Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Opening Day...of Impact 2013

Today started out like every other day, you know phone ringing at 5am and 6 and 7. Went to meet frineds for breakfast and then went over to the OGS where Champions had prime real estate. 4th row center.

Today was Business in Motion day.
Opening was a drum set and horn section that were quite good and then the star attraction a white Ford took the stage and proceeded to talk to us all.

Just kidding, the car said nothing, didn't even start, but Robert Leblanc came out along with a Ford executive to discuss why 16 million lines of code were in that rolling data center as they called the car. Video for the EVOS makes you want one. Gull wing doors and skeletal seats, it's still a concept but a great looking one.

Next generation of services and change coming for us to be a catalyst for the change.

We heard about 5 things business must embrace:

  1. Put mobile first
  2. Reinvent your business and design process
  3. Adopt flexible and secure integration models
  4. Be insightful and data driven
  5. Build on open architectures

Then the GM for IBM Websphere Marie Wieck came out and laid out that MobileFirst, is the first point of contact for much of the underdeveloped world. They only have cell phones and in Africa they use them for everything and it is the only source of connectivity. There are over 4,000 PURE systems installed in over 90 countries.

The keynote was from Forest Whitaker who was discussing his partnerships that are aimed at bringing peace to various parts of the world through his Peace Earth Foundation. They leverage Skype for their interactions if anyone wondered.

Before closing Marie said that 71 countries are represented here at Impact in attendance and over 170 countries are watching or listening in on the internet.

After lunch I was in the Reference Lounge to give a Champion talk and we shot some more video interviews.  I made it out to a session or 2 and later did a hands on Worklight class. While it was not development, luckily for me, it was how to publish apps to a Worklight service and have your own App Store. I also spent time with the Worklight and MobileFirst teams today.

Seeing more friends I know from all over at the conference. Just amazing how it works out.

Tuesday I do my Ignite talk during lunch hour at the Social Playground on The Art of Troubleshooting and then at 5:15 I and 3 other IBM Websphere Champions will be hosting a mobile panel.

Monday, April 29, 2013

My First Impact Conference

As a long time Lotusphere person, I am reminded of Bruce Springsteen after he played, and won,  the Academy Award in 1994 for his song the Streets of Philadelphia and said this "And thank you all for inviting me to your party."

I came out to Impact not sure what to expect. At times Websphere is my friend and at times a hard companion, but I found a great community of people here so far that rival my friends in the Lotus/ICS world.

My journey to Impact 2013 held in Las Vegas at the Venetian hotel, started at 5:00am Sunday morning. Head over to the airport and got through security just in time to board my flight that left at 7:30 am  and on time I might add. We landed in Dallas on time, waited about half an hour and filled up with a few people, but most of the flight was empty. I guess everyone was staying in Dallas. We got to Las Vegas on time, my bag was the fifth one off the plane. Off I go to catch a shuttle and....my first delay. We waited almost 45 minutes for a shuttle to take us to the hotel and then it took about 30 minutes. Those of us hanging out already knew we were going the right place because Lotusphere backpacks, IBM paraphernalia was attached to each of us.

Obviously, I did not get that "I'm home" feeling, as I do when I walk into the Dolphin hotel in Orlando. My bewilderment at where things are and how to get there reminds me just how hard Connect must be for someone new to the conference. The Venetian is a beautiful hotel and all I can say is WOW! The Dolphin and Swan rooms have nothing next to the Venetian hotel! Vegas really knows how to take care of people. Once you get your bearings, you should be fine.

By the time I got registered and charged some devices, I missed lunch and most of BP day. Picked up my badge, business partners have blue pouches, and my Champion ribbon. Off I went to find where we were making a commercial shoot with the other 34 IBM Websphere Champions coming to the conference. What seems like a simple thing, repeat your line 3-4 times, turns into a lesson in elocution and stage voices. I think the Redbook video I did over the summer was easier, because it was less formal. Either way, I look forward to seeing how we all come out and hope you enjoy the videos too at some point once we can post them.

