Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘impact

Fear And Loathing At The Venetian

leave a comment »

Well, I arrived in Vegas this morning just as quick as I could get here, my purpose being to cover the National District Attorneys Association’s Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs…oh, hold a minute…sorry, that was Hunter S. Thompson.

I’M here for the IBM Impact 2012 event being held at the Venetian Hotel and Casino (which is NOT to be confused with the Venice that’s located in Italy and which is slowly succumbing to the seas around it).  No, this Venetian doesn’t have that particular problem to worry about.

The next four to five days, depending on the length of your stay and the size of your bank account, is going to be entirely dedicated to technology-related topics: SOA, BPM, cloud computing, enterprise mobility…it’s a virtual technology funfest.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Goo Goo Dolls, who will be playing Tuesday night.

A few housekeeping details you might want to be cognizant of: First, check your bathroom for Bengali Tigers FIRST THING.

Look, you can never be too careful, particularly in the wilds of Las Vegas.

Second, go get your badge at registration.  Unlike “Blazing Saddles,” at Impact 2012, you’re going to need your stinkin’ badge. You can find them on Level One of the Venetian Convention area.

Third, plan your escape route NOW in the private confines of your hotel room.  Err, I meant to say, your conference itinerary.  I know, I know, most battle plans go out the window the moment you hit the battlefield, but it’s nice to have some general semblance of where you are and where you’re going to go next, even if it’s just a strawman.

Fourth, make room for serendipity.  No, that’s not the name of a dancer from Cirques Du Soleil.  That’s more along the lines of improvisation — as in, give yourself room for some. You never know who you meet just hanging around the canals of Venetian (but hey, don’t blame me if you fall in with the wrong crowd!  I told you to have  a plan, just in case!)

This year’s conference theme is “Change the Game: Innovate, Transform, Grow.”  So, what are you waiting for?  Get to it!

As for me, I’m going to finish writing up some interview questions for ImpactTV (which starts tomorrow at 5 PM PST, 8 PM EST — check it out at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware), then I’m going to head on down to the Pai Gow Poker tables.  I’m feeling lucky!

If you’re feeling lost, or even unlucky, just follow the #IBMImpact hashtag on Twitter — you’re sure to find plenty of others who are feeling just like you.

And if you have a question for the event organizers, send that question on Twitter to the #AskImpact Twitter ID and surely someone will get you an answer and soon…ahem, it may not be the RIGHT answer, but social media operators ARE standing by.

And most importantly, smile and enjoy yourself…you’re in Vegas, bay-bey, NOTHING could go wrong now!

Having Impact

leave a comment »

It’s the end of a long Friday, and you’re sitting there thinking to yourself, “Hmm, what in the world am I going to be doing starting on Sunday, April 29th?!!”

I’m from headquarters and I’m here to help.

If you’re a business or technology leader trying to understand and keep up with the insane amount of change going on in our industry, my recommendation is you hop on a plane and head out to attend the IBM Impact 2012 Global Conference from April 29-May 4.

No, it’s NOT “The Hangover,” thank goodness — neither part one nor part deux — but what it IS is an opportunity to mix it up with your peers and to hear from some of our industry’s key thought leaders.

Let’s start with the keynotes: Author of the acclaimed Steve Jobs biography entitled Steve Jobs, as well as president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, Walter Isaacson, will be a featured speaker this year. Isaacson is a former correspondent and new media editor of Time magazine, who went on to serve as chairman and CEO of CNN from 2001-2003.

“Chic Geek” and 2011 audience favorite Katie Linendoll will also be making a return engagement to Impact. Katie is going to be leading the day 2 general session, as well as moderating a “Women’s Panel” later that Tuesday afternoon (May 1).

And if you’ve never heard from Jane McGonigal, creative director of Social Chocolate and a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games…well, prepare to have your mind blown. I’ve heard Jane at a couple of SXSW Interactives, and Jane’s view of the world is one you’ll want to look into.  She’s also the author of the New York Times bestseller, Reality is Broken.

