So, continuing from my part 1 blog post, there were demos during the opening session and coverage of both GP 2016 features (shouldn’t be news to anyone) and GP 2016 R2 planned features. I won’t get into those details as most were covered in the first session again, which is below.

Session 1 – GP 2016 – Theresa Nistler

I didn’t recap the GP 2016 new features because, at this point, there have been plenty of blogs about it from when GP 2016 was released earlier this year. I took notes on a few things that are slated for R2 later this year, although none of them are final, these are the things mentioned today that may make it into R2 later this year.

  • GL trx entry and JE inquiry window default line item “view” will be expanded or collapsed based on previous display state
  • Smartlist Designer smartlists can be made available in advanced lookups. Honestly, I’m unsure what is special about this one as you already could look up favourites from Smartlist in most lookups. I must be missing something.
  • In R2, you will be able to cancel a PO when linked to a requisition. Previously couldn’t break the link.
  • In R2, there will be a PA timesheet status report, i.e. unapproved timesheets etc.
  • POP to FA link now can include taxes in acquisition cost
  • Saving a FA ID with suffix can enter in anything you want, you aren’t limited to sequential suffixes. I’d rather they bring back the ability to use dashes in Fixed Asset IDs.
  • Warning on credit limit calculation now includes unposted credit documents – i.e. cash receipt is entered and applied against an outstanding invoice.
  • Power BI can now be displayed on web client home page

There was a new feature mentioned and demo’d although the general reaction of the people around me was it perhaps wasn’t well thought through. It was around password protecting smartlist favourites. The tentative feature is to have an option in Smartlist Options to be able to specify a password – one, singular – that would be protecting all favourites. If you try to modify any favourite, you would be prompted for this password. No one could quite work out how this would be useful, if it’s one password for any type of favourite, organization wide. It was unclear if that would also affect favourites saved by UserID or User Class or if it was just for say, System favourites. I think after that reaction, Microsoft may revisit that one a bit more.

Session 2 – Making Integrations Great Again – eOne

This session was awesome. Martin does know how to present… and he didn’t disappoint. The take-off title on Trump’s “make America great again” was hilarious. The message was clear – we’re making integrations seem too difficult for various reasons or we are simply not aware about how easy they can be if you use the right tools. Here are some takeaways:

  • Quit asking if the client’s other system(s) can export a file to text when they ask if you can integrate it. Quit thinking like everything has to be a manual export and then import scenario.
  • Use the power of APIs to integrate and automate. GP isn’t the only app in town. Don’t limit your thinking to apps that integrate directly to GP. Example: timesheet apps. There are hundreds out there, just because they don’t happen to be one of the handful that might already natively integrate with GP doesn’t mean you should discount it as a possibility for a client or suggest they need to change to different one.
  • Build verticals that are based on integration of data.
  • Leave customers in control of their integration.
  • Don’t leave integrations half complete. If the user still has to do something manually, figure out how to complete it. Their demo example was their own website. An order is placed on the site for a new product, a customer is created if it’s new, a SOP invoice is created with a payment applied to it and the related info is integrated to CRM. All this occurs when a customer clicks on a renewal or purchase on the website.

Session 3 – Intermediate Power BI – Mark Jensen

This session seemed less “intermediate” than I was expecting at first, but there were a few good takeaways nonetheless:

  • Ways to think about the different versions of Power BI:
    • Desktop version = create content
    • Services version = create and consume content
    • Mobile version = consume content
  • If you’re looking for Power BI training videos, look at edx.org.
  • A brief discussion too on Power BI Pro vs. Free. From what I am gathering from a few sources now, it appears that while some features are only in Pro, like groups, once you create groups and share dashboards out to groups, the users themselves in the groups don’t have to have the Pro version. I can’t confirm that but that was how I understood it and I’ve heard similar things twice now. The great thing is, Pro isn’t even that expensive ($10/mth/user?) and if mixed mode is fine, you could have a few Pro users for more administrative tasks where it’s needed and free users for the remainder to keep costs down. Seems too good to be true to be honest!

Once again, this post is getting long and I’ll continue with part 3 next.