Sunday, August 23, 2015

MWLUG 2015 Summary and Beyond

As we wind down MWLUG 2015, I want to express a few thoughts.

My goal each year has been to create a unique and fun event that provides the best of the best in educating and collecting our community regarding our incredible technologies that we have built our careers around. Each year we try something different making the experience a memorable one. This year we had it in the Ritz-Carlton with the Thursday evening event at the Shakespeare Tavern Theater. Unfortunately, I went to the washroom when the best entertainment was on stage. Damn anybody have pictures.

Time to time again you will never see many of the MWLUG sessions at IBM Connect/Lotusphere/IBM Connect ED. The more out of the box from what IBM is telling you the better.  I don't care if you are new to speaking.  If you can communicate and have a topic that would be interesting to the community, then you will be selected. We all have to start from somewhere. Truly great speakers practice and learn from their experience.

Louis Richardson who spoke during the Thursday Keynote contacted me right after his session to see if he can see the video of himself so that he can improve on it.

For myself, I am not a good speaker because I do not practice enough and ad lip too much. But over the years I have improved. Starting from my first presentation in front of management where my knees where shaking so much that I almost fell down to speaking in front of all of you.

This has been the most successful MWLUG conference we have ever had.  This truly is the result of great support by the community. I want to give a special thanks to Lisa and Darren Duke for making this happen.  It takes a lot of work and risk to create such a conference. Each year I have to personally guarantee the hotel. So the support of others in the community is extremely important. Ray Bilyk and I worked on the secret surprise for close to a year and it turned out great.  Ray had to try a couple of times to get it right the way he wanted.

When Gregg Eldred and I conceived MWLUG in 2008, our goal was to create a local Midwest conference to help connect Midwest members of the ICS community together, learn, network, and have fun. Over the years I have connected to other community members that I would not have ever met many who have become good friends.

Over the years, participation in MWLUG has been growing outside of the Midwest region. So when we were looking at MWLUG 2015, we evaluated each city based on the voting and the possible participation and local support. The success of the conference relies on significant support by the local community members along with all the sponsors, speakers, and volunteers.

Many have commented on how come Atlanta was chosen this year for MWLUG.  It is technically not part of the Midwest region of the United States. Of all the cities we looked at not only did Atlanta receive the most votes, but the local support was truly solid.

The success of MWLUG 2015 I would say without a doubt was the result of receiving help from Lisa and Darren Duke. Without them, I would have not consider organizing MWLUG 2015.

So as I evaluated whether we should have MWLUG for 2016, local support was my number one priority.  My participation for MWLUG in 2016 needed to be reduced since I need to spend more time on other things. I provided feelers out there based on five cities and Austin was just a thought and was not even a significant consideration. However, as I talked to individuals from Texas, they were not only enthusiastic but they were willing to step up to the plate to give me the support. The same enthusiasm that Lisa and Darren Duke provided for MWLUG 2015.

So as we wind down this years event. We decided that MWLUG 2016 will be in Austin, TX. So if we continue MWLUG into 2017 and you want your city to be the host city, then start telling us why we should have MWLUG in your city and what you are willing to do to help.

I already have in my mind a few surprises that we have never done before. So stay tune.

Highlights of MWLUG 2015

  • Meeting everyone in the community, that is what it is all about
  • Fitting 54 sessions in less than 3 days
  • William Malichsky in a bow tie
  • Surprise on Devin Olson's face when we pulled out the secret gifts of MWLUG 2015, MWLUG Beer
  • The mystery flasher at the Shakespeare Tavern Theater
  • The mystery flasher at the CGS
  • Presentation by Professor Katherine Rhodes Fields and learning why uppercase and lowercase are called that way
  • Tony Holder and Ulrich Krause stepping up to help us to get non-urine beer
  • IBM getting us the additional funds that we needed to add additional attendees after we had no more funds
  • Ritz-Carlton have amazing bathrooms in the Ballroom
  • Meehan's where majority of us hung out in the evenings
  • Louis Richardson's presentation
  • And finally the most important thing being with my family. Without them it would be hard to get this off the ground.

