Friday, July 1, 2011

Enteprise 2.0 Boston Conference 2011 Recap

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It's the end of the quarter and all the deals are pretty much done so I can now take a breather and do a quickr recap of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference which happened last week in Boston. IBM was represented very well at this conference which seems right given that IDC named IBM the world wide leader in social software platforms based on market share for the 2nd year in a row.


Monday was the pre-conference workshops. I think the highlight of Monday is the (now typical?) E2.0 Black Belt Practitioner's In-Depth Workshop. In this workshop, practitioners from all over come together to share experiences and best practices on how to best drive adoption of social software and drive the transformation to become a social business.

Emanuele Quintarelli did an amazing job summarizing this session here. In his summary, you'll see Lowe's Home Improvement's success story. Lowe's shared how they started their transformation with a simple discussion forum but then moved on to more sophisticated social business software, specifically IBM Connections.

Lowe's reported that they didn't see any new risks emerge which is good as that is often a big fear organizations have when contemplating becoming a social business. Lowe's has about 45M page views/month, 4000 communities, 3000 blogs, and 1 community manager monitoring site-wide activity. Their ROI? Well, they didn't focus on that, instead they focus on Return on Performance and how tacit knowledge comes closer to explicit activities.   

Sandy Carter also blogged about Lowe's success story and Lowe's was also feature by Alex Williams here. Congratulations Lowe's!


Tuesday started with a very long keynote. The keynote was a set of mini-keynotes each 15 minutes long. Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President of IBM Software was the second speaker and I thought he did a tremendous job. He mentioned that it's very important that we look at our past so that we don't repeat the errors of the past (I think he was referring to ol' KM days?). He also had a big focus on analystics and their importance to make sense of all the data that gets created in social platforms. The comments on the conference Twitter feed were also very positive. You can find a replay of they keynote here.

Alistair Rennie took the stage after the keynotes for his session Business Insight Means Better Business Decisions. I believe Alistair did a tremendous job (and I'm not only saying this because his my General Manager). Alistair's session was labeled as an IBM sponsored session and it was *packed*! I believe Alistair did a very good job at staying away from a straight vendor pitch but rather focus on the *why* social business and *how* social business.

After lunch, I headed over to the Expo floor to demo Connections to interested parties. There were tons of people that stopped by and loved what we had to offer. A potential business partner even came by and mentioned that they were working with another vendor but that they were being very rude to them so he was interested in learning how to work with us. Yay!

I kinda like the concept of mini keynotes, but it would be nice if they would at least have a consistent theme, otherwise it feels like just random things put together.

I also discovered some goodies in the bag that was given to conference attendees. For example, there was a KMWorld magazine article on how Social Software sustains Collaboration at Bayer Material Sciences thanks to IBM Connections.

Cool Bayer article on their use of IBM Connections that was i... on Twitpic

Cool Bayer article on their use of IBM Connections that was i... on Twitpic

You can find the full article here.

Another goodie was that I got a free sample of Sandy Carter's upcoming book which will be available on September 2011: Get Bold - Using Social Media to Create a New Type of Social Business. You can pre-order from Amazon here.

After the conference was done on Tuesday, I headed over to Fenway Park to catch the Red Sox vs Padres game. Unfortunately, Josh Beckett couldn't pitch that day cause he was "sick". The nerve!!! I travel all the way from Puerto Rico and he calls in sick ;). The Red Sox ended up losing the game unfortunately. The weather, however, was FANTASTIC! And it was great to hang out with colleagues and prospective customers. Here are some pictures:

Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic


Wednesday was about the same schedule, but for me it was fully dedicated to customer meetings so I couldn't attend any sessions. When I was not at meetings, I was again at the Expo floor.

Because I was at the expo floor, I missed Rawn Shah's session: "How Do You Measure That?". Rawn shared the presentation which I've included below (now if I could only find the audio recording..:) ):

Luis Suarez, one of my colleagues, posted a fantastic set of highlights in his blog. I really liked how he summarized all: "Offline Social Networking Still Rules!". How true. Often I feel that I'm in a session but because there's a speaker, we all have to keep quiet. And I found that the Twitter backchannel was going so fast that it was hard to keep up with (and often a distraction).

I find, however, that at this particular conference I didn't get a chance to socialize with everyone that I wanted to. I am hopeful that perhaps next time will be better!!

Article first published as Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston 2011 Recap on Technorati.
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