And those are just the guest speakers.  You’ll also hear from a powerhouse cadre of IBM experts and executives, starting with senior veep Steve Mills. Also in attendance: Rod Smith, our VP emerging technologies…Marie Wieck, GM of the AIM organization…Bridget van Kralingen, senior veep of IBM Global Business Services…Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow and WebSphere veep…and a host of others.

But let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of Impact: The networking prowess of 9,000 tech and business leaders all under the same roof.  You can get started in the conversation well ahead of the event by following and contributing to the Impact Social Media Aggregator, and onsite, by visiting the “Impact Social Playground,” a new social hub that will provide enhanced social networking facilities for all attendees, Tweeps, bloggers, analysts, media, and Business Partners.

If you just want to follow along on Twitter, make sure you’re using the #IBMImpact hash tag.

developerWorks blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, Scott Laningham, will also be in attendance, along with yours truly, where we will be conducting live and recorded interviews throughout the event for “ImpactTV.”  So far, we have a committed lineup of the best and brightest…and then there’s Scott and I!

Here’s the link where it all starts for Impact 2012.

I, for one, can’t wait.  Last year was my first Impact, and I had more fun and talked to more cool people than a person has a right to.  And I learned more than I could keep in my head…but of course, that’s not saying much.

And iffen your boss is giving you a hard time about taking time out of your hectic schedule, we’ve even got that covered with our “5 Reasons to Attend Impact 2012.”

I hope to see you there, and if you can’t make it live and in person, be sure to keep an eye on ImpactTV from April 29 through May 4.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the Goo Goo Dolls are playing???

Live At Impact 2011: Crossing The Consumer IT Chasm

leave a comment »

Impact is having its intended Impact.  And then some.

I don’t know about the rest of you who may have attended, but that was some Impact networking party here at the Venetian last night.  And how about that band??

I just hope they burned the videotape…you know, the ones they were taking of me dancing.

But the dawn soon came, and now we’re back for more from Day 3 at Impact. Katie Linendoll kicked things off today with a Kinetic-like audience participation video game.

IBM VP of WebSphere Product Management and Development Support, Beth Smith, then followed Katie with some opening remarks and a recapping of the past couple of days.

And then the chasm opened, and out walked Geoffrey Moore, business innovation thought leader and author, and also chairman of TCG advisers.

The title of his talk? “The Future of Enterprise IT, 2010-2020: From Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement.”

Sounds complicated, right? But it was quite simple. How can enterprises catch up with consumerized IT to develop “systems of engagement” for the enterprise.

His pitch posed a key question that should be considered by enterprises everywhere: How can it be I am so powerful as a consumer and so lame as an employee?”

There’s a big disconnect there.  Though systems of record (think traditional enterprise IT systems) are largely complete, we’re seeing a redefinition of IT for consumers. Moore explained we’re basically using it to digitize human culture.

Access, with low barriers to entry and exit; ubiquitous broadband; and mobile technologies combined to open the world to globalization and outsourcing.  This, in turn, opened the door to consumerized IT, but also put back office pressure on large organizations to move into a Darwinian cycle, where commoditization requires differentiation, which in turn requires specialization, which requires outsourcing…you can see the cycle.

It impacts both B2B and B2C, and has also started to upend business structures.  The old, hierarchically organized, integrated enterprise is quickly being challenged by business networks of specialized enterprises.

These new networks require more demand for communication, collaboration, coordination, and the challenge to IT is to enable us all to engage with peers globally to solve problems.  But the answers aren’t in systems of record: They’re often in peoples’ heads!

So, Moore believes, we need to invest in IT for the middle tiers of organizations — not front line workers engaged in transactional workflows, and not top execs engaged in strategic issues.

Rather, we need them for “in the moment” empowerment through systems of engagement, where those workers have broad and easy access to systems of records on demand.

