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Another Year, Another Connect
Evy Schwartz 270006TY12 firstname.lastname@example.org | | 580 Visits
By Marcel Ribas - Avnet Academy Brand Advocate and Instructor
So we're done with Connect. Having missed the last three conferences, I had forgotten how physically challenging it is. Add that to the fact that it was my first one after turning 40 and becoming officially old, and you get the picture…still trying to catch up on sleep.
Unfortunately on Sunday, business partners are busy with the BDD and customers are still en route to Orlando. Instead of short 40 min presentations like the rest of the event, in Jumpstart sessions speakers are allowed to present for 2 hours. In those sessions they are able to cover technologies from beginning to end. From the ones I saw, I would like to highlight Sunil Hiranniah and Lauren Wendel's session called "Getting Started with IBM Exceptional Digital Experience Version 220.127.116.11 Solutions." I am not sure if the slides will become available publicly but this is the ultimate show & tell on how the ICS software is integrated for and end-to-end solution.
Differently from the other years I attended, the Showcase (or the show floor) had two receptions, the first one on Sunday. So the booth work began early. I met a lot of interesting people at the booth, several customers, IBMers, partners, students and instructors came by. This is another invaluable resource that comes from Connect, as the name says, a unique chance to connect with people you otherwise wouldn't. If you missed the Avnet Academy booth and our cool Build Successful t-shirts, please send me a note. I am really proud of how they came up.
On Monday the show started, I am sure many accounts of the Opening General Session were made; I just wanted to point out that I was intrigued by the fact that they didn't mention Notes and Domino through the whole thing. And only one mention to Mail was made towards the end. The yellow blood in me made me feel really uneasy after the session, but I think it is time for us to take a good look ahead and see what the future brings.
Right after the OGS we started our Certification activities. All the ICS tests were free, and Avnet sponsored the Certification Prep Lab, making the Assessments available for free to everyone during that week. On top of that there was a room dedicated to Education sessions, such as Exam Crams and discussion on the future of IBM ICS Education offerings and Certification Tests. Big shout out to Sonia Malik, Rena Chang and Sara Nicklin that coordinated the action there. In those sessions I had the pleasure to meet the amazing German instructors Matthias Knapper, Alexander Juech, Ulrich Lossa and Daniel Baber, and it was almost spooky how in sync we were in regards to what works and what does not in delivering quality Portal training.
On the second day, I was thrilled to see Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, live on stage. Energizing moment. Well worth to buy his most recent book: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. One interesting thought from the talk: Goals are limiting. You got to have a system. The other big point of the day was Rob Will talking about the present and future of Portal and WCM.
Being originally from Brazil, I couldn't help but noticing the amount of Brazilian companies featured at Connect this year. Petrobrás was even featured in the Opening General Session – a first for a Brazilian company. Several others such as BASF, Schahin, DETRAN-SP and Policia Militar SP were displaying their success stories at the conference. Congratulations Brazil!
I presented a session on Wednesday, the Developing Websites with IBM Web Content Manager V8 Exam Cram. I broke down the competencies tested and gave pointers on things that are not commonly used but are still very important to the test. I don't know how many of you have presented in events like this, but I get very anxious until my presentation. Only after it is done I am able to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference. So the rest of Wednesday and Thursday were bonus time.
The Closing General Session was very interesting. Not the best ever as a fellow attendee proclaimed at the end – 2001 was the best – but they hit the nail in the head. You take a room full of geeks, and then you project a 50-feet wide 1 billion pixel image of the surface of Mars. Guess the result? Yeah, they loved it. They brought in machine gun-like NASA speaker Dave Lavery to talk about the NASA efforts to study Mars and eventually put the man there. Great way of finishing Connect – showing that it is not always easy to accomplish our goals, but we have the brains and we can build the tools. Hope to be there next year!
For more information on courses taught by Marcel or any other Avnet Academy course, simply go to the Avnet Academy website, choose the country you're in and then search our IBM training schedule.