I guess you could say that nearly all of our blog posts are “Live from Fargo”, but this week was such a lively one on campus I felt it an appropriate title!  We just put the wraps on a VERY successful Technical Conference here at the beautiful new additions to the Microsoft Campus in Fargo, and I thought I would provide some personal insight into the great things I saw and heard after visiting with some of the hundreds of Partners and ISV’s that made the trek for the conference. 

My first take-away from the conference is that our Partner’s and ISV’s are VERY excited for the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamic GP “11!”  It was quite fun to see the reactions and smiles of attendees when our presenters went “under the hood” on some of the big features we are delivering in our next release.  Our development team (who did most of the presenting) did a wonderful job at delivering great, relevant content to this audience of Developers, Consultants, and Implementers.  While we couldn’t share all of the version “11” features at this conference, I feel like attendees still got a chance to learn many details about the upcoming release by visiting directly with our GP product and development teams in the informal meetings and roundtables held throughout the conference. I can’t wait until we can fully take the wraps off this release and let our customers start taking advantage of some of the amazing innovations coming their way!

The second take-away, well really more of a confirmation I guess, is that we have some of THE BEST Partners in the industry representing Microsoft Dynamics GP.  It was inspiring to talk with so many Partner’s and ISV’s who are more passionate and driven than ever before to help our current and future customers realize their full potential.  I was continually impressed by the positive outlook shared by many of the attendees regarding the current economic situation, the prospects of their current and future business, and their commitment to the Dynamics GP product.  You Dynamics GP Partners out there absolutely ROCK and we are so happy to be on the same team as you!

The last take-away I’ll share is that PowerPivot is going to absolutely knock our customer’s socks off!  We had a guest speaker, John Hancock from the PowerPivot team, join our closing session to give everyone a sneak peak at this great new tool that will be available for free with Excel 2010, and all I can say is WOW.  John demonstrated with live code how PowerPivot can enable you to sort and filter over 100 MILLION rows in less than a second (yes, I said 100,000,000 rows)!  He illustrated how easy it was to pull data from three different sources (a SQL view, a SQL Reporting Services report, and an Excel spreadsheet) into one workbook where Excel automatically detected the relationships and helped him build a great Pivot table.  He also showed the powerful sharing capabilities by saving his new Dynamics GP PowerPivot report to SharePoint 2010 where users can browse the data in new and interesting ways.  There are so many features in this tool and Excel 2010 that I can only begin to imagine the scenarios that will be enabled when our customers start using this technology.  PowerPivot is basically Excel and Pivot Tables on steroids, and I think it could seriously change the game on how organizations analyze and share data.

Before I wrap this up, a huge THANK YOU goes out to all of those who made this years Technical Conference possible…namely our GP Development team for supplying the content and presenters, and Babs Coler for organizing and orchestrating the whole thing.  They pulled it off in fine fashion and our GP Partner’s and ISV’s are even better equipped as a result.

If you got a chance to attend the conference this year, let us know what you liked or what you’d like to see different next year! The more suggestions and input we get from you, the more likely we can make the event a continued success in the future. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

AndyW