#IBMConnect thoughts and feelings (and the zombie flu)

February 4 2013

I am finally back home in Chicago after ten days in Orlando, FL for what has become my yearly pilgrimage to IBM Connect (formally known as Lotusphere or as I like to call it ConnectoSphere). Every year the conference feels like it takes longer to prepare for, goes by faster, and the zombi flu gets more people sick. I get to see old friends, meet lots of new people, and do so many things that I love to do for myself and as a salesperson at PSC Group, LLC. I find that trying to put my thoughts afterwards into a blog entry both easier and harder every year. Let's see how I do.

First, from an employee at PSC Group, this was a stellar year. It was the second year that Andrew was present as the practice manager at the event. Mark and Kathy were both in the first year as part of the PSC team, but not their first Connect/LS.. 4 people, 4 sessions. All of them well attended and getting great verbal reviews. For the first time in many years, one of the PSC partners was also present. This culminated with a great reception Monday night at the Boardwalk Brewery. The week was full of meetings with existing customers, IBMers, and potential clients. I think 2013 is going to be a great year if half of what was talked about last week happens. I was very proud of the entire PSC team. Mark laughed at me about wanting all of us to wear our PSC polo's at Gurupaloza, but I am the sales guy of the team. Having your companies brand visible at and event like this matters. It was at Lotusphere 2012 that Andrew and I had our first chat with Kathy ... and that Mark first talked about wanting to be on stage speaking. There is always more to do and not enough time. More to plan for next year.

Personally, I got to present with John Beck on the main stage in the Dolphin Northern Hemisphere A-C. That stage can be intimidating. It is hard to hear yourself or anyone you are speaking with. But John and I had a great session - the best of our 12 months speaking together at LS12 and user groups. I really think the message of application modernization thru IBM XPages is hitting home. I got more engagement through Twitter and email than for any session before.

On the other side of personal thoughts of the week, I have never been sick like I was last week. I didn't have the flu that was going around, but it was something. I would feel fine when I woke up, ok in the afternoon, yet by 8 pm I was dragging. By 10 pm I was ready for bed. No night was I out past 11:30 pm. With reading about everyone else being under the weather now, I might have lucked out. But I felt like such a party pooper. Sorry to everyone for not being out more. :(

I also saw many of my friends go though a horrendous experience. I won't discus the details, but I just wanted to tell all of them that your strength was amazing and awe inspiring. Many of you are party of my 'family' and I just wish I could have done more to ease the pain.

There are a lot of other thoughts on the tip of my fingers. Reading posts from Duffbert and Warren remind me how we all see the world differently. I saw this year as a new beginning for IBM and yet something born out of something very familiar. The conference will continue on, whatever name it has. IBM will add more content besides Notes & Domino, and I bet they continue the Best Practices track. People will come an attend and others will not. The community will do what it does every year - continue and change. No year is ever the same. I assume, based on conversations I had, that both XPages and Kenexa sessions take place at Connect 2014. Friends like Tom said good-bye and others like Ed said good-bye but see you next year (you think IBM would have an executive in the mobile space who didn't come to the event where they make the most mobile announcements?). It was an emotional week.

I have a few thoughts I am going to write about specifically this week as individual topics. But the theme for me last week was focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses. Positive vs. negative. I started that by removing a whole slew of negative folks from my twitter, facebook, and feed reader. I get that people disagree with myself and others, but there is no reason to try to bring others down. I am done with that.

Thanks to everyone for a great week. I look forward to seeing all of my family and friends again soon.