Share Your Story at Alfresco’s 2014 Summit

Alfresco Summit 2014, SF Sept 23-25, London Oct 7-9Last year, Alfresco started holding business tracks at our annual Summit. There was a lot of good information shared about how people were using Alfresco and Content Management as a whole. I moderated two panels on Best Practices that were very lively.

We have announced the 2014 Alfresco Summit dates and we have opened the call for speakers for the event. We are taking topics for both the technical and business tracks. Jeff Potts, Alfresco’s Chief Community Officer, has written an article discussing what constitutes a good submission. Jeff hits a lot of great points and I highly recommend reading his post.

This year, Alfresco has given me charge of planning the business tracks. I will be working with the team to find the best stories to provide the best content to attendees.

What will we be looking for in the proposals? What will you see if you attend the Alfresco Summit? Here is a short list of questions we’ll be keeping in mind.

What Did You Solve?

The business track’s focus is on solving problems and creating solutions for business. What business problem did you solve? Was it a new or an old one? How did you solve it?

What Did You Learn?

Your experience matters. It is what makes your story unique. What have you learned? What advice would you pass on to others? How did you tackle challenges? What would you do differently?

What was Unique?

The last thing I want at any conference that I attend is a slate of  presentations telling the same story. I want to hear new stories, every year. That is what all attendees want to hear. Share what you did that was special. Brag. Inspire others to think of new ways to solve old problems.

Where are You Going?

Every organization has evolving needs and new challenges. Don’t simply share what you have accomplished. What is next? Are you focusing on Mobile, Cloud, Analytics, or some other technology?

What are We Looking For?

We want stories. We want a slate of presentations that any one of us would pay to see. There will be extra points for creativity. Our goal is a breadth of stories that represent the wide variety of ways people are using Alfresco. We want people to walk away from the program with fresh ideas on how to use Alfresco and Content Management to improve how they do business.

What Is In It For Me?

It is a chance to brag. It is a chance to attend the Alfresco Summit and learn lessons that you can take back. It is a chance to trade war stories with others who have tackled similar challenges. I have spoken at many events and all have been very beneficial for me professionally on many levels.

Get started on your proposal now so you can share what you have learned. We are taking proposals through the end of April but don’t wait. Think it through and get it in early.

Looking forward to reading your stories and then hearing them in person this Fall.

The Changing World of the Content Professional

I wrote last month about the Next Generation Content Professional. That post was directly inspired by the presentation I was giving at the 2013 Alfresco Summit in Barcelona. My talk, along with all the Summit sessions, are now available for viewing.

In addition to all the normal breakout sessions, the Summit Keynotes are also available for your enjoyment. The keynotes include talks from our CEO Doug Dennerline, Andrew McAfee on Big Data’s Three Questions, Jimmy Wales talking about A Wiki Future, and Simon Wardley explaining the new reality of Situation Normal, Everything Must Change. There are several others that I encourage you to check out.

Finally, I wanted to share links for my panels on Running a Successful Content Management Project. I moderated one in Barcelona and again in Boston, but with two different panels. The participants were all business users, so the advice would apply to a project using ANY Content Management software. I greatly enjoyed the panels because it was a chance for me to learn more about how organizations are using Alfresco. Each panel was different, so if you enjoy one, you will enjoy them both.

Federal IT, A Different World

It was a great November attending both of the Alfresco Summits. If you didn’t attend either one, you missed a great learning experience that was fun at the same time.

One thing that was missing from the events was representation of our Federal customer base. Given the current challenges facing many Federal agencies here in the United States, it wasn’t surprising. There isn’t a lot of traveling going on right now.

As a result, Alfresco bringing that learning experience directly to Washington, DC on January 29th for 2014. That is more than hyperbole as we are bringing in our CEO, Doug Dennerline, our Chief Product Officer, Paul Holmes-Higgins, and many others to DC for the event.

Oh, and I’ll be there as well.

The reason I am taking time out to encourage you to come is that the drivers in the Federal marketplace are different than those in the rest of the world. The focus is not on revenue, but on serving constituents effectively and efficiently. Rules and regulations are more than factors in a risk equation, they are absolutes.

If you are trying to solve the Content problem in the Federal space, please come to (it’s free) and talk to others facing the same problems. I, and the leadership of Alfresco, want to hear your perspectives on the unique Content challenges facing the Federal space.

It isn’t even a question of whether or not you use Alfresco. We all need to work together to solve this problem.

Alfresco Summit: One Down, One to Go…

SpeakingBarc4I 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.

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Making Plans for Alfresco Summit 2013

New PictureYesterday, Alfresco announced the agendas for the upcoming Alfresco Summits. This included our keynote speakers who include, Andrew McAfee, Stephen O’Grady, and Jimmy Wales. I’ve met and reviewed books here on the Word from both Andrew and Stephen. If you don’t know who Jimmy is, go look him up on his website, Wikipedia.

Of course, more importantly, I am going to be speaking at both the Barcelona and Boston editions of Summit. I’m actually very intrigued by the back-to-back nature of the Alfresco Summits. I am used to vendors having conferences in different geographies. Having them back-to-back is an interesting concept. Speaking at both, it means some concentrated traveling on my part, but I won’t be alone.

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