Oh, and if you see me running around the conference (I'll be the one in the IBM Pulse staff shirt, easy to spot!), be sure to say hello and let me know what you think about the blog and how we can work to improve it for ya'.
In his keynote today, Al Zollar described the opportunities and challenges presented by a more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent world. The proliferation of smart devices presents new opportunities to deliver new innovative services- services that wouldn’t have been dreamed of just 10 years ago. These new smart devices also add new levels of complexity that is growing due to the number of new devices and connections added each day, and skyrocketing numbers of security threats and compliance regulations.
Al Zollar outlined examples of increased complexity in a number of industries i.e. an electric company dealing with smarter meters, regular old school meters, transmission insulators, servers, and turbine buckets; a conglomerate of hospitals in Copenhagen managing data distributed across three different storage tiers and four sites with online disk capacity of 500 Terabytes and backup and archive data exceeding 1.5 Petabytes; and the U.S. Air Force managing the operations of nine major commands, nearly 100 bases and 700,000 active military personnel around the world.
He then posed the questions, How do you overcome all of this complexity? How can you possibly see everything? How can you manage and secure everything? How can you increase speed while reducing cost?
The answer—Integrated Service Management that provides the software, best practices and expertise needed to manage infrastructure, people and processes—across the service delivery chain—in the data center, across design and delivery, and tailored for specific industry requirements.
He then went on to explain how Integrated Service Management contains service architectures tailored by industry like the smart grid for energy, or electronic medical record systems for healthcare.
It has lifecycle management bridging workflow across line of business, enterprise architecture, development and testing, and IT and business operations to speed delivery of products and services and ensure continual improvement.
Integrated Service Management also includes service dashboards that allow all audiences—from executives and business operations to IT managers—to see the service and gain insight into service health.
He closed by someone needs to be the thought leader in your organization...and that someone is you! Integrated Service Management can help you achieve that goal.
There are many great reasons to attend Pulse 2010- you can see real-world demonstrations of the newest service management solutions, you can hear about strategies and product roadmaps that can help you chart your roadmap for success, and you can get free-certifications and hands-on instruction in on-site labs. These are all great reasons to attend Pulse 2010, but I would like to focus one that often gets overlooked--networking with people not like you.
Pulse gives you the opportunity to attend tracks tailored to your specific area of focus and network with people doing work like you do. While there is a great deal of value in networking and sharing ideas with people whose roles are similar to yours, there may be even more value in talking with people who don’t do what you do.
What would happen if CEOs, service providers, IT professionals, plant managers, facilities managers, VPs of Operations, security administrators, and storage managers talked with each other? What kinds of solutions and ideas would emerge?
For true innovative thinking to occur, reframing challenges and understanding different points of view is key. While it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone and talk with people who speak your language, the opportunity to talk with people from other industries or from your industry but with roles different than yours may be one of the one of the best ways to gain new insights, reframe the challenges you are facing, and think outside the box.
Pulse 2010 gives you the opportunity to do just that. It offers you the chance to network with industry leaders and a broad audience of users and partners who may have different takes on service management—ones that can help you solve existing problems more efficiently, develop new services, or find new ways to accelerate growth and gain competitive edge.
David has written about the Cloud Service Management Simulator Workshop in a previous blog and things are heating up as we get closer to Pulse.
In addition to the Sunday workshop we have a few extra seats left on Saturday for business partners and customers who wish to attend. If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Both workshops (Saturday and Sunday) are from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
And for more information, watch developerWorks' Scott Laningham interview Ivor MacFarlane on what to expect in the room.
We live – more and more – in a world where everything that matters can be done on line, where we see and hear better on screen than for real.
You can now take an active part in the world – and potentially run a successful business - without ever leaving your home, possibly without getting out of bed.
And even when we do turn up for real we spend a lot of our time watching things on a screen – be that the presenter or performer in a large hall or the action reply on the giant screens at a football match
You will have seen in the promotions and advertising, that the key presentations from IBM’s show-piece service management event – Pulse – running on 4-7 March in Las Vegas will be streamed live on the web to the warm and cosy comfort of your home.
