Sunday started with breakfast. It is amazing to think of the logistics of feeding 8,500 attendees is a relatively short space of time.
Then we had the Opening Keynote session with Stephen Elop and Kirill Tatarinov. It is interesting to note that this was the 14th Convergence since the first Great Plains Software conference in 1997 in Orlando. We had a great demonstration of some the new features in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 with Andy Westby and Errol Schoenfish. Errol seemed at little distracted… maybe it was the glasses.
We were also treated to a demonstration of what Microsoft Research & Development see as a possible future for ERP systems. Lachlan Cash (who used to be part of the same team as me, except based in Sydney and working on Dynamics AX) and Varun Krishna showed us how the entire experience can be graphically displayed on touch screen devices at all levels of the supply chain. From the shop front (both physical and web based) to the boardroom. Very cool.
The keynote finished with a visit from Sean Payton, the head coach of Superbowl Champions New Orleans Saints, who would later present some other sessions for attendees. For all those American Football fans out there, I am sure that would have been really special.
Following the Keynote we had the Microsoft Dynamics GP General Session with Errol and Chad Sogge and some excellent demos of the new GP 2010 features from Ben Corwin, Pam Misialek and Louis Maresca. The demo even including approving a document workflow from a Windows Phone 7 device. It was a fantastic example to show how Microsoft Dynamics GP leverages both software and devices from the Microsoft stack.
Then it was time for lunch and we had a bloggers and MVP (Most Valued Professional) lunch. It was great to meet Mark Polino and Frank Hamelly in person as well as enjoy the company of Mariano Gomez, Leslie Vail and Beat Bucher. There was a comment made that if someone did something evil at the table, it would have put 5 blogs out of action!!
David Musgrave, Mariano Gomez, Beat Bucher, Leslie Vail, Mark Polino & Frank Hamelly
After lunch Mariano and I went around the Expo Hall to visit with partners we know as well as to see what was new. I caught up with some Australians when we found the team from eOne Business Solutions.
Chris Dew, Martin Olsen, David Musgrave, Andrew Brown & Mariano.
Then it was off to get ready for our first presentation, CSGP28 – Microsoft Dynamics GP: Customization Tools Unravelled. We found a quiet spot and double checked that everything was working. Then 30 minutes later when we demonstrated one of our examples in front of everyone, it gave an error message. Oh well, at least it proves it was live. The session went very quickly. It is hard to cover 4 different tools being used in different ways in one hour.
I finished the day spending time talking to partners and customers and old friends at the Expo reception. I even caught up with Brenda Smestad who I knew from the pre Microsoft, Great Plains days.
When I got back to my room in the evening, I rebuilt the Visual Studio assemblies used in our presentation and everything is tested and working again. Come to the repeat of the Customization session (CSGPR28) on Tuesday if you want to see it working.