I am flying back from my first Alfresco Summit (with my second next week in Boston), and I was impressed. Sure, I have to say something nice about my company’s annual conference, but I could have gone with any number of positive words.
Fun, educational, worthwhile, informative, entertaining….
While they are all true, I’m sticking with impressed. This isn’t my first conference in the industry by a long-shot, so if what happened in Barcelona impressed me, then something interesting had to happen.
I was impressed by the collection of smart people and by the almost universal level of excitement in the future of both Alfresco and the industry. I’ve seen this at a couple of conferences in this space, but it has been a long time since the excitement was this real.
Let’s face it, everyone says that the people are what makes their conference special. For me, it more important than it had been in a long time. It was my chance to meet the distributed Alfresco community, in addition to many of my colleagues from the US, Europe, and beyond.
Things started with the Partner Summit hosted by Jean-Michel Birck, who runs our European partner program. I shared with our partners what is happening in the broader Content Management landscape. For those who regularly visit this blog, it brought together of the many themes from the past year.
The partners provided a smart and enthusiastic audience. I enjoyed talking to them during the Partner Summit and throughout the conference, discussing the future of the industry and learning how they are helping their customers get the most out of Alfresco.
I then moved over to our Customer Council. This is something that Andrea Lagan, our new VP of Customer Success, is implementing. It is designed to both solicit feedback and to share our future direction with leaders from some of our strategic customers.
It was a great discussion that kept flowing from topic-to-topic, allowing us to cover large aspects of how Alfresco works with its customers.
While I learned that Alfresco isn’t perfect (who is?), I saw how much our customers love our product. They see the changing environment and they want to work together with Alfresco so we can move to the future together.
I’ve seen customers who only viewed a product as just another part of their office. I didn’t meet any of those customers in Barcelona. They all cared about the future of both the product and the industry.
Now we need to make sure that they care even more.
This is the part that was definitely more unique. I have been to so many conferences where the standard product announcements where made to a lukewarm response. While people were enthused with the new features that Alfresco has delivered, what got them excited was the Vision and Strategy that Doug Dennerline shared.
The Content industry has been focused so long on adding more features and helping the organizations manage Content, we forgot that it is people that have to use these systems. That is why all the startups coming out of Silicon Valley are gaining so much traction. They are helping PEOPLE.
Alfresco understands that what we need to deliver are Content Solutions that are Simple to use, build, and deploy while still keeping the Smarts that you expect from us.
That is why I joined Alfresco. I wanted to help make that Vision a reality.
Why were people excited? Because they saw a Vision, a Strategy for delivering on that Vision, and Tactics that showed that Strategy being executed against.
Three out of three.
Another Town and One More Show
One thing that is different for me is that this was just week one. Next week we are doing this all over again in Boston where we will have a new mix of Partners and Clients. While I was excited for Barcelona, I am even more excited for Boston.
When I was flying to Barcelona, I knew we had a good Vision and it had been received well by those with whom I had shared. I just wasn’t sure how it would resonate with the broader, European, audience.
Now, I can’t wait to get to Boston and talk to more people about making Content Management Simple + Smart. I want to feel that excitement again. I want to see those light bulbs go off in their heads as they begin to realize how this will make their lives simpler, their employees happier, and their organization smarter.
Still time to join me for the fun. The next evolutionary step of Content Management is coming. Swing on over to Boston and watch it take-off.