How to Get the Most Out of Your GPUG Membership: Interview with Ginny Lebeck

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More than 1,500 end user companies are members of GPUG, the official Microsoft Dynamics GP User Group run by Dynamic Communities. The membership is an investment, so what is the value, how can you get the most out of it and who are the people behind it that are focused on your success?

Ginny Lebeck, the new GPUG Member Engagement Manager for Dynamic Communities, helps us answer these questions.

Editor: What does it mean to be a GPUG Member Engagement Manager?

Ginny: My job as an engagement manager is to be an ambassador to the GPUG community. I want to make sure that every GPUG end user member is aware of all the resources that are available to them and for them to feel confident that they have a live person to call or email if they have any questions.

Some people want to know how to find other GP users in the community to connect with, or how to register for an event. Others just need help getting started, the first step. It is my job to provide all the answers, on a personal level.

And I am available as an ambassador for the entire life cycle of your membership, not just in the beginning when you first sign up or when it is time to renew. I want all users to maximize their investment in GPUG.

I want people to know that they are part of a community. A very active community with a committed  group of peers, experts, and ambassadors like me focused on helping them along and making sure that they are accessing what they are entitled to.

Editor: What are the main values of a GPUG membership?

Ginny: Obviously a big thing is connecting with other GP users virtually through the open forum, and the participant directory and in person through the many events offered through the year. The GPUG webinars are very popular and it’s a smart way to gain knowledge on specific GP-related topics by subject-matter experts. Members have 100% access to all live and downloadable webinars and they are free as part of their many resources. They also get 50% off discounts on Academy classes which is pretty amazing, and enjoy significant savings on event registrations such as GPUG Summit and Amplify. Members can attend all local GPUG chapter meetings, join Special Interest Groups (SIG) and will enjoy full access in the Power BI User group (PUG). Plus, they get printed copies of the GPUG Magazine.

A lot of members don't realize that this is a company membership, not an individual membership. So once they join, other coworkers are allowed to be added onto the account. People get very excited when they realize that.

Editor: What is one of the most popular benefits of a GPUG membership?

Ginny: Webinars are one of our top-utilized areas. With the live webinars users can get their questions answered in a live forum on a variety of topics that will save them time and money in their own job roles. That's a highly utilized area that I know people find tremendous value to improve their GP skills and knowledge base.

The recorded webinars are also popular. Users can download them at their convenience. That is extremely valuable for people who are busy during the day and not available at a certain time for our live webinars. They have the flexibility to listen later at their own time. Webinars are huge!

Editor: What is one benefit of GPUG that you were personally impressed with?  

Ginny: I would definitely highlight the open forum on the GPUG member website. This forum is open for questions 24/7, 365 days a year. We are fortunate that the GPUG community is extremely active and this is the central hub on the GPUG website. So many people with a wide variety of experience in GP answer the questions that are posted.

For example, a lot of Microsoft MVP's and GPUG All-Stars actively monitor the forums and answer user questions. I encourage everyone to read what is going on, even if they don’t post right away. A lot of new users might say, "I was thinking about the same question; I'm going to see how they're going to answer this." I can't speak highly enough about this knowledge-sharing hub for members.

Editor: What is the most under-utilized GPUG member benefit?

Ginny: Not many people know about our participant directory where GPUG members can search for other members. It's an amazing way to drill down and see, even in your specific industry, who else is using Dynamics GP that you can connect with. You can search by job role, location or by the GP version people are using and make a specific connection.

You can also search for MVPs in the GPUG space. If you heard someone speak and want to send them an email, you can do that. You can look for GP partners as well.

This participant directory is just for users; we keep the information confidential and GP Partners cannot access this feature. If you do need a GP Partner, however – the Partner Directory is a great place to look for one based on your needs requirements

I think it's probably one of the most underused benefits but when people begin to use it, they absolutely love it. They love being able to connect with others. This is a way to find and connect with others virtually, even if you can’t attend any of the conferences or chapter meetings.

Editor: What value do members get from local GPUG chapters?

Ginny: I attended the Baltimore, Maryland chapter recently. It is so worth taking the time out of your busy day to attend and meet your local GP peers. I heard from many people at the chapter meeting that the value more than paid for their time out of the office. At that meeting they were lucky enough to have a demonstration by Amber Bell.  So many people said, "I can't wait to get back to my office and try this out. I never would've known how to do this." One gentleman said that what he learned was going to save him so much time and money that it probably paid for his whole GPUG membership for the year.

That's exciting to me to hear.  Users will see that we are a community, we have amazingly talented GP users in the area and they're willing to share what they know.

Connecting online is one thing, but face to face makes a big difference. And not everyone is able to travel to the larger events. Chapter meetings are local and personal.

Editor: What if someone is not ready to make an investment in GPUG membership, what can they do?

Ginny: They can be a GPUG subscriber before they become a full member. GPUG subscribers can attend one-to-twoChapter meetings for free and they have full access to the open forum to read and respond. They receive the GPUG Magazine online. And they can download any of the public recorded webinars, although this equates to only about 20% of our total recorded content.

Subscribers don’t receive discounts on Academy classes or events or any of the other member benefits. But at least it gives people a taste of what is offered and the ability to “test drive” the GPUG resources. And hopefully they will see the value for their entire company. A great place to check out for those interested in GPUG Membership is www.gpug.com/join.

Editor: How can a new GPUG member get started?

Ginny: We just put together a new webpage called "Getting Started." It's a great landing page for people who just joined and want a snapshot on how to even get started. https://www.gpug.com/start

It talks about our top downloaded webinars. We have about 12 quick tip videos that I've put together on topics like how to log in, how to add other coworkers to their account, how to update their profile and other key areas.

This page is a good refresher even for long time members who might not have logged in in a while.

Editor: How can people connect with you?

Ginny: I am always available to members via phone or email. And I look forward to meeting a lot of members at GPUG Summit 2017 in Nashville. People can probably find me at our GPUG base camp area or at the Dynamic Communities booth.

I want to be accessible and our entire GPUG team strives to create a positive experience for users through their whole membership life cycle. We want to be different than other groups where members hear from the company right when they start, and then 90 days before their membership is about to expire. My job is to keep our members engaged, because the more engaged they are, the more they're going to see a return on investment when renewal time comes.

Our goal at Dynamic Communities is to foster that positive experience through education, training and networking opportunities and to be there for our users through this unique community. So any time they want to connect with me, I'll be happy to help them.

Ginny Lebeck

GPUG Member Engagement Manager | Dynamic Communities

1-877-324-8880 x1527

[email protected]

www.gpugsummit.com

by ERP Software Blog Editor, www.erpsoftwareblog.com

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