Moore suggests we also need B2C systems of experience, where we have core online experiences that are compelling and utilitarian (amen!), but which will be increasingly driven to facilitate work in real time.

The answers are out there, in all those computers and databases, but they are tiny needles in massive haystacks.  There’s no time left for people, or disk drives, to be in the loop.

We must move into the era of Big Data, where those systems can help we humans find the answers or provide those value-added services that humans can provide, and fast (Think Watson, but in more of a call-center like environment, where Watson’s helping people find the answers for the human).

Systems of record create efficiency, claimed Moore, and it’s impossible to do global commerce without them.  But, his thesis suggests, they won’t be enough to meet the demands of a consumerized IT culture.

It will be the systems of engagement that create effectiveness, that will address the complexities of global business relationships, and to help create those compelling online experiences.

Every strategy, Moore concluded, is made or broken during a handful of moments of engagement?

Which ones would have the most impact for your organization, and more importantly, how quickly can you put them in place?

Live At Impact 2011: Forbes’ Publisher Rich Karlgaard On Beating The Economy With IT

leave a comment »

It’s around 1:42 on Tuesday here at Impact 2011, and I’ve not left the Venetian Biosphere since I arrived here on Sunday.

Scott and I have continued to do our live webcasts from the expo floor.  You can find both the live and Memorex sessions at www.livestream.com/ibmimpact (and feel free to stop by…just look for the big, bright light in the corner).

I blogged the general session featuring IBM Senior Vice President Steve Mills’ comments on business agility from earlier today.  You can find that post here.

I’ve also attended some sessions of the Forbes Leadership Summit, a few thoughts from which I thought would be worth sharing here.

In a session yesterday, Rich Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes magazine, set up the Summit with some comments about the state of the economy…such as it is.

Karlgaard explained that the economic recovery has been uneven and rocky at best, and that the last three years in particular were so traumatizing, it’s impossible to do a forecast, as we have no faith in the underlying economy.

We are, collectively, suffering from Post Traumatic (Economic) Stress Syndrome.  Nice one.

It’s like a roller coaster ride.  A few months ago, GDP projection was 2%.  Then most everyone had a good Christmas and the stock market grew, and so forecasts went up to 3.5% GDP growth for Q1.  Then, Tunisia…Egypt…Libya…Japan earthquake and tsunami…gas went up….well, stuff happened.

So, the recovery is very uneven, which means…you guessed it: The companies with the right technology investments or business processes will do much better than GDP (5%…maybe 10%), and those who don’t…well, they’ll likely do much worse. This is the nature of recoveries that follow big, traumatic economic events (Just glance back to the 1970s: Nixon resigning, oil crisis, Carter’s malaise speech).

And yet, the 1970s produced (other than disco) Federal Express, Southwest Airlines, Apple Computer, even Microsoft…so though economists may have looked upon the 70s as poor economically, it saw a lot of business growth, and in particular those who were new and innovative.

It was then that Karlgaard launched into the meat of his pitch: Eight key focus areas of companies which will best adapt to this new economic environment.

  1. Those good at design (well designed products and services)
  2. Speed (Table stakes).  Fast go to market, with the perfect products at the perfect time when customers need them.  Get to those customers willing to pay the most first!
  3. Cost.  Always a factor.
  4. Supply chain and logistics. Every great leader in its field is generally the supply chain leader (Sam Walton, Wal-Mart, by way of example). Wal-Mart was the first to figure out the power of linking information from bar code back to IBM mainframes, which gave them enormous competitive advantage early on.
  5. Analytics.  Just Google “IBM Business Analytics” to learn more about this one.
  6. External and Internal Communications.  He used an example of ex-IBMers use of Facebook as a powerful advocate community.
  7. Brand — Particularly, three dimensional brands (phony ones are easily exposed in the social media). 2D brands could only be gotten away with in the Mad Men era.
  8. Foundation of Moral Purpose — The trust level have with institutions is at an all-time low.  Companies that have solid foundations also have unsurpassed advantages.

