IBM Connect Day 0: The Community One

Saturday at IBM Connect.  It’s all about the people, man…

The conference proper starts on Sunday, but there is no doubt that Saturday is one of the key days of the week for me, and the reason why I fly out on Friday (and thanks for allowing me do that, Philippa!).  From soccer to Mai Tais, to BALD and the ESPN party, it’s a day that revolves around meeting, greeting, reminiscing, remembering, laughing and hugging.  In short it’s what makes this less a business conference and more an annual reunion for so many.

I was recently asked to list out my main ‘support network’ for an application process, and rather than being a bunch of folks that live in my neighbourhood, town or even country, most of those named were amazing friends that I see at most once or twice a year and usually on the Boardwalk at IBM Connect.  This is family, friends and work all wrapped up into one great big melting pot.  From the inevitable hug from the yellow-clad Mat Newman, to the gentle ribbing from Darren Duke, to dinner with Michael Sampson, to… well, there are too many such interactions to mention here.  I regularly get asked why Connect is a must-not-miss event, and whilst the sessions, showcase, meetings, networking and so on all play a part, the Saturday gatherings are so much more.

It was darn good to see everyone, and to be back here at the Dolphin.  I’ve missed the place.


niklas.pngBefore I wrap up, I wanted to say a well deserved ‘congrulations’ to Niklas Heidloff, who was named as the Penumbra Group’s Prism award winner for this year.  Always given to an IBMer that has gone ‘beyond the call of duty’ to help business partners and the community generally, the Prism award list over the years has told the story of those that have broken out of the lawyer-constrained corporation that IBM can occasionally be, to be a colleague, an advocate and a friend to those on the outside.  Over many years, I can heartily say that Niklas has been all of those and more.  I’d say without him, we’d be unlikely to still have OpenNTF, and probably would not be seeing the surge toward considering Connections as an app dev platform.

Well done Niklas, and thank you!