Monday, March 30, 2015

Spotlight On Microsoft Dynamics GP Users' Group (GPUG)

As we wrap up our conversation on Microsoft Dynamics resources available to end users, we will take a look at one of the most vibrant Microsoft Dynamics Users’ Groups, GPUG. In this article, we will be learning more about GPUG with an interview from the Director of GPUG, Kim Peterson. The vision for GPUG is to engage every individual and company using Microsoft Dynamics GP in value-added networking and knowledge sharing and to be the single most important communication channel for Microsoft to see guidance on future development of Dynamics GP.

Kim Peterson is the Director of GPUG, the Microsoft Dynamics GP Users’ Group. Kim has over 32 years’ experience in building and supporting the Microsoft Dynamics GP community by working with Microsoft, Partners and Customers. For the first 21 years of her career she was employed by Great Plains Software and then Microsoft Dynamics after the acquisition of Great Plains Software by Microsoft in 2001. During her tenure at Microsoft and Great Plains Software, Kim held roles covering different aspects of the business including Account Management, Sales Management, Business Development, and Marketing. Since 2010, she leads GPUG as the director, responsible for its offerings and building a greater GP community.

What is GPUG?
Kim: The idea for the Dynamics GP User Group (GPUG) grew from the vision of a few Microsoft Dynamics® users - to connect with other Dynamics users and learn firsthand the best way to leverage the software they used every day. From that initial vision to the official founding of the Dynamics GP User Group (GPUG), and continuing today, our mission has never wavered: to maximize the value to individuals and companies using Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Why is it important for Microsoft Dynamics users to get involved with these user groups such as GPUG, NAVUG, and CRMUG?
Kim: Being a part of the user group community provides all Dynamics users an opportunity to a part of the community, learn from their peers, build their professional skills, and participate in the largest source of GP educational content.  A membership provides your entire organization access to hundreds of virtual and face to face learning opportunities.

We do this in many ways, some highlights of Member Benefits include:
  • Access to Hundreds of Live Educational Webinars
  • Recorded Webinars Available On-demand 24/7 to fit your schedule
  • Access to Discussion Boards to Ask Questions of Your Peers and Get Answers
  • FREE Attendance to Local Chapter Meetings to Meet Other Users and Exchange Ideas
  • Learn From Others Like You Through Special Interest Groups
  • 50% Registration Fee Discount on GPUG Academy Deep Dive Distance Learning Courses Through Virtual Classrooms
  • GPUG Summit 2015 in Reno, NV – October 12-16, 2015 where GP Users Network & Learn
  • Earn CPE Credits for GPUG Academy Courses and GPUG Summit Conference Sessions
  • Professional Certificate Programs for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, System Administrators & Business Intelligence
Tell us about the upcoming GPUG Summit 2015.
Kim: This year our Summit will be held October 13th -16th at the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa in Reno, NV. GPUG Summit provides content for both beginners and experts in all functional and technical roles.   The event is three-and-a-half days of unparalleled learning, sharing and networking. This is the only Dynamics GP conference designed and led by users, for users. In addition to great session content, there is also an Expo featuring software and services to enhance and complete company’s GP investment.

How many attendees are you expecting?
Kim: GPUG is expecting close to 1200 Members, while the whole conference with all 4 groups will be over 4000 from the Dynamics community.

What does Summit offer to attendees?
Kim: In addition to over 200 educational sessions there are many structured and unstructured opportunities to meet with other Dynamics users, explore ISV products, and provide input into future direction of the Microsoft Dynamics partners. lists last year’s content… from here you can see the depth of content GPUG Summit offers in sessions, classroom training, expo and more.  This is the richest content education for Dynamics users in the industry. 

Why should companies encourage their employees to attend Summit 2015?
Kim: Companies should encourage their employees to attend Summit if they are looking for real life, practical ideas they can take home and immediately put to work to get more value of Dynamics and to improve their business processes.
We have a spot on our website that tells you just that! 

What is Dynamic Communities, Inc.?
Kim: Dynamic Communities, Inc. (DCI) is the supporting organization behind GPUG and our sister global user groups - the Dynamics AX User Group (AXUG®), the Dynamics CRM User Group (CRMUG®) and the Dynamics NAV User Group (NAVUG®) - as well as our Dynamics partner group Dynamic Partner Connections (DPC). Dynamic Communities is independent from Microsoft; however, our close working relationship positions our groups to be a collective voice to Microsoft on user concerns, needs, and requests.

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