I am currently out at IBM Insight, and over the next few days I thought I would share some impressions of the event. From Day 1, and in no particular order…
As always, this event is an awesome display of the power of branding. IBM just gets this and does a really good job of it.
It might come as a surprise to many of my generation who remember IBM execs as the ones who could wear any shirt they wanted to work as long as it was white, but IBM does an exceptional job at the social media side of event management. This is definitely a “connected” event and the volume and speed of new tweets (hashtag for the event is #ibminsight) during any of the keynote events is pretty overwhelming. They also have some fun with running their analytics platform against the social engagement of attendees.
I will admit that the overall theming of the event – “The Conference for Big Data and Analytics” – had me wishing for at least a mention of “information” or “content” in the title. In some ways, our industry is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the IT space. I suppose it is the curse of ECM to ultimately be critical to everything, yet simultaneously somewhat invisible if actually done properly. Perhaps we need a campaign like the “Intel Inside” or that BASF “We Make Everything Better” campaign for ECM.
This event is structured around hundreds of smaller educational sessions (120 for ECM alone) sandwiched around morning General Sessions and technology specific keynotes during the day (Business Leadership and Industry, Information Management, Enterprise Content Management, Business Analytics, Watson and Cognitive Computing, Security, Infrastructure Matters, and Mobile/Social Engagement). Per my comment about “Intel Inside,” ECM is “inside” just about all of them.
I give props to the IBM ECM crew for their keynote and telling the ECM story in a way that connected together, was compelling, and even funny at times. The bumper on ECM at the beginning (this won’t do it justice, the visuals were very good and actually got you excited about ECM) went like this…
“Enterprise content management puts content to work. Beyond capturing and sharing, it's responsive, immediate, and actionable. A unified customer experience delivering the right content to the right people where and when they need it. Putting context around content, empowering every employee so organizations can make smarter decisions, realize new value, and deliver better customer service. Smarter content is transforming business around the world, right now.”
Now I know some will say, what’s so great about that? But for the ECM industry -- our elevator speeches seem to usually require a 400-story elevator – I thought it very succinct and punchy.
They also had a bit of fun with my Information Chaos theme under the phrase “Age of Distraction.” Take a look at part of Doug Hunt’s keynote that I captured - I hope the IBM folks don't mind...
IBM sees three major sources of disruption in which how you manage content can be either constructive or disabling: 1) data; 2) cloud; and 3) engagement.
The key concept relative to data is to adopt tools that allow you to view it with discernment – the ability to determine what is important and what is not and the ability to draw conclusions from data. Cloud technologies are enabling, but “without structure it is just another shared drive.” The take here, differentiating from consumer sync and share, is that “this is business content, and with 62% more security breaches this year than last year, you just can’t take it lightly.” Lastly, you position your organization to win when you engage with content in a way that allows for “inner focus” (relevance to the business), “other focus” (relevance to the customer) and “outer focus” (leading to an understanding of the market).
Note: Kevin Spacey and Captain Phillips are keynotes on Wednesday. I remember one evening at the beach with my sons last fall in which we drove my wife nuts by spending the entire evening speaking in a Francis Underwood voice (“Claire! Claire!”). I am hoping to reenact if I get to meet Kevin Spacey.