I have traditional gone to the annual AIIM conference, info360, in order to quiz/grill/annoy the vendors and network with people. The presentations were always secondary. After all, how many times can you see a presentation on the ROI of an invoice processing system?
The last two years, I was there evangelizing CMIS to the community, but I basically skipped most of the sessions because they were the same thing as past years. Oh, Real Story Group was always there offering some honest insights, but most of the information the present you can get just by following them throughout the year (which you ought to be doing).
This year was different. The first difference was I was presenting something that clearly wasn’t a case study or CMIS. What made it better was that mine wasn’t the only presentation that was different. There were tracks on Mobile, Cloud, and Social Media. You couldn’t escape those terms this year but in previous years they weren’t barely present.
Setting the Stage
John Mancini gave a keynote that was wonderful. Was it the best I had ever seen? No. What made it wonderful was the content. It had NEW content. He talked about Systems of Engagement versus the traditional Systems of Record. The terms just explain how things have been since Enterprise 2.0 started to really make its presence known. The fact that AIIM is trying to classify and educate the AIIM audience is awesome.
I have criticized the whole concept in the past, but the keynote applied the principles to the evolution of the Content Management market over the next few years. Frankly, it was great to see and John is an excellent presenter. If you hurry, you can watch him present it virtually on March 31.
While we are on the topic of keynotes, let me talk about the wheelbarrow of passion that I saw that day.
Aaron Levie, one of the founders of Box, took the stage. Having seen Aaron talk before, I expected an interesting talk with some jokes thrown in to keep it light. What we got was an entertaining and passionate keynote explaining why the cloud, specifically Box, was the future. The audience was engaged and the level of enthusiasm for Content Management was higher than I have seen in a large crowd in a very long time.
I’m not saying that Aaron gave an accurate vision or that Box is the future. What I saw was someone who wasn’t cynical about Content Management shared his passion with the audience. As a result, the Box booth was always crowded during the entire conference.
I spent a lot of time over the next day or so talking to my fellow cynics. I then ran into Daniel O’Leary. His passion, while not as contagious as Aaron’s, was oozing out of his pores. Content Management excites him.
It is this fresh blood to the industry that is the future of Content Management. They bring energy and fresh ideas. The ideas may not always be the right ones, but which of us “seasoned” CMS professionals batted 1.000? If we had, we wouldn’t still be dealing with the same problems that we were facing 10 years ago.
There are plenty of recaps out there that are worthwhile. Enjoy…
- Larry Hawes: He raises some excellent points on how the newer “hype” topics were more conceptual without a lot of practical implementation advice. I expect that to improve by next year when we have more stories. He should just be happy he was there this year and not last.
- Daniel O’’Leary: He gives a video report on the conference. You can see his energy in report. He captures the dynamic of new versus old. He asks if we should trust the older vendors to guide us out of our current situation. I prefer avoiding black-and-white. I won’t assume that the old vendors can solve the problems, but I’m not going to say that the new ones can either. Find the path and follow those on it.
- Ron Miller: Ron gives a good recap over at Fierce Content Management, capturing the feel of the conference from more of an outside perspective.
- Cheryl McKinnon: Cheryl talks more about the Systems of Engagement and some of the things that she learned. She also addresses the generation gap in the Content Management world.
One final thought…
Things are gonna change I can feel it.