IBM Impact 2012 – Day 1

This year I visit one of most promised enterprise IT conferences in Las Vegas – IBM Impact. There are my impressions and take-aways from world-wide IT industry hardware, software and IT consulting monster – IBM.

The Awesomes. 8,500 people around, one of most fabulous places in the world – The Venetian hotel & casino, and what is most important – majority (85%) of sessions are held by IBM customers – in form of case studies and best practices. Not many companies can do such format. Also good news are that there are no surprises – my experience with current IT trends and technologies was just confirmed and deeped.

The so-so good. Logistics could be better – for first time visitors simple hotel name is not enough. It took me almost 30 minutes to find conference registration in such a huge area. Second thing – visualization of presentation materials could be better – slides with tons of text remind me famous “death by powerpoint”.

Highlights and Take-aways. 

The major tagline that I like is “IT used to support business, now IT drives the business”. The keynote start by Walter Isaacson was impressive. Steve’s message “don’t be afraid, you can do it”. Einstein curiosity to compass and magnetic fields. Franklin and his passion in investigating Golfstream.

Next series of “case studies” was a little too-marketing. Whirlpool, Ireland Marine, Huntington National Bank, all speakers presented good stuff, but nothing to remember in particular. I respect 100-years old company Whirlpool and use their devices at home, but “made in US for americans” seem to be just to bring more customers. Interesting story from Bank about moving from Oracle WebLogic to IBM WebSphere on zLinux as 70% faster and more reliable. And new WebSphere uptime in 5 seconds and 50 mbytes footprint sounds awesome.

Then hardware 0- IBM PureSystem – reminds me of mainframe and “small people and big computer” times. The competitive solution to Oracle Exalogic and similar. Have SDK to develop “pure apps” and is more PaaS than pure IaaS. 4 hours to set up and run sounds great, but what is the chance that pre-configured apps fit enterprise needs?

Mobility. IBM presents “worklight” as mobile solution for both app development and mobile device management. App framework seem to be based on PhoneGap and advertises shared code-base and eclipse-based IDE. Updates for apps via app store for core and via worklight server for app inside. Endpoint manager – interesting features for MDM including remote configuration (agent on Android and API on iOS), enterprise app store, remote policies etc. Challenge that still exists – MDM do not track documents and application relations (external to app). So if I save my bank account transactions report to some external PDF file, after remote app blocking file will still persist.

BPM. On BPM side, new IBPM release (8.0) is targeting June 2012. There is a lot inside – snapshots as feature for process versioning, collaborative human tasks, analytics via heatmaps, process optimizer, and new business rules engine now called Operational Decision Management.

Talked with guys near “Process Excellence” stand about IBPM Process Server and process instances migration challenges to new version of processes. And it worth to take a look to option for new process version to migrate existing process instances (explained in-depth here).

I am going to take more deep look onto IBPM, as well as other hot topics such as mobility, cloud, big data, and security. There are also industry specific stands worth discussions – healthcare, insurance, banking – we have subjects to speak about.

And, as I observed, almost nobody are bringing macbooks to the conference, everything on Windows’es, though a lot of iPads and iPhones (including me doing test drive of iPad).

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