Despite how easy and good the virtual feed of sessions, chat and information were, 7000 people did get out of their beds in 2011 to travel to Las Vegasand actually be at Pulse, just as thousands turn out weekly to watch football at the stadium when they might have had a better view of the action by staying at home. And even formula one motor racing gets sold out attendance when you can never hope to see much of the race in person compared to what the TV coverage offers.
It seems that there are still good reasons to actually be there – not to put down the value of connecting to the live web streams, but even in the 21stcentury, people learn from people. Pulse is a big and excellent example, but throughout our community we see conferences still being successful and drawing people together to share experiences in surroundings that the virtual world can’t quite match yet. As well as the formal sessions at conferences and events, the networking opportunities of being with others in similar circumstances delivers real benefits – comparing notes with our peers from across the world.
Technology is good – and joining conferences on line is way better than missing it altogether, but people-to-people still has a lot going for it. I’m looking forward to the combination – the atmosphere of really being there and mixing with everyone in the exhibition areas – and over a sociable beer or two at dinner. And of course the added value that streamed interviews and 'watch again on demand' that is available over the web.
This amalgam of real and virtual seems set to be the conference norm for a good few years still – 7000 people at pulse thought so last year, and thousands went to itSMF conferences around the world in 2011 too.
And Pulse is in Las Vegasof course – where could be more appropriate for the combination of real physical existence with technologically driven enhancement - a bit like Red Dwarf's famous 'better than life' game. J
Do you think virtuality will one day totally replace human gatherings? I guess eventually it might, but for now I intend to enjoy both at once and count myself lucky to be alive at the right time to do that.
You can find out all about Pulse – physical and virtual offerings at www.ibm.com/pulse.
See you there – for real, on line, facebook, twitter and more!
When I saw Tom Cross give a talk at Innovate 2010 in June, I was first struck with the nonchalance with which he spoke of the black market business of Internet data. I could not have been more intrigued if I were watching a movie adapted from a John Grisham novel. He seemed to have some emotional distance from what creeps most of us out about our mail. And I’m not even talking about email. I mean the good old-fashioned USPS mail. I KNOW I am not the only one who has worn out a few paper shredders thanks to Citibank, Chase, and the like.
The second thing that hijacked my thought train for more than a few moments was how network vulnerabilities are created for the explicit purpose of learning cyber criminal behavior. Like signing up for as much spam as you can. Sure it makes sense to me now. But I am still vaguely uncomfortable talking publicly about threat and attacks. It seems akin to Batman and the Joker building websites to promote their plans to outsmart the other. What was I not getting? By now I was considering slipping quietly out of the room to silence the voice in my head saying I had been foolish, very, very foolish in my confidence as a clever and vigilant consumer of Internet Things.
Realizing that I had some mental catching up to do, I stayed for the lasting impression that could keep me awake at night: just how easy it is to steal digital data. As I struggled with the impartial irony of how enormous yet simple a cat and mouse game Web App security is, visions of Tom and Jerry danced in my boggled brain.
Just about my very first experience in IT –
brought onto a project as a customer ‘expert’ – was listening to the IT guys
debating how to make use of the data we already had on the old system. In my naivety
at the time I had thought computers used ‘computer language’. Quickly I
realised they were more like people than I had suspected – that there were lots
of computer languages, and each computer spoke only one of them, and could make
no sense of the others.
Now, in the interceding years (some 27 of
them L) great progress has been made – we expect computers to talk to each
other. This almost universal technological communication ability sometimes
blinds IT people to the fact that human communication has not evolved
Until we perfect direct thought
transference, all the communication we do, whether written or spoken, texted,
tweeted or painted on the walls, relies on a two stage process. First you put
your ideas into words (usually words and sometimes also gestures or pictures –
or a combination of all three). Then someone else has to take those words etc
and turn them into thoughts inside their head. There is always an ‘encrypt/decrypt’
section to human communication.
Now that can get messy, confusing and
create all sorts of mistakes in delivering the message. You probably wouldn’t
design it that way. In fact in a pure IT context we would be looking at ways to
deliver direct communication in a standard format from one system to the other.
But people don’t work that way; it is what we have and we need to work with it.
