Editor’s note: This week Dan Vassallo, an associate in our information security practice, shares his experiences at Microsoft GP Technical Airlift.

Earlier this month, I spent several days representing GraVoc at the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift.  After taking a week to let all the dust settle, I isolated ten key takeaways from the upcoming release of Dynamics GP 2013, the web client, and other topics featured in Fargo last week. Here are the rest of my takeaways (read the first five here):

  1. The new Excel.  The demos of the new Dynamics GP were impressive.  The sneak peek of Windows 8 was flashy.  But what really caught my attention were some of the changes in the upcoming version of Excel.  Setting date ranges by scrolling across a timeline is just one of the features I’m looking forward to.
  2. Attaching documents.  Need proof that an order was approved by a customer?  Instead of wading through folders of paper, images of signed orders or other supported documentation can be attached to GP records in GP 2013.
  3. AX-like features.  On my Twitter feed, I have a picture of a GP2013 screen shot.  Looks a lot like Dynamics AX with the action bars at the top, the smart list easy access, and the reports on the dashboard upon opening.  The AX influence was also evident, as Fabrikam was joined by Contoso as the demonstration companies.
  4. Dynamics CRM Integration.  Microsoft’s connector, despite previous shortcomings (and enduring the criticism by its partner network about it), is improved and is still free.  A piece of advice from the integration roundtable discussion:  Pick a master database, stick with it, and remember it is going to take more time and effort than you think.
  5. Resource availability.  This was my first time to Fargo, and my first time at a large congregation of the Dynamics GP community.  It was amazing to see the network of people and ISVs doing such a large amount of work on this master application.  It was impressive to see all the blogs and information sources out there.  Also, and this will come as music to many ears, there are plans in the works to blow up PartnerSource as we know it and start again from scratch.

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