See everyone in MWLUG 2016 in Austin Texas

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Business Partner Development Session at MWLUG 2015

If you are IBM business partner coming to MWLUG 2015, we are please to announce the BP session for Wednesday, August 19, 2015.  The session will start at 12:30 PM in the Congress room.  Our friend and community member William Malchisky will help start off this session.

Below is the abstract for this presentation.

The Business Partner Development session is provided in two cohesive parts allowing for significant feedback and learning. First, join Bill Malchisky and Prabu Ayyagari as they engage the audience in solution-based dialogue around hot topics within Voice of the Partner and provide your feedback directly to IBM. Be certain you will be provided the last information on that project.

Second, Larry McCants and Ernie Sutter from IBM's Social Business and Digital Experience Channels have plenty of product updates and demonstrations of IBM's Social Business product portfolio including IBM Social Messaging & Collaboration solutions, IBM Connections, and IBM Connections Cloud--IBM Verse inclusive. There will also be an update on the IBM Business Partner program plus an open discussion and Q & A session on how existing IBM Business Partners can make more money selling IBM Social Collaboration and Digital Experience solutions and services.

If you are a business partner, this is a key session during your time in Atlanta.

Note: To ensure that your voice is heard, we reserved the Georgia Room for one-on-one meetings with Prabu on Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday. Please make sure you book some time with him.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Two Weeks to the Start of MWLUG 2015, See What You Are in For

It is two weeks away from the official start of MWLUG 2015, after the early bird sessions on Wednesday and a bit of fun, drinks, and food during the Wednesday Evening Exhibitor Showcase Reception, the seventh annual MWLUG 2015 conference will officially open on early Thursday morning. This year it starts a bit earlier. We have lined up an incredible list of speakers for you.  So join us in Atlanta for MWLUG 2015.  We still have a few slot left as I post this blog.  So don't wait, because there will not be any attendee slots left.

"Everything Starts From A Dot": The Elements and Principles of Design as the Visual Link to Innovation
Katherine Rhodes Fields, Professor of Fine Arts and Head of Printmaking - HCC Central

Historically, design, as a practice, is the connection point between the object and the user.  This lecture will focus on the foundations of design and how it has and continues to impact our world. The famous quote of Russian born artist and Bauhaus professor Wassily Kandinsky succinctly evokes the notion that all things begin from one point ( a basic element of design) and extend from there to manifest some of the greatest ideas of all time.

Establishing a New Culture of Design
Phil Gilbert, General Manager of IBM Design - IBM

In 2012, IBM reactivated its Design Program to spread human-centered design practices across the breadth of our portfolio. Hiring hundreds of formally trained Designers was only the start; now we are establishing IBM Design Thinking practices across the company—for our own product design and for our clients. First established in 1956, the reactivated IBM Design program is impacting every division and clients around the world.

IBM ESS Strategy, and Radar “A New Way to Work”
Kramer Reeves, Director, Offering Management Portfolio IBM Enterprise Social Solutions

With the announcement of IBM Verse, IBM has a wide selection of social software both on premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid configuration. In addition to IBM Verse, IBM delivers a complete portfolio of capabilities needed to help you become a social business, including IBM Notes Domino for messaging, calendaring and application development, IBM Connections for enterprise social networking, along with IBM Connections Chat, Meetings and more. This OGS will take you through the portfolio and highlight what IBM has in store to help you accelerate your social business journey. There will be plenty of interaction and a peek at our future plans, including how we see cognitive analytics fitting into our entire social platform.

The Greater Good of Social Collaboration
Louis Richardson, IBM Storyteller & Enthusiast - IBM

The Story Teller, Louis Richardson from IBM will be presenting the MWLUG 2015 Thursday Keynote Session during Thursday lunch.
Louis will be presenting "The Greater Good of Social Collaboration." This unique session brings to light the power of social collaboration.  So come to this Thursday session and have a great lunch, listen, and learn.

CollabSphere 2022 Presentation: COL103 Advanced Automation and Cloud Service Integration for your Notes/Nomad Applications

Our presentation for CollabSphere 2022. Learn how to quickly add workflow automation into Notes/Nomad applications using No-code tools that ...