When we talk about ERP systems, the conversation inevitably revolves around pricing, functionality, technical requirements, and other such details. Vendors strive to demonstrate all that their products can do for you and your company via YouTube videos, fact sheets, or live presentations. Customers, meanwhile, focus on trying to understand how these products work and the value their functionalities might bring to their business.
Microsoft Dynamics GP is a very mature ERP, with extensive functionality applicable to small and medium companies alike. In my opinion, however, one of Dynamics GP’s best functionalities is not found inside the product, or its fact sheets. It is likely that your partner or vendor has not even mentioned it during their product presentations. In fact, my favorite functionality is not a functionality at all: It is the Dynamics GP Users Group (GPUG).
GPUG was founded in 2006 with the vision to work closely with Microsoft® Dynamics GP Users to grow their knowledge and competency in their ERP system. GPUG is a group created and managed by users, for users. Companies and users that become members of GPUG can be confident that they will be maximizing their Dynamics GP investment. And before you think this is a sales pitch, know that the annual cost of a membership can go from free to very reasonable annual fees for a premium membership adapted to your company’s size.
GPUG interacts with members through regional chapters that organize local events. These events include educational sessions in many GP functionalities. Sessions are offered free to members and almost free to guests who wish to experience the benefits first hand before committing to a membership (did I mention that it is well worth it?). Frequently these regional events feature special partner or ISV guests who demonstrate popular products, or even Dynamics GP MVP’s who are true experts in the product and will answer all attendees' questions about featured topics.
Once a year, GPUG holds its GPUG Summit, a Dynamics ERP world-class event second in size and attendance only to Microsoft’s own Convergence event. However, GPUG Summit provides an added value that no other event can match: It is exclusively focused on Dynamics GP and Dynamics GP users. Attendees know that they are all interested in the same thing: Making the most of their Dynamics GP product. This year GPUG Summit will be held in Tampa, FL, and features around 150 educational sessions for all kinds of GP users, from finance professionals, database administrators and IT personnel, developers and business analysts, to professionals of many industries that are touched by Dynamics GP. In addition to this, there will be over 60 vendors sponsoring the event and showing off their latest and greatest products for GP.
The value of a GPUG membership goes far beyond sporadic educational sessions, as it provides networking opportunities between GP users that remain well after these events are done. Users share experiences, problems and solutions in a way that no other method allows. Dynamics GP is one of the most popular ERP systems in the market today, and interacting with people that use the same product we do—on a daily basis—brings tremendous intangible value to a product that is already considered one of the most powerful as well.
There is still time to register for GPUG Summit this year, so head to the GPUG site or contact us if you have any questions. It’s all about sharing the knowledge, and ICON and GPUG form a powerful combination to make the best of your Dynamics GP.
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