GPUG Amplify is like a cruise. Not everyone wants to try it, but when they do, they love it.
Only around 15% of the total US population has ever been on a cruise, but most of them go again and again. Only a small percentage of the Microsoft Dynamics community has been to GPUG Amplify, but those I’ve talked to who attended last year’s inaugural event are enthusiastic supporters.
Some Dynamics GP users may think GPUG Amplify is “too small” or they are just unsure of the value of this new event. I spoke with Bob McAdam and Pam Misialek, the ‘brains’ behind the GPUG Amplify event, to get specific details on why this event is great (even better than a cruise) and how it is different from GPUG Summit.
Coffee Shop vs Nightclub
A popular analogy that has been used to compare Microsoft Convergence with GPUG Summit was the nightclub versus the coffee shop. Convergence was larger, more bells and whistles (and parties) like a nightclub. GPUG Summit was smaller, more personal, like a coffee shop.
Now that Convergence is gone, GPUG Summit has become the larger “nightclub” event with 2000+ attendees and GPUG Amplify is the cozy “coffee shop” event maxed out at 500 attendees. There is still a place for both.
GPUG Summit is three full days, three nights, twelve tracks, and a big expo that includes ISV vendors across ALL the Dynamics product lines.
GPUG Amplify is a smaller “Dynamics GP only” event, kind of going back to the way “things used to be” where you can have meaningful one on one interactions with people in a less hectic environment.
Decision Maker vs End User Content
While GPUG Summit is wall to wall educational tracks across any and all areas you can think of, GPUG Amplify is a slimmed down version that is catered more to decision makers who want to get insights on core Dynamics GP as well as reporting, leadership and management.
The leadership track covers things like millennial management, project management and cloud deployment. It will address strategic questions such as: Is your business ready for the Cloud? If so, why does it makes sense to stay with Dynamics GP? If you don’t go cloud, should you still deploy the web client? On Tuesday afternoon, attendees will break up into specific industry round tables and people will talk about best practices and industry standards.
At Summit, the agenda is planned by users for users. It focuses on helping the people who use Dynamics GP every day to do their jobs better. The GPUG Amplify agenda is planned by Microsoft for decision makers who want to learn how to improve business, how to better leverage their systems and put ideas into action. At GPUG Amplify you will hear about the Dynamics GP Roadmap and future development, directly from the people at Microsoft who are building it.
This is a great time for decision makers to get together away from the usual grind and get smarter on their ERP system which is such a key component to their business.
100% Dynamics GP
One of the biggest draws of GPUG Amplify is that it is truly “Dynamics GP only”. Unlike Summit (which includes CRM, AX, NAV user groups) every person at GPUG Amplify is there for Dynamics GP. You don’t have to look at the color of someone’s badge to know what product they want to talk about. You can talk to everyone, in a small group. You don’t have to walk 20 minutes to go to a session or to meet someone. It is very hands-on. And all the Microsoft team members there will be focused on Dynamics GP.
At this point, GPUG Amplify attendees are expected to be more than 50% Dynamics GP end users. (The rest are Partners and Microsoft team members.) This ratio is not as high as GPUG Summit which usually comes in around 70% end users, but end users will still be the majority attendees at GPUG Amplify.
Free Dynamics GP Support
A benefit that I think most people don’t factor enough into the ROI of attending this event is the free Dynamics GP support you can get at GPUG Amplify.
Think about the cost of a Microsoft support incident or the cost of engaging your Dynamics GP partner. You can bring your issues to GPUG Amplify and get free support from some of the top Microsoft Dynamics GP resources in the world. They have “office hours” throughout the event. And because it is small, there is seldom a waiting line. Very smart people can VPN in into your instance and give you specific help. That benefit alone can more than pay for the cost of the event.
More Time with ISV Vendors
Many people come to user events to evaluate new add on tools. At GPUG Amplify the vendors have time to sit and have conversations with users and drill into details.
Unlike the large expo at Summit, each of the 40 ISV sponsors focuses on Microsoft Dynamics GP and their booth space is right in the same room with the meals and the general sessions. So you don’t need to plan a specific time in your schedule to visit the expo. You will see them often; you can stop by their table, think of another question, and stop by again. You can really observe the functionality and leave the event with a decision made.
Try it, You’ll Love It
Just as a cruise is a different way to vacation, GPUG Amplify is a different type of event. But once you try it, I bet you will come back year after year.
There is still time to register for GPUG Amplify 2017 March 20-22 in Anaheim, CA. Register Now.
Read: Why Attend? and download the PDF: GPUG Amplify and GPUG Summit – Which Conference Is Right For Me?
By Anya Ciecierski, ERP Software Blog Writer, www.erpsoftwareblog.com
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