Communication isn’t just about being accurate;
I think it is better measured by whether it is useful. In IT, people still manage
to get the communication spectacularly wrong by not thinking about the whether
the customer (or client or user) is equipped to decrypt the message. As one
example, here is an error message I got on my screen the other day, apparently
intended to inform me why the software couldn’t do what I had asked it to do: “Unable to contact the target back-end forwarding host (proxy target)”. I presume that made perfect sense to the person who set the
software up to deliver that. They were maybe a great programmer, but evidently
not a human communications specialist.
It’s easy enough just to dismiss this as
one more version of ‘Computer says no’, but why is it no surprise? Maybe it’s because
we still seem to think it OK to throw our jargon at others who don’t share it.
Or maybe we forget they don't know what we do. Actually, to be fair this is not
only an IT thing – ask anyone who has been caught on a French train having
failed to quite understand the printed message exhorting them “composter votre
billet”. (And if you don't already know but intend to travel on a French train,
trust me, you need to find out what it means, but it isn’t a French word that
they usually teach you in basic language classes. A classic case of
encrypt/decrypt failure in a service management situation that has nothing to
do with IT.)
The technologists amongst us love the
challenge of integration, communication across platforms etc. but there is
recognition that this is expensive and should be unnecessary – an area where
standards and commonality help everyone. Why do we forget our most common
encrypt/decrypt situation – getting a message from one mind to another.
I hope that the irresistible tide of
universal cloud adoption and pervasive social media communication will solve
all these troubles – and allow us to concentrate on the people issues more. But
so far the social media snowball doesn’t seemed to have reduced jargon – quite
the opposite. Those of at a certain age are now totally incapable of
understanding what are children are saying, even when they give us access to
their on-line worlds.
Actually, this is fresh in my mind now
because it forms a little game we will play during my talk at Monday 5th
March at Pulse – our big SM event in Vegas next month. I plan to have people
encrypting and decrypting during that session. I am interested to see how they
get on, and hopefully to make them realise there are some simple tools we can
use to make things better. Nothing magic, and the same techniques we
demonstrate in the simulator. Mostly they rely on establishing common ground –
establishing communication channels and learning what will work, by finding
shared understandings, and by relying on more than words alone when it makes a
The best part about all that is that from
the outside it might look like gossip and drinking at the bar – but we realise
it is building business critical communicating platforms and channels. The message
that things can be both fun and relevant at the same time is also part of the
So, if you are at Pulse maybe you will be
able to come along at 6pm on Monday. If not I hope to get the chance to
encrypt/decrypt with you at another event this year. And thank you for your
efforts in decrypting this message, I hope it wasn’t too difficult – and I hope
it has some resemblance inside your head to the one that was in mine.
Well, we are well into 2012 now and we have just about got though the ‘my predictions for 2012’ phase and in to ordinary routines again. Whatever the predictions, like with most years I predict that 2012 will look a lot like an older version of 2011.
There is still talk of recession, companies that struggled for funding in 2011 are no richer, Cloud is still talked about by a lot more people than understand it.
On a personal level 2012 has already delivered some of the improvements planned in 2011 – and I hope the same will happen workwise. Next major thing on my work horizon is IBM’s big service management show – Pulse. Back again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas we are promised it will be bigger and better than ever. I understand that bigger is important in as Vegas but I am usually even keener on better. Actually though, to be fair I am delighted that ‘my bit’ at Pulse looks like being bigger this year – with not one but two chances to deliver the cloud-readiness simulator on the weekend before the show itself starts. In fact there will be a strong focus on simulator this year with our team being on the exhibition floor to explain what, why and how they can help you.
Of course – like I implied above – this isn’t exactly new, but it is proven. Of course there will be lots of new stuff available – geeks welcomed and catered for. The technologists will – of course – be well catered for with lots of ‘future possibles’ and indeed a vision of some possible futures too. But service management’s primary focus is not on what might happen next year; it has always been about delivering value this year. In fact one of my favourite aspects of service management is how it rests on widely applicable principles, even though how they are applied might alter. For example, while change management processes in a cloud environment might need different considerations to make them most effective –the basics remain. I was working in service management long before I ever touched a computer. I remain constantly delighted to discover that lessons learned 30 years ago in supply and transport are still relevant to the 21stcentury IT based services we manage today.
