I have wondered for a long time why we didn’t have an active GPUG chapter in Connecticut. We have so many great Microsoft Dynamics GP users in Connecticut. And let’s face it, very few of us want to drive into New York or Boston to get our GPUG fix.

After an enlightening visit to the GPUG booth at the very last Microsoft Convergence event, long time Dynamics GP user, Dan Troxell, from Subway, decided to launch the Connecticut chapter.

Location

The first meeting was Wednesday 2/15 at the Hartford, CT Microsoft office. If you can overlook the lack of free parking, this is a great venue. Microsoft has a spacious, modern office on the 21st floor at 280 Trumbull Street. With all the techie gadgets a good GPUG meeting room needs.

Attendees

At this first meeting Dan told me he hoped to get 20 attendees. Although I knew of a few clients that were registered, I also had several more tell me that “this was not on my radar” and “maybe next time.” So I was very happy that this first meeting had exactly 20 attendees, on the nose.

Based on the introductions I believe 13 in the room were GP users, and the other 7 were Dynamics GP partners (VAR and ISV). I am personally proud to say that 6 of the 13 users are CAL Business Solutions clients, so we were very well represented.

Presentations

After introductions the group heard a presentation from Bob Buresh, GPUG Membership Manager, (attending remotely) on how to get the most value from GPUG, including a review of the website forums etc… He reminded the group that “some of the best lessons in life are learned from your peers. Your business is no different.” The value of GPUG comes from the interchange with peers.

Then Amber Bell, now of Training Dynamo, presented “From GP User to GP Superhero” which is a one hour session full of Dynamics GP tips and tricks.

Lunch/Networking

After a “networking lunch” (from Panera) Dan Troxell did a review of how Subway is using Microsoft Dynamics GP including some of their challenges and successes. (And an interesting glimpse into Subway’s plans for “restaurants of the future”).

At this point, several other users in the audience chimed in to discuss how they are using Dynamics GP. There were people there using Dynamics GP version 10.0 up to the current Dynamics GP 2016 R2. Many have been working with Dynamics GP for years and a few who were brand new to the system and have not even finished their installation yet.

One interesting discussion was favorite add one tools. Everyone agreed that they love Rockton SmartFill. One user extolled the virtues of Enhanced Notes from GP Elementz. This is a tool we have not worked with yet, and when I reported it back to my team at CAL I got an immediate reply that it “looked very cool and we should set up a demo.” That tip alone made the GPUG meeting valuable to us as a GP partner.

As always happens, towards the end of the meeting people the ice started melting and everyone started engaging more in conversations and networking. I think every quarter those in the group will become more comfortable with each other and the room will get louder and louder (in a good way).

Upcoming Meetings

The GPUG Connecticut chapter will meet once per quarter. The current 2017 dates selected are May 17, August 16th  and November 15th. In between meetings, Connecticut Dynamics GP users can exchange ideas online.

Next Steps:

  • Sign up for the GPUG Hartford chapter at gpug.com/hartford. This way you will automatically get emailed event announcements and discussion postings and members can send each other messages through the website.
  • Help spread the word about the local chapter and get people to join the community
  • Plan to attend the next meeting on May 17, 2017.

Get involved with the GPUG Connecticut group now so we can use “the power of the group”.

By Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions, www.calszone.com