E2.0 (a.k.a. EnterpriseCamp 2.0) – May 29, 2007

I’ve posted about the upcoming Toronto Tech Week (May 28 – June 1) in the past.

Well, the time is quickly approaching and one of the events of that week I’m most looking forward to is E2.0, a one day conference being organized by local TorCamper and friend Tom Purves.

The whole “Web 2.0” craze is great and the social tools that continue to evolve online get more and more impressive with the scope of their reach and effectiveness but what has generally been lacking visibility is consideration to how these tools and ideas are going to have a measurable (positive) impact on businesses, both big and small.

That’s where E2.0 comes in, its specific focus is looking at how using Social Media tools and other “Web 2.0” ideas can transform the way an enterprise does business.

With a growing roster of presenters, including a breakfast keynote presented by Anthony Williams, co-author of “Wikinomics” and John Bruce, CEO of iUpload, it is shaping up to be an interesting day. I’m personally working on a presentation right now around how enterprises can overcome language challenges with 2.0 technologies that I hope to have ready for the event.

There are still some spots available so if you’re looking to get some insight on how the new generation of social tools & web services can benefit your organization I highly suggest you check it out. The registration page can be found here.

A Belated Tale of Two Cities (a.k.a Conference Updates) – Part 2

 

 


AIIM Conference – Boston, MA

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Following a great week in San Francisco, and a too short stop at home we headed down to Boston for AIIM Conference & Exhibition – where we exhibited as part of the GALA Pavilion. We actually arrived on the day of the 111th Boston Marathon – ordinarily you’d have a pretty difficult time convincing me it was a good idea to go for a quick 26 mile run but with the weather that day I don’t think you could have paid me enough to get out there. Boston’s weather theme for the week was “miserable”. It was cold & rainy (verging on snow) for the entire week – well up until the morning we flew out of course.

The Show: We had gone down expecting a really crazy busy show – with 21,000 registered attendees how could it not be? The reality though, was that it was really quiet. Really, really quiet. Thankfully it wasn’t just us, it seemed in general the AIIM side of the show was a pretty sparsely attended exhibit floor. Part of the challenge I think is the AIIM Show also has a printing industry focused conference called “OnDemand” – this is where all of the big press and bindery equipment vendors come out to show their wares. That side of the floor was packed. There were times I would wander by the Xerox or Canon booths and they were just rammed, I saw it get to a point where it seemed physically impossible for another person to get into the Xerox booth.

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It makes some sense though. Nowadays most people in the software industry don’t need to go to a tradeshow to see the latest products & demos etc. – Looking for a CMS? There are a handful of CMS review sites and every vendor either has a demo or webinar you can use to get a look at the product. I’m guessing most people who were there on the software side of things stuck to their conference agenda upstairs in the conference center. With the print industry though there is no getting around the fact that a press is big, heavy and doesn’t easily “demo” through the Internet. It’s something you have to see, touch, climb around and really understand and generally that can only be done in person.

As I’ve mentioned before the nice thing for us is when the show floor is slow we can just flip into Partner mode. The show was a great opportunity for us to get to know our new partners, VistaTEC, better as well as work on advancing some partnerships in the works – in these cases face-to-face time is everything.

In the end we still had an okay show – we had some really good conversations with the people who did come by the booth that we can hopefully turn into something but the jury is still out as to whether or not we’d do the AIIM show again.

The City: As I mentioned before Boston didn’t show us a pretty face, but it did manage to clear enough that we got out for a walk the first day. We made our way down from our hotel (Backbay Sheraton), checked out the Boston Marathon finish line and then went down past the commons and picked up the Freedom trail into Boston’s Italian neighborhood. After grabbing a quick bite we headed back up towards city hall to catch the “T”.

On the way we came across an interesting installation which turned out the be the New England Holocaust Memorial. A very interesting, and haunting design we stopped for a few minutes and made our way through it – if you’re in Boston it is definitely worth stopping by to see. I think we came through it at just the right time as well – it appears dusk-night is when this impressive memorial is best viewed. More information about it can be found here.

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Over the next couple of nights we had partner dinners around town. On Tuesday night I made it out to Harvard with a potential partner and we grabbed some good food and even better beer at John Harvard’s Brew House – Wednesday we went out for a fun night with our friends from VistaTEC. Our Project Manager here at Clay Tablet did a little research for us and found a great little place called Red Sky Lounge – on that night they also happened to have a Frank Sinatra impersonator performing. Thankfully he was actually quite good, even if once and a while it was clear from the accent that this “Frank” was from Boston.

Our last night in town we were dying to find a really good meal – up until that point most of what we were eating had been downright inedible (do NOT eat at the convention centre if you can help it) to just barely surpassing mediocre. We’d had one place recommended to us which, thanks to Google Maps, we attempted to get to via the projects. When we finally got there though the place was packed – the hostess pointed us in the direction of some spots a little further down the road where we finally settled on a Sushi/Wine Bar place called Seiyo. I think the three of us demolished their biggest party boat in a matter of 5 minutes – it was quite good.

All in all I preferred San Francisco over Boston but that may largely be a function of weather and the very slow show – I think we’ll be back there in October for the Gilbane show so hopefully I can catch some good weather and get to see the city from a better angle.

A Tale of Two Cities (a.k.a Conference Updates) – Part 1

Do to some unfortunate timing our two big tradeshow/conferences for the Spring ended up on back to back on opposite ends of the continent – thus the lack of posting here over the past two weeks.

First we were at the Gilbane Conference in San Francisco then, after a quick weekend at home, we were off to Boston for the AIIM conference. Two very different shows and very different crowds. I’ll break this across two posts, otherwise it’ll be a huge long post. First up? Gilbane.

Gilbane Conference – San Francisco, CA

The Show: For those who don’t know, the Gilbane Group is a Content Management industry analyst organization who have expanded into running conferences each year centered on the space. As part of the conference they also run a small exhibit hall for vendors in the space.

Earlier this year Gilbane and LISA (The Localization Industry Standards Association) came together and decided to offer a localization/globalization track as part of the conference. This was exactly the kind of development we were watching (hoping) for in the market as it is a great signal that the ECM world is finally waking up and noticing that Localization/Translation is becoming more and more of a necessity in the market today.

An interesting thing we’ve come to enjoy is that, given our positioning as a “connector” company these types of shows the room is full of prospects (both partners & clients). As a result did we manage to not only have great conversations with potential customers but we also got to get out and have conversations with a lot of the technology vendors we’d been hoping to get in front of for a while now. As much as technology helps everyone connect regardless of location, nothing beats a firm handshake and looking a person in the eye.

All in all it was a good show for us – but then again when the keynote starts out by identifying one of your company’s value propositions (integration of systems) as one of the big issues facing the market, hw can you go wrong?

DSC07696The City: Of the two, San Francisco was the city I was most looking forward to getting out to. Not just for the city itself, but also for the people. It never ceases to amaze me the cool things that are going down in that neck of the woods (not that Toronto doesn’t have it’s own scene). Wanting to make the most of my time down there I set aside my first night in town to try and get together with some of the folks I wanted to meet.

Tara Hunt & Chris Messina of Citizen Agency/Citizen Space both made some space in their calendars to come out for drinks along with Mick & Marty from Tangler.com and Raines Cohen (I didn’t get a link :/ – he’s into some cool co-living community stuff). We had some good beer and even better conversation. During the course of the night Tara also mentioned there was a NetSquared event going on at Citizen Space the next evening which I attended and will blog about in a separate post.

As a city I love San Francisco – unfortunately I really only had the opportunity to skim some of the highlights of the city on a big walk the first day we were there but it was enough to know it was a place I wanted to spend more time in down the road (as a visitor). In hindsight a 7km walk the day before working a tradeshow floor wasn’t the brightest idea, but it was well worth it.

One thing I loved is it seemed like there was some by-law that you couldn’t just plain pave anything. At minimum you needed two-tone concrete but clearly bonus marks (tax credits?) were handed out for patterns, additional colours and other design features. In general the architecture of the city was consistently interesting and I had to remind myself to look down once in a while to stop from running into things.

My favourite moment was easily walking back to the hotel from the Net2 event, it was getting late and the streets were quiet, the only noise that stood out was this sound of a haunting solo saxophone drifting down the street. As I walked up the road it grew louder until I came to an intersection where there was a lone guy, just rockin’ out to himself on his sax. It seemed like he’d managed to find the acoustic center of the city as you could just hear the sound rippling out through the downtown core. Very cool.

Tommorrow: AIIM Conference & Exhibition in Boston, MA.