EMC World 2009: Reflections from the Momentum conference

A very hectic week has passed by and EMC World 2009 is over. Just as I did last year I felt like reflecting a about the conference.

First of all many thanks to EMC for listening us and improving a lot of things from the last year. I have been to EMC World 07 and 08 and during both these occasions I felt a little lost as a Documentum customer among all these storage and virtualisation people. Back then I heard people referring with love to past Momentum conferences where the sense of community was there. In November 08 I had the chance to go to Momemtum in Prague as a speaker and it was actually a bit different from EMC World. Suddenly all the focus was on Documentum.

Things well done

So the establishment of a Content Management & Archiving (CMA) Community was just what we all needed. We all got yellow ribbons with text ”Momentum” to attach to our badges which made us all much more visible to each other. We got all the sessions in the same area which meant no more running around and the chance to bump into people with those ribbons. Intead of having a very thick catalogue with all sessions merged together into a giant schedule we got our own CMA Show Guide which was really easy to use and made life much easier to me. Next to all the sessions we had a beautiful  Momentum Lounge which was manned all day around. You could even meet CMA executives for drinks after sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. It had nice sofas and chairs togeter with soft red lighting which made it quite cosy. In the solutions exhibitions all CMA Booths were gathered in the same area with a separate graphic profile then the rest of the EMC booths. Around the CMA booth you found all the CMA partners co-located. Finally we had our own CMA Party on Monday evening which was well attended as far I saw. In addition to that we finally seem to have a working online community both for Documentum and XML Technologies.

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There was also a great thing to create a Blogger’s lounge where all people who blogged and Twittered could register. Outside the lounge there was a large screen displaying what we all were saying more or less live. And the Vanilla Latte served there was a life saver! On Tuesday their Barista started making mine as soon as I passed the entrance 🙂 What a service! I think EMC actually made social media into a working business tool here. Really something to build on. If you have not done it search for #emcworld on Twitter to see what it was all about.

I attened one Product Advisory Forum (PAF) around the new Enterprise Search Server (ESS) and that was a great experience. Ed Bueche and Aamir Farooq did a great job to inspire great discussions between us customers and the engineering team. I attended PAFs in Prague as well and those were also a great part of the conference.

We had access to wireless internet all around the conference area and that is vital for a conference like this. Especially for us who Blog and Tweet!

Things to improve

First of all EMC is a company which has a payoff saying ”Where Information Lives” and touts itself as an information infrastructure company. I assume that all means digital information and is it something we Documentum people care about then it is information management. Then it does make a lot of sense taking notes and searching the web on a laptop computer during sessions. After all we are IT-nerds 🙂 Please get us some rooms with sufficient number of power outlets!

Why not even extend it further and use your own technology to integrate Tweets, Blog posts with the conference schedule so we more or less can interact live around sessions. It would even make sense for me at least to being able to register that I am attending a conference (voluntary of course) using the online profile community that alre which would make it even easier

There seem to be fewer sessions in general and especially I believe the number of developer oriented ones have become significantly fewer. I am not a coder myself so I actually think it makes sense to have sessions focused on people writing code and other with different advancement levels for us focusing on architectures, features and business cases. Another thing I noted is that there are no call for papers to EMC World the same way it works for Momentum (Europe). I think use cases from customers are an important part of the conference and it would be great to find a way to get them back in.

Please also have a look at what Word of Pie had to say about this year’s conference.

See you next year in Boston!

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Speaking at Momentum 08 in Prague on Tuesday

I have arrived to Prague today to attend EMC’s Momentum 08 conference which focuses around their Documentum product line. I love travelling and especially flying and have no problem at all spending time at big international airports. However, being by yourself in big towns when heading for a dinner is not always that nice. However, now I am having a great time after a warm bath and lying in my bathrobe watching BBC World and using my computer.

On Tuesday at 0945 I will be speaking at the conference. My session in the Software Development Track is called ”Active Knowledge Management using Documentum D6.5”. The full description looks like this:

The Swedish Armed Forces uses EMC Documentum D6.5 at the Joint Concepts Development and Experimentation Centre to develop staff procedures for a next-generation operational HQ. Based on the knowledge support concept, a customized EMC Documentum solution, using multiple user interfaces to access all kinds of digital content, has been developed.

My presentation will cover our workflow implementation using TaskSpace and BAM, our customized relationship object, graphical visualization of relationship and our integration with external search engines and GIS-systems. It will be interesting to get some reactions to our concept and how we make use of the Documentum platform. I hope for reactions not only from EMC employees but also from other big customers.

