I did not always know I was going into technology. In a previous life, like so many of my technical brethren, I was a musician. During the mind-late 1990's I played in a band that would do events like weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc. We would close each night with this Eric Clapton song. It speaks of getting ready to go out with your wife, then the realization of how luck you are to be the one with her, and end with her tucking you in at the end of the night the way only your better half can or does. I felt this sentiment through the entire week of ConnectED this year. It started with careful preparation, more so than years past. I packed more suits than typical, enjoyed the time spent with customers and being able to say that they were there with me, and finally a gentle farewell. The speculation among the community that this was the last hurrah for the Swan/Dolphin to host the ICS conference, and the sentiment was undoubtedly there for me this week. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to attend this years conference, especially if the speculation proves to be accurate.
The key messages for the week were definitely centered around IBM Verse and whats new in IBM Connections. If you have not found what Verse is, take a look here. It is without a doubt one of the biggest innovations in personal information management. Blending Watson with email, calendar and a really intuitive UI. It is definitely something to keep an eye on.
For Connections, Luis Benitez kicked off the week with a spectacular demo of what is coming, including Watson search and analytics integration, an improved homepage, and the most exciting community customization enhancements I have seen to date. Luis has a great summation on his blog.
To all friends, old and new, it was a pleasure roaming the halls of the Swan and Dolphin with you once more. Until the next time we all get to gather around a fountain and raise a glass, be safe, work out-loud, and continue to innovate without caution.