion of the Toronto event.

A couple of people pointed out that many of the “members” in that 480+ number are not in the GTA. Some join because it’s one of the few chapters in Canada to get and post Canadian content. There appears to be an issue with chapter registration itself as others mentioned that several on the Toronto forum are actually in Montreal but cannot seem to save their default chapter to Montreal. Several on the list are members of many forums and don’t even live in Canada and some are Dynamics Communities people themselves. I suspect though, the vast majority of those on the list still should fit in my criteria generally of “customers within driving distance of an event in Toronto”. Continue reading “Collaborate Canada 2017 Follow Up”

Collaborate Canada 2017 Montreal

This was the first day of a 4 city “Collaborate Canada” tour across Canada, and the event was hosted in Montreal, Quebec. The expected audiences would be users of Dynamics AX, CRM, NAV, GP or 365.

Although I enjoyed the day and the experience, I can honestly describe the day as having some “good, bad and ugly” to it.

Dynamics Communities (DCI), who organizes the conferences, expected 150 attendees and through the rumour mill yesterday, it sounds like the attendance was around that.

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Curious about presenting?

Following up on GPUG Summit last week, I thought it would be timely to write a blog to encourage others to get involved in presenting in the future! Organizers are always looking for more people to fill presentation time slots.

Have you attended Summit or a local GPUG chapter meeting, or even a webinar online, hosted by GPUG? Have you thought “maybe some day I could be doing that presentation too”?
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My First Year as an MVP, part 1

One year ago, I was notified via email of my first Microsoft MVP Award. It was a pretty surreal moment! I captured some of my thoughts and emotions in a blog post last year.

Now that a year has gone by, very quickly I might add, it’s time to look back at my first year as a Microsoft MVP. I’ve put together some thoughts on my year, and some things that may help other first timers in their journey too.
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