If I had to complain about anything it would be that when I got my gift for attending, I left it with my papers while I went to get my lunch (only a few crowded meters away). When I got back, some knave had nicked it. (sigh)...
Well, back to the day...
The Keynote Speech
This was very good and very reassuring. IBM has done a wonderful job over the last year and a bit to push Notes/Domino as well as Workplace. I think we all walked away with a very clear vision of the future.
The EForms Stuff...
I think that a lot of this stuff had people chomping at the bit... E-Forms, though not new, are terribly exciting and I can see that IBM has positioned themselves very well here. Now if only we had some of the E-Forms tools to play with (or a Macromedia Captivate tutorial on creating a form).
Exchange Versus Domino
Ok, it wasn't called this... it was called Selling Notes/Domino in your organization. This wasn't a terribly popular session, but I choose this stream because I wasn't interested in being bombarded with Workplace propaganda. I'll move to Workplace in my own time thank you.
This session was quite useful for me because it gave me some IBM approved phrases to use to describe Notes/Domino. Next time someone says what is Notes/Domino? I can say...
"It's a complete application development environment with email, web and directory services built-in"
There was a little bit of MS-Bashing, but for the most part it was about how to bust the myths around the office.
Some useful things I picked up;
When they say: I use outlook at home...
You say: Yes, but do you do corporate email at home? Do you schedule meetings at home? Do you book rooms from home?
(Not to mention that these are the only areas where outlook and Notes can compete).
When they say: But I prefer outlook/exchange -or- I like
You say: We should really focus on Business issues rather than emotional ones.
The other things that they pointed out were the bleeding obvious, but it's nice to be reminded of them, especially when I do so few, or so poorly...
- Provide Training for Users - They'll spend most of their time in Notes...
- Provide Quick Reference Cards
- Provide Tips of the Week
- Take the time to find out what the areas of pain are (eg: PDA Synch)
This is a great idea and probably will be a hit BUT...
- It wasn't really well presented.
- It is too far away to be properly relevant.
- Most people aren't ready to go there yet.
- There's a strong NON-IT component over which most IT Managers have no control.
I think IBM needs to rethink the way they're pitching the last.
Overall it was a good half-day, though I'll admit that the venue was a bit cramped which made it difficult to meet with the vendors.
Still, Well Done IBM!
I'll be there next year.