Got it?

Live From Impact 2011: IBM Software’s Steve Mills On Business Agility

with one comment

Katie Linendoll, the “chic geek” technojournalist for both CNN and CBS, spiritedly kicked off today’s Impact 2011 morning keynote.

Scott and I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie yesterday afternoon for Impact TV, whereupon Katie went out of her way to give Scott a hard time about his pad and paper “Think” pad (Us cool kids both had iPads, albeit mine, a 1st generation, Katie’s the iPad 2).

Katie explained that for today’s session, we were going to focus on the how of building towards business agility, and then promptly introduced IBM Senior VP, Software and Systems, Steve Mills.

Steve had also joined us for an Impact TV interview, on Sunday, and continued to relay to the gathered 8,000+ member audience some of the key messages he had communicated during our interview.

In his comments, Steve pointed out for the audience how well received the IBM customer participation in both keynotes and breakouts has been, and he highlighted several in his talk: Caterpillar, NY State Tax Authority, Isbank (in Turkey), all of whom have realized great efficiencies and agility via business process management.

Mills explained that over the past decade, we’ve collectively been on a journey with SOA to build towards business agility, seizing the opportunity to leverage open standards and start to build more horizontal business processes that were no longer isolated to vertical applications.

SOA, Mills explained, has been about trying to unlock those applications and assets which define your business and the particular processes that make your business run, but that you can’t get there without unlocking your own data and assets.

But Mills also pointed out that there’s not a lot of new things in IT.  Watson, for example, the computer system that recently took on and beat “Jeopardy!” world champions, is not 4 years old. “There’s over 40 years of IT science behind Watson.”

Applause from the Impact audience. Mills continued: “The last four years were really fun. The past 40 were really hard.”

Business agility requires a robust SOA infrastructure, Mills explained, and we at IBM have worked on helping build a complete infrastructure because we understood our customers wanted to tie a lot of services together and to have flexible, high-performing infrastructures.

This, in turn, could help organizations build less, reuse more, and realize significant economic benefit by bringing down the cost of execution (Most businesses today spend 70-80% of their resources managing the runtime of thousands of programs).

Mills comments about the backstory of SOA served as a perfect segueway to the customer story video Katie introduced about how the City of Madrid built a coordinated emergency management response system after the horrible 2004 bombings there, and is now realizing a 25% faster response time for emergencies (and improving all the time).

And, to Phil Gilbert, IBM VP BPM, and his demo of the new IBM Business Process Manager.  Gilbert observed that there are $1T in losses in process inefficiencies every year, and yet both good and bad events have increased in both severity and frequency.

Citing Alfred Sloan, former CEO of General Motors and process improvement guru, he explained that “good management rests on decentralization with coordinated control.”

IBM’s approach to BPM can deliver such coordination.

Written by turbotodd

April 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Live At Impact 2011: Jon Iwata On 100 Years Of Innovation At IBM

leave a comment »

At this morning’s opening general session of Impact 2011 here at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Jon Iwata, IBM Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, put IBM’s 100 years of transformation and innovation into context.

Mr. Iwata started his talk with a video demonstrating IBM’s 100 years of transformation in 100 seconds, a video MTV would have trouble matching in terms of the jump cuts.  But just watching the video segue from black and white to full color, one could sense the rich history of IBM’s contributions to innovation in industry over the span of a full century.

He used a few examples to demonstrate IBM’s commitment to making new markets, sometimes at the risk of cannibalizing existing ones: Changing from the 40 to 80 column punchcard. Being inspired by a recorded Bing Crosby radio show to investigate magnetic storage media for computing storage. Building a new computer system, the System/360, which was a bet-the-company business that took years to grow in volume, but which was truly transformative, both for IBM and for its customers.

These changes weren’t always easy.  Iwata quoted one customer frustrated by the punchard to tape change: “Not only can I see my data in a punchcard…I can feel my data.” (Big laugh from the audience.)  At first, customers didn’t quite know what to do with the System/360, but partnering with IBM, they figured it out over time, and another market was made.

