Sunday, 14 October 2012

IOD – so near yet so far away!

The IBM Information On Demand 2012 global conference is one of those conferences that you just don’t want to miss. And yet, like me, when you’re based in the UK, that’s just what’s going to happen. I won’t be rubbing shoulders with the people attending, listening to the speakers, or visiting the exhibitors stands. But I will be keeping up-to-date with what’s going on!

IOD 2012 runs from this coming Sunday, 21 October, to Thursday 25 at Mandalay Bay resort Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This year, the old IBM slogan, “Think”, has been turned into “Think BIG”. And the whole conference is billed as the largest System z software event in the world. The Web site at goes on to say that it delivers “the know-how you need to optimize business performance, drive more value from existing business analytics deployments, and get the latest innovations and success strategies from IBM experts, analysts, and customers.”

I chair the Virtual IMS user group – you can find us at – so I’m very interested in the IMS stream at IOD, particularly Betty J Patterson’s (a Distinguished Engineer with IBM) session, “Taking IMS to New Heights: What the Future Holds for IMS” and Dinesh Nirmal’s (IMS Director, IBM) “IMS Futures Roadmap” keynote seminar. But there is so much more of interest. You can see the session details at

It’s not just IMS that’s featured, there are DB2 sessions, business analytics/data warehousing sessions, and tools and utilities sessions, totalling, they say, 180 executive, business leadership, and technical sessions in all.

And while it might seem unfair to highlight any of the many sessions going on at IOD, I guess that’s what everyone has to do in order to set a personal agenda for the four days. I’d like to attend some of the client-led sessions and see what real users are doing with their mainframes. What problems they’ve been experiencing and learn how they’ve overcome them. And I’d like to get my hands dirty in the hands-on labs and workshops. Perhaps dig a little deeper than I’ve ever had the chance to do with a production system.

Going to IOD lets you chat to other users. To find out that perhaps you’re not alone dealing with the pressures of fewer staff and tightening budgets, and listening to what tools and techniques other people have used to overcome these issues – and perhaps get an early warning about issues that haven’t come your way yet!

I can’t be there in person, but as an IBM Champion for the past four years, you may see my picture on display. I will definitely be using my laptop and tablet to keep up-to-date with the news and information already coming from the IOD 2012 Web site. I’ll be reading press releases and the blogs (, and I’ll be watching out for people tweeting and reading with interest what they have to say. And I’m hoping that my friends, who are there, will keep me in the loop with regular and frequent e-mails.

And to those of you who are lucky enough to attend – enjoy!

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