Then it was time for the Microsoft Dynamics GP General session.
The session opened with Errol Schoenfish, Director of Product Marketing for Microsoft Dynamics GP, explaining why he missed Convergence 2011 last year. He describes how he was lounging around on an island surrounded by water. Then he explained how his house was almost flooded in the spring floods in Fargo and how the sand bagging efforts of the Microsoft staff in Fargo saved the house (Watch the video here).
Errol mentioned how they wanted attendees to tweet their thoughts on the session and the conference in general using the hashtags #MSDYNGP #CONV12 and that we would check-in with Twitter later.
He then announced that Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 will be available in Q4 of calendar year 2012 and they it would allow you to access the cloud on your terms with both on premise and cloud deployment supported.
Errol then did a little demo of Windows Phone before showing how Excel spreadsheets from sharepoint or SkyDrive can be displayed in the Office Hub. Then he showed a possible future application which can display charts and KPIs from the Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Analyzer directly on the phone.
Windows Phone Demo. Love the Baby Blue Safari Suit
Errol then introduced my friend and fellow blogger, Mark Polino MVP. Mark worked with Jen Ranz to demonstrate how Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online can be used with the Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Analyzer to view data while away from the office.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP
Mark then invited Brian Meier on stage to demonstrate the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client. Brian showed us how the web client can have Business Analyzer web parts on it, that are resizable and movable.
Mark Polino and Brian Meier
Then we got to see some of the Web Client in action, showing Smartlists (Treeview and Listview controls) and Purchase Order Entry (Scrolling Window control) all working. We even saw how the Web Client allows multiple application windows to be open in a single browser session.
Web Client showing Smartlist window and Purchase Order Entry window
We also saw a Windows 8 Metro UI Business Analyzer running on Mark's new Samsung Series 7 slate PC.
Business Analyzer demo on a Windows 8 Tablet
Errol then invited Jeff Trosen, Microsoft Dynamics GP Product Unit Manager, on stage. Jeff then showed the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap. He also explained how the development of the Web Client took up a third of the development resources and it is the major technical enhancement for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013. Jeff also mentioned that Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 will be Azure ready when it ships. On top of the really cool technical enhancements, there are over 125 other enhancements or new features for the application.
The last section of the session was a couple of demonstrations of some future ideas for Microsoft Dynamics GP using the Kinect. Chad Sogge, Principle Group Program Manager, worked with Errol to show off some possible solutions.
Chad Sogge and Errol Schoenfish
One of the demos showed how a worker in the warehouse can use a Kinect device to interact with the computer without needing a traditional keyboard and mouse. Using face recognition, voice recognition and gestures, it is possible to perform actions in the system.
This demo was created by Jivtesh Singh MVP who now lives in Perth, Western Australia... my home town. Thanks Jivtesh.
Jivtesh Singh MVP
At the end of the session, the Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs gathered for a photo opportunity. We were missing Frank Hamelly who was around somewhere and I was a ring-in.
Mark Polino, Mariano Gomez, Leslie Vail, Ian Stewart and David Musgrave (pretend MVP)
Missing: Frank Hamelly
After the General Session, It was time for some concurrent sessions.