After the shoot, I went to listen to a session on leveraging IBM Worklight for your mobile needs. More on Worklight over the week. We have a break, when I went to call home and then down to the conference floor for the BP reception and first look at the exhibition hall. From the diagram it looks huge and it is. Inside the hall is "The Social Playground", in the back, where I will spend some time doing smaller talks and answering questions about being a Champion. I ran into a few old friends, met some new ones and joined the GWC, the Global Websphere Community, The GWC had a remote control car field setup and a race car sitting by their area. 

I am amazed at how many people there are here and the number of tracks and sessions. I thought Connect was over filled, this makes that look like kids play. There are over 40 sessions running concurrently at some points! It would take weeks to catch up to every session you missed. My guess is they can't really do this as a 2 week conference, but seriously, how do people get anything out of this when they are so overwhelmed with options. And great options usually too!

Looking forward to Monday, Forest Whitaker, a great actor and film maker, is the guest, THEY TELL PEOPLE in advance at IMPACT who is the speaker. Lotusphere and Connect we have had to wait to see who we run into in the Dolphin Rotunda due to the secrecy. Which actually to me is better due to the various betting and anticipation that we all work on up to the moment they take the stage.

Look for more tweets, posts and details over the next few days but I can feel the love of other Champions. Off I go to find the general populace and where they hang out instead of ESPN, Kimono's or the Dolphin bar.

PS - There is a contest on for everyone to take a picture with an IBM Champion and post them with a #ibmchamp if you want to find me, follow me on Twitter and 4Square as @lotusevangelist.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blogging Time: Why it Matters

My latest post over at the Social Business Insights Blog has been published.

What is it that makes people read one of my blog posts? I write two primary blogs and guest write on at least three others, but then people say to me, “You have way too much time on your hands”—presumably because they feel I am just sitting here writing these blog posts for eight hours a day.
Sorry to disappoint you all but I only spend seven hours a day writing them. Kidding, just kidding. For more read it there

Going to Impact2013? Here's My Schedule


This will be my first time attending Impact2013 and I look forward to finding out all the great things that I have taken for granted at Lotusphere and Connect over the years and now see how it all translates to my Impact2013 experience.

There is so many sessions, but there are also so many more pieces of the puzzle at this conference. I think the app showed over 900 sessions. This page will get edited up until Sunday evening with any updates.

I will most likely be in the Social Playground off an on. I have some video interviews to shoot and a round table or 2.

Business Partner Day and I get in around lunchtime. IBM Champions have ribbons on their badges so make sure to stop by and say hi to us all. We want to met you as much as you want to meet us.

Champions’ Corner: Stop by the Client Reference lounge for the rest of the schedule.
My Time is Monday 1:00-1:30PM Like to Discuss Competitive Situations, but open to other topics

Ignite presentation, The Art of troubleshooting, Lunch time on Tuesday at the Social Playground 12-1pm
My formal session, and Impact’s first All-Champion Panel is on Tuesday:
TMU-3299 Panel Discussion: Driving Mobile Innovations with IBM Business Partners
5:15-6:15 PM Venetian, Delfino 4003
Speakers: Keith Brooks, Yuki Kurosawa, Andrew Paier, Ashraf Souleiman


Nothing formal yet, more sessions for me and then a late night red eye back to Florida.

Easiest way to find me at the conference is through Twitter, DM me so I get notified or follow me on 4Square, both use @lotusevangelist.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Google Hangout CRM Discussion Recording

The IBM Midmarket Hangout I did recently around SugarCRM, and CRM in general, highlighted not just details from SugarCRM and Sugarcon, but also customer adoption and marketing automation discussions.

The Google+ Hangout was recorded and here it is.

