Certified & Credentialed: Professional Growth through GPUG Academy

By Delaney Freer posted Feb 28, 2020 02:03 PM


Blair Christiansen, GPUG
Blair Christensen, ERP Administrator – Oppenheimer Co

Local User Group Leader for Boise Idaho
GPUG Academy Richard Whaley Award Winner

User Group Member since 2015

“Through each of these programs my knowledge of GP has expanded significantly and my ability to implement and support Dynamics GP for my employer has grown.” – Blair Christensen


Dynamic Communities (DC): How many certificates have you earned through the GPUG Certificate Program? Please share why you find value in this program.

Blair Christensen (BC): So far, I have earned both the Professional Certificate for Administrators and the Professional Certificate for Business Intelligence. I am pursuing the Dynamics Credentialed Professional and felt those two would help me establish a solid foundation towards that admittedly lofty goal. As time permits (and my employer sponsors) I hope to also pursue the Professional Certificates for both Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. Through each of these programs my knowledge of GP has expanded significantly and my ability to implement and support Dynamics GP for my employer has grown as well.

DC: Describe your last lightbulb moment at work. How did your Academy participation contribute to that?

BC: My latest lightbulb moment came as we have been looking into a new technology for us: Power BI. We had been using SSRS for reporting but the opportunities for self-service through Power BI – as well as its rich visualizations – have inspired us to begin converting many of our existing reports to Power BI. This has leveraged not only my day-to-day back-end knowledge, but the intro to Power BI through the Academy classes helped me see the possibilities from an end-user’s perspective.

DC: Think back to when you first joined the user group and where you are now. What has that growth looked like? What’s next?

BC: I can still remember the first time I attended a User Group meeting. It was in November immediately following the GPUG conference – which at the time I didn’t even know about. Our Local User Group [formerly called Chapter] had received Chapter of the Year and because I happened to be there, I got to be in the picture! I think one thing that stuck out to me was how focused our User Group meetings have always been about what our local User Group members are interested in, whether it be third party add-ons or new technologies like Power BI. A couple of years ago I volunteered to become one of our Chapter Leaders and since then enjoy the opportunity to listen to others and how they are using GP in their respective industries.

DC: Anything else you’d like to share?

BC: Two things. First, I’d strongly encourage participation in the forums! They are a fantastic place to share knowledge and get quick answers specific to GP. I especially appreciate the participation of our GPUG All-Stars such as Jo, Beat, Amber and others – when they get the time!

Second, I would put in a plug to attend Summit! I have attended the last four straight (Tampa, Nashville, Phoenix, Orlando) and find them to be a treasure trove of expertise and learning. Last year I even presented a class on upgrades! (Thanks to the GPUG admin team for their help making sure everything went smoothly.)


Learn more: gpug.com/certificates