A New Conference Experience for Pie

It has been an interesting year so far as the CIO of AIIM. My world is subtly difference. I’m still acting as an Information Professional for an organization but there have been a few key differences:

  • Only one client
  • I don’t advise, I execute
  • The problems faced are mine but I can address them

There are lots of other differences, but those are the significant ones. This experience is also affording me a new experience.

I’m attending a technology conference as a client.

I’ve attended a lot of conferences either as a technology partner or a company trying to sell something. When I was neither of those, I was at an industry event like the AIIM Conference for networking and learning.

This is a new role for me, except for the part where I expect to be busy.

You Still Haven’t Told Us Where

When I arrived at AIIM, I was quick to realized that while the website wasn’t the core of our business, it was a critical to AIIM’s success. It also has issues. We’ve been working to improve things but I need to map-out our long-term approach to the website.

That is why I find myself on the plane to Las Vegas for the SiteCore Symposium. SiteCore has been deployed for several years and we are in the process of fixing our usage of SiteCore. (I do mean fixing, not just improving.)

I have several key things that I’m researching. They are:

  • Hosting: SiteCore needs to get out of our data center. I’m going to talk to others and see what they are doing along those lines (cloud v hosting). I’ll also be seeing what spin some vendors are putting on this issue. My goal is to leave with a strategy that I can execute in the next couple of months.
  • Engagement: We have been trying to build engagement on our site. We have made improvements but have a long way to go. I need to learn what SiteCore is doing to meet this need in both the short-term and the long-term. This will be a big focus in 2013.
  • Serendipity: When you attend a tech conference with an open mind, it is amazing what extra things you learn. That is why I’m here, to see what others are doing and to talk to them. Actual users share the best tips and tricks.

The last bullet point is a bonus for me. The first two represent the reasons I am investing the time and money. I’m bringing one of my technical resources as well so she can focus on Serendipity and Education.

Why Am I Wasting a Blog Post?

I’m sharing this because my trip will be deduced on Twitter. I typically don’t like to share what systems AIIM uses because I’m not in the endorsement business. That said, I want people to learn from my experiences, so I can’t hide everything.

Now that you know that we use SiteCore, here are some facts that you need to understand before acting/caring:

  • The selection was made before I arrived.
  • SiteCore was the best fit for AIIM at the time. It doesn’t make it the best fit now nor doesn’t it make it the best tool then. It doesn’t mean the opposite either.
  • SiteCore is not the reason for any of our issues.

Essentially, AIIM’s use of SiteCore is NOT an endorsement of SiteCore. My refusal to state otherwise does not mean I don’t like SiteCore. If SiteCore was my problem, I wouldn’t be investing the time and money to send two people to their conference.

You can extend this logic to most of AIIM’s systems. The reasons for using each one are not black and white.

Unless you are in the exact scenario and situation as AIIM, you shouldn’t take our use of any system as a reason to use it yourself. Look at your unique situation and make your own decisions.