EMC World 2008 – Closing Thoughts

Three days of EMC World has had both its highs and lows.  I learned some great new things, reconnected with old friends, and made new friends.   I thought I’d share my closing thoughts.


I open with Whitney Tidmarsh’s comment at the CM&A Party, “you never really get to far away from Documentum.”  It’s very true.  For me, it was great to see so many people I have worked over the years, both customers and vendors.  A pleasant surprise for me was seeing so many people with whom I’ve worked on projects since I started in this space all the way back to 1996.  Yes, you don’t really go to far from Documentum. 


But this year I also met the fewest new Documentum users.  I really missed the opportunity to see how people were pushing the envelope with Documentum.  Maybe they were there but, as I said in my opening post, it’s still really hard to tell who’s who.  The CM&A Party was the only opportunity to see everyone in one place, except for the sessions. 


To make it easier to identify each other I have an idea for next year.  Why not have a day where we all wear one of our old Momentum shirts?  Think about it.


I heard from several people was that they felt that the Documentum user community was in low attendance.  I kind of have the same feeling, though if I consider the party had somewhere around 2,000 people that’s still a solid 22% of the total attendance.  But if it is down, I wonder if this is a self fulfilling prophecy.  As attendees feel they are getting less and less attention they decide against attending next year.  I believe in the three strike rule and the counts on two. 


In the larger sense, it hard to get away from the feeling that CM&A is the red-headed step child.  I stopped at the solutions pavilions and asked about Documentum presentations and they said they had none there and to go to one of the kiosks in the main stage.  I attended the Proven Professionals Awards and all the awards went to hardware presentations and all 15 of the raffle winners were hardware too (odds should have had at least one winner from CM&A).  What’s worse is a major enhancement to the Documentum platform received so little attention at the conference as a whole.


I have to close with Billy Crystal’s comments, “so you do storage, monitoring, content management … boring.”  Unfortunately yes you’re right.  We’ve got to make things cool again.  Now I don’t know if anyone could ever top Larry Warnock imitating Cirque deSoliel moves with a blowup doll with appropriate music in New Orleans.  Not to beat a dead horse but they’ve got to stop these college lectures at 8:30am.  Ether have them at noon or choose some boring town, like Boston 😉, where people go to sleep extra early at conferences so as to be fully refreshed so they can listen to long keynotes.


Maybe the easier thought is that we all go to Momentum Europe instead.  It’s cheaper, the focus is on CM&A, and it’s fun.

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