Edit December 2016. It looks like the video was removed at some point, I have a copy and will be posting it back up soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

IBM Midmarket CRM Google+ Hangout Wen 1-1:30pm EST

I will be on a panel which is bringing together a group of CRM thought leaders to discuss the industry and how social media contributes to the success of your business.

Wen, April 16th at 1pm EST on Google+, go there now and get connected properly before the Hangout starts, https://plus.google.com/100114568100087952904/posts

Panelists, their linkedin profiles and blogs.
Paul Gillin (Moderator) of Profitecture
Lori Richardson and blog of Score More Sales
Paul Foucher and blog of SugarCRM

Steve Lokam and blog of OpenLogix

Keith Brooks and blog of VoiceRite

Some topics will include, but
SugarCon 2013:  News and any interesting trends or themes?
Is there an industry in particular that we see a growing demand for CRM?
How do we use social media to keep up with what’s happening in the CRM industry?

Please tweet me or leave messages at the Google+ hangout location for more topics.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Analytics and Crickets

While hanging out at #Sugarcon this week with good friend Stuart Mcintyre we were struck by what we saw as a lack of socialness (made that word up) from the attendees. Granted this is in contrast to the obscenely over the top socialness of my fellow IBM friends which can be zealous in their path to be social.

SugarCRM itself is fairly active as are Larry Augustin CEO and Clint Oram CTO on Twitter. Keeping in mind we can only really see the tweets or posts if #sugarcon was in the tag or discussion. So where is everyone?

In this graphic on the left, courtesy of NextPrinciples, which by the way you can click on and move any of the links and connections, a very nice benefit, you can see who had tweets retweeted or was the primary creator of the original tweets. You can see about 30+ accounts were pretty active although over 700 tweeted something, see Engagement below. If I presume about 1,200 people attended then about 2-3% are active socially. And since I know many of the names, they are business partners. Begging the question, where is the audience? Where are the customers? The lines to the small balls in the graphic are more customers but still the audience was not heavily active. Even at the voting for the AppTakeDown winner it was about 25% that voted. See graphic on the right.

nextprinciples sugarcon2013sugarcon2013
How do we engage people better? Are we happy with this little or this much engagement? 

Let's look at this information, again from NextPriniciples. Keep in mind these are just for the few days of the show and do not imply anything other than what went on at the show. In some cases SugarCRM people themselves or their accounts were excluded in these graphics.

Sugar7 is announced, but no you tube videos for it? Lost opportunity. Customers like videos, social media people love graphics. perhaps they were posted, but just not included in the analytics.

This is hopefully untrue, but only 10 blog posts? I wrote 2 and Stuart 1, but surely there were more. maybe my friends at NextPrinciples can help with this.  A lack of primary bloggers may be hurting. then again, if we look at a week long view, will we see better details? 

The last graphic is probably not as helpful because I do not believe @sugarcon is an account on twitter so it is not surprising that there was no growth in followers.

Large numbers of followers, attendees that are social, bloggers and more all help to provide proper analytics but I was surprised at the details for the conference. If you can't get people excited enough at your annual show, I wonder what the analytics look like during the year.

Now look at  this graphic that shows the top 20 7 Hashtags:

IBM was a Diamond sponsor, no doubt this helped raise the Hashtag, but also many people expressed there impression that IBM was not the older IBM. Nice to see IBM getting that traction and awareness.

We were probably too small to get #sugarcon to trend on Twitter, but then I don't think the keynotes were livestreamed for those that could not attend which could have helped grow more awareness. 

I'd like to see more reach out to the world by SugarCRM. Their product is great, they have a great executive team, they are priced appropriately. How will they reach the goals that Larry Augustin mentioned at the opening keynote? Without leveraging their social customers they are missing a great opportunity to enhance the brand and value of the product.

Sugarcon Day 2

The second day of #sugarcon opened up with Terry Jones (slides are at the link under downloads) of Kayak, Travelocity fame reminding us all that just because we mean well, doesn't always mean we get it right. Sending out emails with wrong subjects, sending an email that has no one to reply to and more derivatives of marketing aloofness.

