Thoughts on the Websphere Portal Technical Conference

October 19 2008

Image:Thoughts on the Websphere Portal Technical Conference

This past week, I attended the IBM Websphere Portal Technical Conference in Nashville, TN. I was a guest at the Ephox booth, showing off PSC's work on the implementation of EditLive! within IBM Lotus Quickr for Domino. Here are some thoughts about the conference:
  • The vendor's area was much smaller (under 20 partners) but the booth sizes where much larger. Each partner had what seemed like a 10' x 10' space .. with multiple tables, custom backdrop, etc. The booth setup was great
  • The food at the event was far superior to anything at Lotusphere. Maybe it is the scale (650+ here vs the 6000+ at Lotusphere).
  • It seemed like 1/3 of the attendees were IBM employees .. and not of the product type. Lots and lots of IGS folks there
  • Even though Websphere Portal is a Lotus brand product, most people were surprised to see so much yellow at the conference. Lotus Quickr for J2EE, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Mashups, and even a presentation on widgets and Composite Applications was on the agenda
  • I met Nicole Carrier of the PSC hosted Lotus Mashup blog for the first time - and wished her a Happy Birthday!
  • The big IBM partners at the event seem to focus on the Portal and Websphere space. Most of them were asking me about Domino stuff ... made some great contacts.
  • I met developers, admins, and decision makers. While developers were probably 50% of the audience, the amount of decision makers there caught my attention
  • Nashville is a fun town, and I can take country music is small doses, but man ... not the honky tonk style.
  • Nashville needs to pass a no smoking in restaurants and bars law like Chicago ... please
  • Refreshments were removed the second the break was over. I had met the hotel's food and beverage manager earlier, so I asked him why. He said for legal reasons they can not keep any food or beverage out after that specified time. Mostly for insurance reasons. He went on to mention that is why hotels have put Starbucks in the lobbies - to address the coffee issue outside the breaks. I guess this answers the Lotusphere question for Julian.

The biggest thing I noticed was the cultural difference between this and Lotusphere. Now, WPTC has a conference in Europe so there was not as much international flair, but I noticed a difference. The BALD / Turtle Party / Thursday night gatherings culture we have at Lotusphere did not seem to be present here. It made me realize how special our community is and Lotusphere has become. Lotusphere is about family as much as it is about business for myself and so many others. No matter what others say. Please, ignore their BS. We are a family ... and we should remember that and cherish it.

Thanks again to Ephox and Michael, Antony, Marco and others for hosting me at their booth!

1 Responses to “Thoughts on the Websphere Portal Technical Conference”

  1. 1) Julian Robichaux says:

    John, my curiosity is piqued. I now need to research what the compelling legal/insurance reason would be for not keeping coffee out for an extra 5 minutes or so. Fascinating.

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