So, if you are going to be at Pulse come along and tell me whether you agree that old-fashioned service concepts are still valuable – or come and explain why dinosaurs like me should be swept away by the meteor strike that is cloud. Either way – at Pulse or elsewhere – I look forward to good, informed and enjoyable debates. Good to think of the new year building on the successes of the old – at home and at work.
 If you follow me on twitter - @ivormacf - you will know where and when I will be in terms of events. Useful, whether you want to know how to find or to avoid me – same thing works both ways.
The best part is that if you are selected to speak, you get a full conference pass ($1,995 value) not to mention the recognition of your peers (whom you'll be interacting with at the event) as well as a great resume builder.
What do you think? Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon!
I speak for everyone on the team when I say that we look forward to what you put together.
PS Obviously, you're not just limited to doing this on Friday. Every day is a good day to work on your abstract :-)
This year at Pulse, we will be running another Cloud Service Management Simulator Workshop. If you are interested in attending, please send an email to email@example.com
What is it? -The
IBM Cloud Service Management Simulator Workshop is a hands-on,
interactive simulation game which focuses on the challenges and business
value of implementing service management best practices in the context
of a realistic scenario. -During the workshop, you'll use
gaming and role-playing dynamics to mirror the real-world interaction
between IT and the business, from both a strategic and operational
-Over the course of the session, you will
experience a transformation from chaos to order, and learn how the
right balance of speed, accuracy, and prioritization in problem solving
can translate into a superior business outcome.
What's in it for you? -Accelerated
and breakthrough understanding of ITSM and ITIL best practices, which
you can take back to your company to assess how these can contribute to
your organization. -Better understanding of how the effectiveness of IT processes impacts the business.
-A fun interactive experience!
When is it? -Sunday, March 4th, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, -MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas - Room 306 (Level 3 of the hotel conference center)
-We deliberately chose this day and time, as it does NOT conflict with any other sessions.
Take advantage of this great opportunity to share your experiences with your peers, get feedback from the most influential industry experts and promote your organization by submitting an abstract to speak at Pulse 2010.
Accepted client speakers will have high profile exposure to over 5,000 industry experts, press and analysts. Approved client submissions will receive a full conference pass ($1,995 value) and admission to our on-site VIP client lounge. In addition, to your paper may be published in the Pulse 2010 proceedings.
I talked with Pete Marshall, the lead for the Pulse 2010 Hot Topics track, and he offered the following insights and suggestions on how to submit a winning proposal.
One definition of a hot topic, is something not covered at last years conference and something that might not be covered next year. We’re looking for breaking trends—a snapshot of the industry and challenges service management professionals are facing right now. Themes like cloud computing, or serving the real-time web are good examples. Security is a perennial issue that always presents new challenges: it’s a hot topic every year, but every year there’s something different at the forefront. Things in our industry keep evolving and in the Hot Topics track, we want to look at and share information and experiences about what is really happening in the bleeding edge of service management. Some possible topics include:
Integrated Service Management
Process management and integration
The Hot Topics track is aimed at business leaders, decision makers and strategists puzzling over things like how to integrate physical and digital assets, what process models to use, and what are the best approaches to managing in a rapidly changing business and IT environment. Pete said he would encourage anyone working to solve emerging challenges—industry experts who may have a wider purview across the industry and very specialized customers who have done these projects themselves--to submit an abstract so together, we can share best practices, insights and create effective solutions as we move into uncharted territory.
Pete described two key aspects of a winning proposal—relevance and real life experience.
Is the topic relevant to where the industry is today? Is it something new and ground breaking? If the answer to these questions is yes, your abstract is a good candidate for the Hot Topics track. Going back to the security example, an overview of security might not qualify as a hot topic, but some current trend or challenge in the security landscape most certainly would.
While there is always a place for theorizing, in the Hot Topic track, we are looking for people who have been there and done that. We want presenters to share how they have solved or are working to solve a challenge.
