IBM Information OnDemand conference

So, I’ve been there.

Missed the EMC World, but got to the IBM show (closer to home, not needing to cross an ocean..)
First of all, this is my the first conference I’ve been to in which everybody talked about information management. It was truly an experience seeing a lot of sessions and keyspeakers on this subject. No storage, no database, no operating systems, just information management (including storage, database, operating systems 🙂 ).

To start with the conclusion, for me it seems IBM gets it right. The vision I mean. They talk the talk and are on the path to walk it. Two new recent acquisitions drive this: Cognos and FileNet.

But it’s not the power of the products which makes me reach this conclusion. Is how they speak about IM and the fact that each specific topic is covered in the tracks (not so difficult, since there were over 100 of them).

The conference started with a keynote from which I got the good feeling that they are not focused on their traditional products (DB2, Websphere) but are talking of the general idea and not leaving any product / technology accaparate the stage. In fact, the most mentioned product from all the keyspeakers was…. SharePoint 🙂

Imagine the EMC marketing product manager talking in the main conference room and not mentioning IBM products by name but saying at least 4 times the “S” word – SharePoint. I could not help but thinking what a big revolution started Microsoft with this. It’s absolutely incredible. Everyone surrendered or wanting to have a piece of it.

Back to the subject, the conference started with a entertaining movie in which Michelle and Tony gave a n Academy Award candidate performance and told us all that if we don’t make the information reach us, then we are doomed. Very nice.

One cool idea is that in the conference introductory presentation, they invited live on stage 2 customers to talk about their experience with IBM in Information Management. I think it was a great idea, unfortunately not very well put in practice since letting real people on a stage in front of 2000 people makes them nervous and limits the eloquence. Nevertheless, they were helped on stage by Rene, which tried to make it a nice chat with the two.

Speaking of eloquence, now I remember that in fact one of the guests managed to speak the longest phrase i think was said during the conference. So i might be wrong above.

Anyway, i’ll not try to cover all the conference in one post so i’ll just say again that it was a good event and i managed to attend sessions on mashups, sharepoint (again), symphony, visual search, P8, architecture, dynamic documents, auto classification, web gui, imaging…