#IBMImpact: Business Partner Day is a Wrap

Scott Francis

I guess I’d forgotten how busy the Sunday before Impact really is.  Business Partner sessions start at 9:30 and last all day.  Then there’s the Solution Center reception at 5pm, and then of course, there’s finishing those presentations that you’re about to deliver to Impact attendees, following up on all the meeting invites you’ve been chasing down, going out to dinner with colleagues… let’s face it, the day fills up fast.

I knew I was Impact when I found myself missing my first meeting of the conference before it even officially starts.  A few highlights from the day:

  • While having coffee with one old Lombardi colleague, another one sat down to join us for coffee.  The random meetings with people who quite literally traveled halfway around the world to be here are really awesome.  No amount of instant messaging, twitter, and email can replace sharing a table, a handshake, and a cup of coffee.
  • Really appreciated all the kind reviews of our website re-branding.  It seems everyone approves of the new look!
  • The new business cards are a hit.  I know, business cards are oldschool.  So if you’re going to do them, do them right!  Many thanks to Red Velvet Events and their creative team for pulling them together. You’d be amazed at their thoughtfulness when it comes to selecting paper and designs.
  • Our BP Mobility vision demonstration looks great.  Our mobile team (you know who you are) did a fantastic job with this.  We gave a few IBMers a sneak peak today, looking forward to showing more people at the Solution Center!
  • Meeting with a partner from Europe, and being surprised by realizing I know one of the guys from literally 5 years ago, a one week project I did in Europe.  It is truly a small world.
  • It is great to see so many colleagues doing well with their jobs.

Mobile Session, Business Partner Summit

It wouldn’t be an Impact post unless I had at least one session review.  I attended a business partner session with updates on the Mobile space this morning.  Great session, overall, but it was a long session without breaks, so eventually you lose the audience’s attention.

First up (after I arrived a bit late) was an IDC analyst, Steven Drake.  A few key takeaways:

  • He pointed out that tablets aren’t replacing laptops, but there are certain places where they are better.  I would have phrased this differently.  The best device for the use case wins – and historically laptops were the least bad device for many field jobs in many industries.  The tablet is often a great fit for these applications – picture claims adjusting, EMS, field sales, etc.  Second, when we say tablet, we should really be clear that at this point that means iPad.
  • He pointed out that employees are increasingly responsible for the device – employee-liability.  I think that’s true in phones, but iPads are considered more of a corporate asset than a personal asset in many cases, and usually the employer owns them.
  • He pointed out a litany of problems and challenges in rolling out mobile strategies – from data plans to policies to replacement cycles – but of course the real question is what are the strategies?!  The rest of these details comes from the strategy, not the other way around.

Next up was Dirk Nicol of IBM, who explained a bit about Worklight. I won’t spoil all the fun here, since there are so many worklight sessions planned -but it was a good high level overview of what Worklight brings to the table. The mobile foundation IBM lays out is:

  • Worklight
  • Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices
  • Websphere Cast Iron Hypervisor (for cloud scaling, and management)

It is compatible with a slew of open source projects, e.g. PhoneGap, Sencha, Dojo, JQuery, etc.

Alan Ho followed this by talking about how the pressures of cross platform teams required for mobile development really put pressure on collaborative development.  Of course, there was an angle as to how Rational supports these collaborative development principles, and how another recent acquisition makes it easier to do continuous deployment as part of your methodology.

He also talked about problems-  e.g. the fact that the target platforms are so many and fragmented.  But this idea in particular I think is misplaced.  You don’t have to target all platforms from day 1.  Pick one.  Get it right. Then expand.

The next speaker focused on endpoint management but at that point I had to step out for one of many meetings with IBMers and partners!

Good session overall – and a good day – which hints toward a massive amount of content coming up in the conference, and a chance for many great business connections to be reinforced here.

Ok, time to pack it in and get ready for Day 1!