Thursday, June 15, 2006

Materials Available Online

Informatica's made the materials from the conference, including well done video recordings of the keynote speaches, PDF files from all the breakout sessions, and several other things avalable online for download.

The entire set of stuff is about 500 MB, including all the video coverage.

You'll need a password to get to the site. If you didn't receive an email from Informatica with that password (which you should have if you attended), you can contact your closest IUG leader or Informatica directly for download information.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Day After Stats

I just thought that I'd share with everyone the day-after stats on hits to these reflections. Here's the map.

It was fun to see how they spread out across the country when people got home from the conference. I hope that people are getting some value from my reporting and reflections on the conference.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Closing Keynotes - Don Tapscott

Don Tapscott, author of this year's inspirational book, The Naked Corporation, gave an incredibly rousing and inspirational speach about the changing nature of business in today's world. One of the key take aways I got from his keynote was the fact that people growing up today (in the range of 4 to 28 in his estimatation - the "echo boomers") are a huge generation of people who are not just technically literate, but technology for them is just like air. These people, he finds, have great BS detectors -- you can't pull the wool over their eyes. As an employer or product or service provider to them, the only option is to be honest with them. They're hard to fool and they won't trust you if they find you to be dishonest. Hence, The Naked Corporation.

Being just barely outside his defined age range, I was ready to jump up and give him a standing ovation for his insight into my values. Transparency. Openness. Willingness to share insight and services. Collaboration. This are all things that I love and value in the companies that I see emerging on the net. I thought my only peers were other Open Source fanatics, but in his estimation, it's the entire generation right behind me.

His take on the situation is that the most successful companies in the current environment are going to be those that are willing to bare their all to the world. Those who are willing to admit their mistakes before someone else catches them. Those who are willing to share their services in such a was as to lower barriers to collaboration between their partners and drive the overall value across companies higher than any company could drive their value alone. Mutual openness benefiting everyone involved. Lowering the cost of transactions, which are the barrier to entry for collaboration and openness.

As you might expect, this ties in closely with the challenges of data integration and software/business process outsourcing. Moving data and processes outside of a corporation increases transaction costs, but also increases the potential value of that expertise to the company. The challenge is to lower that transaction cost so that the real value of BPO/SaaS arrangements can be achieved.

Yeah! Way to go Don! I can't wait to read my newly signed copy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Night on the Town

The Evening Adventure in San Francisco was great. I missed the first bus to depart from the hotel for Fisherman's Warf and Ghirardelli Square, but really had what was probably a better view hanging on the outside of an old trolly. I think I took a whole roll of film on the ride... good thing it's a digital camera.

Dinner at McCormick & Kuleto's was nice. A bit crowded, but there was plenty of food and, as you might expect, plenty of decadent chocolate cheesecake. Informatica made a nice choice.

Pier 39
was a good visit. Turns out that sea lions, if you didn't already know, are pretty loud and kind of stinky. But they're fun to watch when they push each other off of the little rafts.

One more morning left of the conference. I'm not attending any of the post conference education (PC8, PC Metadata Management, or DQ Strategy and Planning) although I have no doubt that they would be at least as valuable as the pre-conference TDWI session I attended. (I prefer to get back to my wife and daughter a day earlier.)

Integration as a Service for BPO and SaaS

I've said it already, but I think the most progressive part of the conference so far has been the discussion of how enterprises that use business process outsourcing (BPO) and software as a service (SaaS) vendors will be able to integrate that data into their decision making processes and business event streams. May people probably don't realize just how prevalent BPO is, even in places that think they don't outsource.

When you start to think about it in a certain way, BPO and SaaS is really just another type of specialization. We don't all farm our own food - we source that activity to farms. We don't generate our own electricity - we ask the electric company to do that. Car manufacturers don't manufacture rubber, or tires - they get different companies to do that for them.

We're not talking about the oursourcing of application development to offshore companies, here. We are talking about looking to companies that are already experts in an industry to provide other businesses with that expertise or a product that results from that specialized expertise. The question of integrating more sophisticated information from that process into our own enterprises, though, is the challenge that Sohaib and others have been talking about. I think it's very exciting.