Download the full conference programme

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Star Trek – The Experience

Me on the bridge of USS Enterprise
I have always liked Science Fiction and as you might know got hooked on a few lately like Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Eureka and a few others. However, a science fiction classic is Star Trek and I have watched quite a few even though I would not consider myself a real ”Trekkie”. My favorite Star Trek show is Voyager with Captain Janeway as the commander (surprise…). Anyway when me and my colleague discovered that there was a big Star Trek attraction in Vegas we decided to try to squeeze it in. We did not have that high expectations but it turned out really good. It is located next to the Las Vegas Hilton hotel and it is actually a miniature theme-park in-door. The exhibitions are nicely done and the two attractions do really have the feel on Star Trek. I will always remember the feeling I had when we walked through a perfect replica of the sign-mark corridors of the Enterprise. It felt like being in the show actually – and the Borgs where actually a bit scary when you met them. We bought a big package and in that was included an option to have your picture taking while sitting in the chairs of the bridge and it was also a nice experience. The only stupid thing was that we noticed afterwards (!) that there were costumes for rent. So the hard conclusion is that if I ever get back to Vegas I need to do another photo where I can look as Janeway for real 🙂

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Cirque Du Soleil at MGM Grand

Still feeliing rather sick today but managed to sleep rather well and rested in bed in my room at Luxor. Can be worse, after all. Watched C-span and the defense debates and it was rather interesting, especially the language they used. ”The Gentlemen from Texas is recognized” was a phrase I heard a lot. Meant that the congressmen had been given the floor. It actually started raining as well – something I did not expect here in the middle of the desert.

Anyway, we had bought tickets to Cirque Du Soleil: Ka for this evening so I managed to fix my self up a bit and we started walking towards MGM Grand where it is being played. Before the show we went towards the Mexican restaurant called ”Diego” and on our way we saw a small crowd and some stir among the people and flashes from cameras firing. I managed to see who generated all of this fuzz and in the middle was Robin Williams, probably on his way towards some activity before his Sunday performance at the MGM Grand.

After a nice mexican dinner in a really cool restaurant which mostly was in red we headed off to Cirque Du Soleil. The arena is huge and has a really cool design which makes you feel you have almost entered a different domain. The performance is a very well choreographed flow of both stylished and breathtaking acrobatics in all dimensions possible. The scene is a very impressive set of machinery which changes the whole scene in all possible ways. The theme is some mix of asian martial arts, mad max and some science fiction scenery. No one leaves there unmarvelled.

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Going to Germany

Today I will be going to Germany on a business trip. Someone that asked me what I was doing today asked what I was doing there and I said it was a business trip and he looked a bit sad and said something like ”oh that is a bummer”. I don’t agree. I like that my job allows me to travel a lot and usually the workshops and conferences I go to are very interesting. So combining interesting work with new experiences of different countries does not seem to be such a bad deal for me. The only drawback is that my cab leaves for the airport at 0545 in the morning which is very early for someone who has to wake up more or less three hours before closing the door on my way out.

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Nice flight back home – in business class

Flying in SAS Business Class

On Sunday we left a warm and sunny Orlando to go back to Stockholm via Chicago. At the Orlando International Airport we just had to spend a few more dollars on NASA stuff in their new airport shop. I bought a pink and grey NASA t-shirt 😉

When we checked in at the counter at O’Hare international airport they just swapped our boarding cards for new ones and told us we had been given a complementary upgrade to Business class. I was so happy about this – not so much about the better food and so but for the comfort of being able to lay down more or less completely. Even if I can sit for a few hours on a soft chair now, spending 8+ hours in an aircraft chair is still uncomfortable. So the trip back home turned out to be a wonderful experience. SAS have installed a new chair called the Business Sleeper in their aircraft and they are just wonderful. I did some work on my computer (power for the computer is in the chair) adn then put my chair into sleeping mode and actually managed to get a few hours of sleep. The food was just great by the way. For starters we had grilled marinated prawns with mango salsa and for the main course I selected lamb loin with Dijon mustard crest with Red Bliss potatoes, sautéed mixed mushrooms and mustard sauce. We arrived a little early to a rainy and cold Arlanda where a friend of mine met me with my car.

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EPCOT Segway Tour

On Segways in the World Showcase area with the EPCOT ball in the background

I have been to Walt Disney World (WDW) for four years in a row now and even though I still love it there is always nice to find something new that I have not seen before. One of these things are the special backstage tours that Disney offers to experienced Disney guests who want to see and do some more. Last week we did the special tour in Magick Kingdom called ”Keys to the Kingdom” and today it was time for the 2 hour Segway Experience in the World Showcase area of EPCOT.

I have been on a Segway before and enjoyed it very much so I really looked forward to this tour. It started with the mandatory safety slides and signing a paper about Disney´s liabilities if an injury should occur. Then we went to the Segways in the indoor training area where we practised turning and going back and forth in a very rigor training program. We finished off running a slalom course and a ramp excercise before it was time to head out amongst people.

The first part of the EPCOT park was open to the public (this was 10 am in the morning) but the World Showcase was still closed off and that is where we were heading. It was just as wonderful as I had remembered and even more fun now with the second generation Segways which has steering built-in as a lever rather than turning a knob. Experience the big World Showcase area on a Segway suddenly made everything smaller and distances shorter and it was great to be almost alone out there. Normally it is packed with people. The guide led us through some small obstacles which was fun and then stopped in Germany, Italy, Marocco, USA and finally France to give us some more detailed facts of what the buildings in respective countries where representing.

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