To celebrate some of these milestones, Iwata explained, IBM has created 100 iconic programs of progress (including a new one introduced today for WebSphere) that mark 100 IBM Centennial milestones.  A few examples: RISC, PCs, Fractals, the Bar Code…you get the idea.

Flash forward to 2008: Despite the sudden changes in the economic climate, people at IBM were coming to a realization: Technology was moving out of the data center, the PC, through the mobile devices, and out into the physical systems of the world: Cities, pipelines, roads…we were putting computing into things never recognized before as a computer.

These new capabilities brought about “bigger” and more complex data, requiring more analytical capabilities and technologies to understand the larger trends occurring in these vast new data.

Thus was born the “smarter planet” initiative.

But there was more to the story that just saying it was so.  To help IBM customers take the most advantage of these new approaches to computing, we had to help them learn how to do so in the construct of their industries, we had to learn how to build up “agency,” to show our customers the way — learning by doing, the same way we humans learn most effectively.

Iwata then demonstrated what’s past was prologue, flashing pictures (straight from the IBM archives) of IBM offices opened around the globe the past 100 years, with IBMers sitting in classrooms: attentive, learning, preparing to share their knowledge with customers, just as we’re working to do with our customers’ smarter planet initiatives.

Three years on, Iwata explained, we’re proving we can change how the world works, and we’re doing it industry by industry.

New examples: Netherland Railway captured $57M in new fares with a smarter transportation solution. Madrid’s Emergency Response system is 25% faster, as its smart communications system better synchronizes fire, traffic, and police with a business process management system. Even a case study on how Italian fishermen are making markets for their fish via mobile devices while their boats are still out to sea.

That’s why you’re here, Iwata concluded.

Here among your peers and role models and other leaders to learn from one another, at Impact 2011.

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Live from Impact 2011: Q&A With Steve Mills

leave a comment »

Greetings from The Venetian Hotel and Casino in lovely Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m writing you from a breakfast of thousands (well, it’s so early, it’s only hundreds, but give it time), which means I had to hoof it to the far nether regions of the Venetian’s inner conference sanctum to grab my imitation Egg McMuffin (which was actually pretty good).

I arrived yesterday afternoon via Southwest Airlines. Fortunately, my flight wasn’t a convertible, but it was a couple of hours late. Which, of course, meant that I wasn’t going to arrive in Vegas in time to see the end of the Masters.

Which, of course, proved to have an incredibly dramatic finish. Thank Heavens for the Masters Web site (which IBM helped produce). I was able to get updated scores from the leaderboard on the ground in Phoenix between flights.

When I arrived at McCarran airport, the cab stand line was so long, I thought they might be giving away free rides or something. Needing to be at the Venetian for our opening Webcast by 5:30, I considered walking to my hotel, but figured I might not survive the trek.

So, it was on to a local shuttle which, of course, dropped me off next to last. I was starting to think I wasn’t destined to make it to Impact.

But I finally arrived, successfully, and the rooms at the Venetian were large enough to build our own personal Webcasting studio (if I could just figure out how to raise the blinds!)

Scott Laningham and I met with our IBM media team to prepare for the evening’s Webcasting, a Q&A with IBM Vice President and Group Executive Software and Systems, Steve Mills.

Steve helped set up the big picture for Impact 2011 (he’ll be keynoting tomorrow, Tuesday), discussing everything from SOA to cloud computing to the possibilities presented by the IBM Deep Q&A technology, Watson. You can see our interview with Steve and all the Impact videos here. We’ll be talking to many more IBM execs, partners, and experts over the next three days.

For now, I’m off to catch today’s opening general session, which the calendar handout at breakfast indicates will provide a key SOA announcement from Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Software’s Application and Integration Middleware (AIM) organization.

Stay tuned for more from Impact!

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

%d bloggers like this: