Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MWLUG Report

mwlug yellow bag

It has been 2 years since I attended and presented at MWLUG and I have missed it. The core group of about 200 customers that can just drive over for the event and the vendors and partners and IBMers that fly in all come for the same reason, the community and knowledge.

And beer.

Beer is a big part of MWLUG and always has been, probably because the idea was hatched while the founders were having one. Isn't that when the best ideas are devised?

The event location was the old Union Station filled with beautiful architectural reminders of an era long gone. The stained glass window is from the North facing window of the main room which used to be the entrance to the station.
stained glass window union station indianapolis sheraton

Sadly, I missed the opportunity to go to the Indianapolis Speedway tour but waved to everyone from my flight above the track.

Saw friends, both near and far, and even some customers who knew me when they were business partners and consultants.

The first day I got in late and missed the classes going on but did pop in to fellow IBM Champion  Bill Malchilsky's session on Linux enablement which if you want Linux or need it or are thinking about it, Bill is your man.

We made our way to the first evening event, the microbrew tasting. Which knowing some of the people involved would produce some interesting ideas. You can see the mix of offerrings from this picture I took.
beers of MWLUG
The winner turned out to be a distributor of someone else's finest but that did not stop everyone from having a great time.

We then moved to the main room where we had the event sponsors peddling their wares and we had time to chat up customers and friends.

Thursday morning found us eagerly awaiting the OGS where we heard from Josh Bleill, the Indianapolis Colts Community Spokesperson. Josh just wowed everyone with his determination and positive outlook on life. Nothing is insurmountable.

After Josh, Scott Souder, Program Director, Messaging and Collaboration Solutions for IBM provided some sneak peaks at what is coming in the future. Notes/Domino 9.0.1 due out late October. Scott talked about how at this point of the year IBM already has more renewals from customers that have not renewed in prior years than they did last year. In other words, customers are upgrading again and there is business for all of us Business Partners!

Scott also brought some secret things to share like Project Hawthorn, more on this in a different post, and a new unnamed product which will knock the socks off you when it comes out. Come to Connect 2014 for more details is all he said we could say about it. Scott also introduced everyone to Kramer Reeves who is his boss. Kramer is Director of Product Management, ICS and has plans to help not just customers but business partners as well to sell and support everyone the way they need it.

After the morning sessions off to lunch and then the daily sessions.

I was working on my own demo and session but sat in on Chris Miller's excellent session on the web, social life and privacy. Get his slides and think about it, hopefully he posted them someplace. Of the people in the room only a few do everything and there is much to think about. Save your wallet and headache and go get his session.

My session, The Boss is Anti-Social ..HELP! which I already posted the slides here, had at the core of it people who work in a non-social atmosphere or have managers that do not understand them. The session was a mix of older thoughts and information coupled with literally the night before ROI cases that I received via email that highlight the sales benefits of being more social in business. All links are included in the slides so enjoy. No matter what your industry is, you can be social on the outside and interactive with your customers and vendors. Yes, some will complain, but they just want your love otherwise they will just leave and you will never hear from them again.

The evening event was spent in a brewery and billiard hall where everyone could focus their time and get to know each other better. Questions about certification, Sametime, Connections, Notes and Domino, competitive information and more all took place.

Friday saw Karl Lawall, an IBM Program Director for Collaboration Solutions, Social Communications and Sametime Worldwide Sales showing off Sametime 9 which will be coming out shortly. The video integration and revised mobile clients and device functionality will make life so much better for the A/V jet setting people. 

And then I had to go home which was an all day journey it seemed, sorry I had to leave early on Friday.

Thanks to Richard Moy, Sam Bridegroom, Gregg Eldred (sadly was held back from attending),  and Ray Bilyk for a great event and I hope everyone returns for next year when it is in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For all my friends and customers always nice to see you and let's meet up again in Orlando in January 26-30 at Connect 2014 if not sooner.

Hyper Smash