Today, as I sit in the airport in Fargo awaiting my departing flight, I’m writing this wrap-up on the week with some random thoughts and things I forgot to include earlier. These are in no particular order.

Rubber Ducks

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Did everyone else at the Hilton Garden Inn have this too? I know David Musgrave did, he showed us the picture of his rubber duck. It was cute…

eOne Rocks

Today I had nearly the entire day open before my flight home, so I arranged with eOne Solutions earlier in the week for some 1-on-1 time with one of their team members. So much of the future appears to be getting and integrating data from all over, via services and otherwise, that I know I need to expand my skills with their SmartConnect product. Some of what they demo’d were real wows that I wanted to be able to see the moving parts to get those to work and fill in the gaps in my knowledge.

I sat with Chris Dew today for a couple of hours and it was fantastic, well worth the effort. I hadn’t yet used the eOne Sandbox so he started with showing me what that’s about and spinning it up. Holy cow – how much easier can they make this? I told him I knew about the sandbox but I literally assumed you had to request a login, and schedule time to use it, etc. No. It is way simpler.

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Go to eonesolutions.com\sandbox. Wait 30 seconds and voila, you’re in an environment that already has GP, SmartView, SmartConnect, Excel etc. all loaded and logged in ready for you to try things. You have a timer in the top corner that tells you when your 4 hour window is up. After 4 hours it is gone. If you mess something up, close your browser and go back and spin up another one. Easy peasy.

Now I’m wondering why I didn’t try that out earlier to learn things that I don’t have to configure first myself.

New Toys

One of the things we always get when we are here at reImagine is an opportunity to buy a certain preset amount of product at employee pricing from the Microsoft store. No, you can’t buy a Surface or an XBox! But you can buy games, software, hardware as long as it’s within the dollar limit of the voucher. It’s not a coupon but a purchasing cap, if that makes sense. Anyway, in past years I’ve picked up Project or Visio, things that I use that are expensive and would prefer to “have” not just be reliant on MAPS licensing. This year I picked up a nifty bluetooth keyboard which works with my iPad (& anything else I want to use it with). I’m typing this entire post with the new toy and the iPad perched up on the keyboard cover (meant to be a stand for tablets like this). Neat. Not that I type tons of things on my iPad but there are times where this is lighter and just as easy to take notes on as my computer if I have to.

Relaxing with the group

It was a fun evening last night hanging out with a bunch of great GP people, many of them MVPs, many of them fellow bloggers. We shared some good stories and talked about things like the content at this conference, issues with people stealing others’ content without attributing credit to the author, etc. and generally good interesting discussions around what goes on in the GP world. I enjoy the opportunity to socialize with others at conferences like these where it’s not just sales related. Too often, as an individual consultant, some VAR will take an otherwise good conversation down a road of “why don’t you bring your clients to us, we can work together!”. It’s nice just talking about life or general GP things and having a good laugh.

Roam Mobility update

I’m still in Fargo but my last update on the roaming situation was I have *loved* having a US SIM card to travel with. I’ve felt so much more connected down here, I’m not wandering around looking for wifi all the time, I’m not worrying about making a phone call or keeping in touch with clients back home.

The biggest challenge is the change of phone number. Once you swap out your SIM card for another one, whether that is Roam Mobility or T-Mobile or whatever, you get a new phnoe number. Fortunately most clients interact with me via email not telephone, so it was easy enough for me to check voicemail a couple of times while I’m here to keep on top of it. I could also have forwarded my phone to the US number if I was expecting more calls, but I chose not to do that this time.

 

Well, that’s it for this year’s reImagine conference. It was worth the trip to Fargo but I’m glad to be going home and can’t wait for a night in my own bed!