Recap - Community Summit 2021 Houston

Community Summit was held in Houston October 12-15, 2021 and it was quite different than ones in the past. Less attendees, less sessions, masks required in the sessions, however one thing remained and that's the fact there was allot of walking. Here's my short recap of my experience this year. 

Presenting - I left Colorado with only one session on the calendar and arrived in Houston on Monday mid day. While sitting in the hotel lobby I had the opportunity to chat with Steven Chinsky who informed me that a partner pulled out of the conference (that day) and wasn't going to be leading their sessions virtually, so there were now open slots in the NAV/BC track. After discussing with him some possible session ideas I had two more sessions that I was going to lead. It was very important to me that there wasn't any open rooms, after all there were so many people that traveled to Houston to attend. 
    1. Migrating from Dynamics GP to D365 Business Central – A Real-World Customer & Partner Story. In this session I joined forces with Tom Franz from Integrity Data to share his story of migrating from GP to BC. We had a packed room of GP users and other ISVs that were interested in learning more about the journey from GP to BC. 
    2. Reconciling Credit Card Transactions in BC. In this session Meenakshi Singh and I shared how you can utilize a checkbook and bank linking functionality in BC to reconcile your credit card. The concept was well received and I’ll be following up with a video soon on this concept. 
    3. Business Central Workshop of Users, MVPs, Consultants, assisting each other with training in BC, Power Automate, Power BI. I lead a BC workshop and with the help of Steve Endow and the community we were able to lead a discussion on manufacturing processes and answer some general questions about integrations and functionality within BC. 
Friends - Attending conferences is a great way to learn and share information, however one of my favorite things is seeing my friends and making new ones. It's been two years since I've attended an in person conference and since the last one I've attended countless virtual conferences as an attendee and speaker. It was so nice to see many of my friends and meet many more. 

Crew that closed down the Power GP Online party

Networking - Although this conference was a "Covid Conference" there was still plenty of networking opportunities. The Expo hall was one of the first conference networking opportunities and it definitely didn't feel like like it had in the past. There were less booths and people, but I was still able to make it a quarter of the way though and learn more about many ISV solutions.  

Debunking GP to BC myth's - Although I'm no longer considered a consultant for Dynamics GP I sill have a place in my heart for the solution. I spent countless years and hours as a user and consultant for GP so it's important to me to make sure the message in the community is correct. While attending the session, "As a 21st Century GP User, Should I Stay or Should I Go (to BC or Elsewhere)?" I mentioned that I recently saw a blog post from an ISV that had a message that Microsoft was ending support for Dynamics GP and that Dynamics 365 Business Central was the solution to replace with. During the conference I was able to discuss this with Pam Misialek who works for Power GP Online and is a spokesperson for the GP community. No joke at the GP general session she discussed this message and the ISV contacted me via text asking if I was at the conference. I was able to discuss with him the blog post and the message it was sending to the community. He understood where I was coming from and told me that they had an outside marketing team that wrote blogs for them based on information in the community. Let this be a lesson to any partners or ISVs that use outside resources for things like this, you may want to read the material before posting. This ISV did remove the blog from their site, and it's still to be determined if a follow up blog will be posted with the correct information. 

Another message that I wasn't aware of is the current promotion "Bridge to the Cloud Promotion” being offered by Microsoft. 
  • Continue to pay your annual renewal for GP and get BC online for free for up to 4 years.
  • Quantity of BC users is calculated by:
    • Essentials BC users: (Annual Renewal amount)/12/$28
    • Premium BC users: (Annual Renewal amount)/12/$40
  • TRICK: If you change your mind, you pay lapsed fees. If you do not move to BC online within 4 years you effectively lose your GP licenses.

    What you need to know before migrating from Dynamics GP to Business Central - Janelle Riley, CEO at Syvantis Technologies, Inc.

I was so shocked by the “TRICK” that I reached out to a Microsoft Partner to get the rest of the story. Carol Simonson with Boyer & Associates, explained “this years promo isn’t the greatest and I have shared that with Microsoft. You are correct, the client would need to know for sure that they are going to move to BC within those 4 years.” Personally I am blown away that this promo even exists. I haven’t seen any of the partner messaging to clients on this one but I sure hope all the facts are being shared.

If you're currently on GP and interested in Business Central (BC) my advice to you is to get educated. Talk with others within the community and learn more about any promotions that may be available at the time. And remember that it's not a "migration" from GP, it's a re-implementation. BC is not GP in the cloud.

Written by: Kristen Hosman, Microsoft MVP


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