The benefits of participating as a speaker are huge. Speaking is a very different dynamic than just listening. Not only will you have the opportunity to share your experience and get feedback from your peers, you will receive a full conference pass and get to experience the conference in a deeper, more involved way.
If you have spent five minutes with me, you have probably heard me rave about the "WTF" podcast from Marc Maron.
It is the first topic of discussion when I talk to a friend of mine (second being Doctor Who).
The reason WTF works is that you have a veteren comedian (Maron) who knows the questions to ask. Who understands the journey. Who can have the types of discussions that lead to places you and I wouldn't think to go.
Maron is on the short-list of great interviewers. His podcast is one of the few times where the word "fascinating" really applies.
There are a number of reasons to attend (and if you read the Pulse Blog or follow #ibmpulse, they're too numerous to list here).
We announced that Woz is one of our keynote speakers.
Well, the format for this keynote is going to be a little different. He is going to be interviewed by none other than IBM's very own; Grady Booch (@grady_booch).
Grady is an innovator in the same vein as Woz. He was one of three individuals who invented UML.
As someone who worked for a company that relied heavily on UML (which I'm sure is the same for many readers), it's like "Memphis" Raines meeting Henry Ford. He's pretty much the reason a number of us are where we are in this industry.
UML. The Apple computer.
Grady and Woz were not only on the ground floor of technology revolutions, but they both built most of the foundations.
Between the two of them, they personify the type of innovation that we promote at Pulse 2012.
I can not stress this enough: innovation is the differentiator. It's what puts our clients in the leadership position in their industry. It's the thing that organizations playing "catch up" are trying to chase down.
Pulse is about not only helping you find the solutions to drive your innovation, but it's also about mindset. It's about thinking like an innovator.
Thinking like Woz and Grady. Getting you there.
And a keynote like this, with a real in-depth discussion between two of the best in the business. It's gonna be fascinating and you need to be there.
When IBM first kicked off the Dynamic Infrastructure announcement at Pulse 2009 conference, we heard some rumblings on whether Dynamic Infrastructure was just another executive buzzword or if there was real meat behind "the concept."
Doug McClure summarized the feeling well in his blog: “While this is great for executive level folks, I think we needed to drive this message into consumable and actionable things that lower level technical attendees could take back to their companies. They may be the ones who need to execute and show how previous or planned investments could help their company become smarter and more dynamic.”
After IBM’s announcement yesterday on new Dynamic Infrastructure offerings, critics will be hard-pressed to wonder whether Dynamic Infrastructure is actionable.Not only did IBM announce new products and services in the areas of Information Infrastructure, Virtualization, Service Management, and Energy Efficiency, but they also demonstrated how these solutions are helping three of our clients--the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, Tricon Geophysics and the United States Bowling Congress--build new, more dynamic infrastructures to help reduce costs, improve service and manage risk.
A key piece of the announcement is the IBM Service Management Center for Cloud Computing, which now includes new IBM Tivoli Identity and Access Assurance, IBM Tivoli Data and Application Security, and IBM Tivoli Security Management for z/OS, for Cloud environments. I don’t know about you, but all that’s more meat than this vegetarian can handle. :)
To continue driving home the Dynamic Infrastructure success, IBM is sponsoring a variety of events for the public to learn more. Register for a free, local Pulse Comes to You event to see how Service Management is a key component for enabling a DyanmicInfrastructure for a Smarter Planet.
It’s Good Friday, and it not only has been a good, but a GREAT week. Did you hear? IBM made the list of Top 50 social brands for March 2009: “The Social Radar Top 50 measures the most social brands by the number of unique topics of conversation. These brands are top of mind for consumers and bloggers today.”
If you haven’t noticed by now. IBM’s presence is growing more and more in the social media arena. Below are some of the hot topics lighting up this space this month.
Ewwww, that almost sounds as decadent as eating chocolate. If you’re into networking with SOA strategists and architects, learning about real-life examples and benefits of SOA in action, then this event is for you. Dressed in character as an Imperial Servant, an IBM virtual guide will lead a tour of Virtual Worlds and share how SOA can solve architectural challenges, adding immediate value and business flexibility.