The afternoon sessions, 7 at a time in parallel, spanned many topics and from discussions many felt the 2nd day sessions were what they came for as they felt the 1st day were more sales pitches from vendors or marketing. Personally I was very happy in the discussion on Hillel houses using SugarCRM and the preview of Sugar7 (#Sugar7). The latter session really should have been in the ball room given how stuffed in the room, doorway and hall it was for people.

Back to the 2nd day. My demonstrations at the IBM booth went well of the VoiceRite integration with SugarCRM and IBM Connections. There were numerous exhibitors and they could be found across 3 different rooms. In a separate post I will cover some of the vendors.

My session in the afternoon was up against some strong competition but the feedback from the attendees was well worth it and I am happy to hear I hit on a key issue for many of them.

The afternoon had the Application Throwdown looking for some new and better toys for us to use found Callinize was very impressive but ProcessMaker won the event.

At the end of the event, it was announced that Stuart Mcintyre had won an iPad Mini for his tweeting efforts. Not very shocking to those that know him. For the record, I came in 4th. But analytics is another story. You can see some excellent analytics, for a few days, over here from the NextPrinciples team. If you do CRm, marketing, social media you should look at their analytics. You could be doing the same, ask me how.

Congratulations to all the winners of the various giveaways and the Faye Business group for the Patron.

Next year Sugarcon moves back to San Francisco April 27-May1, 2014 hope to get invited back to do a 3rd edition of The Boss is Anti-Social. Thank you to SugarCRM for another great show and IBM for letting me present at their booth.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Business Anti-Social: The Sugarcon 2013 Edition

For those interested in my Sugarcon 2013 slides, subtitled, Business Anti-Social: The Boss Needs SugarCRM, Give it To Them! It is on SlideShare at this location:

Thank you everyone who came, shared their ideas and comments or questions. 

Don't forget the Spottify list of CEO Billboard Hits!

SugarCon 2013 Day 1 - Synopsis

logo sugarcon

Sugarcon 2013 opens with some strong riffs. Guitar riffs that is, care of the SugarCRM band, playing in the same ballroom as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame plays their introduction ceremonies here at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Unfortunately one can not go to the basement, they have 3, where the Presidential train and "secret" railway station lies. Read more here.

Larry, Clint, Lila rock the house with Sugar7 details around social and collaboration efforts, mobile client improvements, inline editing and more.  The theme for this year is:
Every Customer, Every User, Every Time
The belief is there is an under served population of workers who should be using CRM and SugarCRM wants to grab that market. This led to a keynote that was one of the best I have heard in recent months.

Paul Greenberg, His book, CRM at the Speed of Light: Social CRM Strategy, Tools, and Techniques for Engaging Your Customers, is in its fourth edition and been called “the bible of the CRM industry”, gave an excellent keynote which left many of us in the audience wishing he could continue through lunch and afterwards. When I caught up with him at the evening event he said he would have spent lunch with us if we asked. One opportunity lost, but I had a great discussion with him and look forward to getting the slides from his session.

Paul reminded us that it is just as much about what customers want from us, as what we want from them. I could spend paragraphs on his session.

Back to SugarCon. IBM is a Diamond sponsor and has a mini theater at their stand where I have been doing a mini session on how VoiceRite integrates SugarCRM and IBM Connections.

The vendors here are very into social, marketing automation and analytics. It is all about CRM after all. For the estimated, by me, 1,200 attendees, there should be enough for everyone to find something they are missing.

Sessions in the afternoon, an average of 5 sessions running at the same time, were all well attended and provided best practices, experiences, coding examples and beyond.

The evening event was held on a rooftop bar in NYC and luckily it was a beautiful night, no clouds and reasonable temperatures prevailed. We had an excellent view of the Empire State Building and the skyline from north to south.

Looking forward to today's sessions and my own session at 3:40 in the Morgan room.