2014 IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit – Tampa, FL

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I was explicitly told not to touch the crafts table because it was for the Barenaked Ladies who were using the room later that day.

Of all the annual conferences that I attend, the Smarter Commerce Global Summit is always a week’s worth of whirlwind activity. The 2014 SCGS in Tampa this past week was no exception. Between meetings, training, sessions, roundtables, and lunches with colleagues, friends, and clients during the day, and (more) meetings, dinners, receptions, concerts, and flash mob dance parties with colleagues, friends, and clients during the evening, there leaves very little time for sleep.

Upon getting home last night, I devoured a smoked turkey leg, a pot of ramen, and a bowl of clam chowder (New England, of course), before passing out whilst watching Futurama on my iPad.

Anyway, there is SO much going on in Smarter Commerce! Here are a couple key things I took away from Tampa (minus some other key points that were probably jiggled loose from my brain whilst rave-dancing at the Piranha Club on Ybor Street):

  • SMARTER COMMERCE INTEGRATION IS REAL: …and getting better every day. We’ve already productiized many integrations across the Smarter Commerce portfolio to help our customers significantly reduce their time to market, and we’re rapidly developing more, proving out the fact that Smarter Commerce enables customers to run a composable business. As an added benefit, these assets can be leveraged by our technical sales organization to efficiently and effectively respond with targeted, value-driven proposals and demonstrations. Go ahead…ask Bob Balfe about GreenWheels.
  • SMARTER COMMERCE PRODUCT MANAGEMENT IS LISTENING:  …and hemorrhaging solution enhancements. It’s a little crazy. Now more than ever, key resources in product management (you know who you are, and also what was up with that shuttle bus driver…am I right??) are tuned in with sales, engineering, and directly with our customers. Product roadmap alignment is key to quick upgrades, and taking advantage of these enhancements. If you’re not up to date on whats new in the products and solutions you’re focused on, you’re probably missing out on opportunities that can save/make you money. Talk to someone!!
  • OUR BUSINESS PARTNERS ARE FRIGGIN’ AWESOME: …and apparently all love cocktail shrimp. The investment our partners are making to meet customer’s needs is exceptional. These guys are smart, skilled, and specialized. Above all else, the partners I interact with do business with integrity. At risk of offending someone, I won’t call out specific business partners here, but ASK ME – I’d gladly have a conversation with you about finding a business partner that’s right for you and will satisfy your needs.
  • SANTA CLAUS IS REAL: …and summers in Tampa and likes ham. Image
  • OUR CUSTOMERS ARE RLY SMRT: …we had some great sessions where customers presented on various Smarter Commerce-related topics, and I was impressed every single time with their understanding of our solutions (and their value), aggressively ambitious strategic initiatives, and ability to articulate upon the importance of breaking the client-vendor paradigm and nurturing an open and honest business/technical partnership.

I want to close out by sharing the Prezi I used at the Summit to support my presentation, titled Buy Online Pickup In Store – You Know Why, Here’s How, co-hosted with Han Oster, Sterling Development Manager at GameStop. goo.gl/ALiU6N Let me know what you think!

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