A couple of weeks have now passed since we held the 3rd annual itelligence UK conference on the 24th of September. It seems to me that this year represented a real change from last years event. Looking back to last year, we seemed to be a very different organisation. The acquisition of Blueprint had just completed and we were very much in the haze of integration with new roles, new colleagues, updated strategies and an influx of ”new” customers who were cautiously experiencing itelligence for the first time.
This year could not have been more different. I detected a quiet confidence in my colleagues, a confidence that comes from knowing that we are doing many things right. Not everything of course, there is always room for improvement, but things seem to be good.
The day kicked off with a welcome and initial keynote from UK MD Justin Brading who once again made sure that all the attendees understood the core values that itelligence aspire to and the many ways in which we can collaborate to deliver real business change.
For our main keynote we decided to take a different approach for this years event and booked an external non SAP related keynote speaker; author, broadcaster, comedian, and economist Tim Harford. I was already a big fan of Tim and his observations on life but I was pleased to see him being so warmly received by the audience. Tim gave a fascinating insight into why all success generally starts with failure and supported his hypothesis with a range of examples taking in everything from cunning uses of marmite in world war 2 and how to build your own toaster to the vagaries of playing Deal or No Deal in the Netherlands…
Following Tim was SAP’s Head of Ecosystems for Cloud, Steve Bridge. One of the consistent questions we get from our customers is ”what does the cloud mean to me?” and Steve tackled this head on, laying out the SAP Cloud strategy for Mid Market Businesses in a clear concise fashion.
I also noticed an interesting difference in our delegates this year, there was a real sense of community. Everywhere I looked I saw networking going on, not just idle chit chat but genuine sharing of thoughts and experiences. To think that we have created the circumstances for the birth of such a community is extremely exciting and satisfying. Our next challenge is how do we support and nurture this community to ensure that it thrives and adds real value to our customers and employees. Something for another Blog, I think!
We changed the structure of the breakout sessions from last year, moving from technology streams to line of business streams (finance & HR, IT, Sales & Marketing, Operations & Logistics and finally Business Strategy) which was well received and certainly made it easier for the customers to choose the sessions they wanted to attend. It also allowed us to deliver many more business focussed presentations rather than pure demonstrations of technology. However by far and away the best received session of the day was Stuart Kahn from TOMY Toy talking about the mobile application we co-developed for them with the itelligence Netherlands team. Look out for a case study and SAP Video on that one…
As always we invited all of the delegates to join us for an evening gala dinner, and many of them did. A marvellous evening was had by all and the hotel bar was still doing good trade when I called it a night at 03:30.
Perhaps we will see you next year?
– written by Andy Steer, Chief Technology Officer, itelligence Business Solutions (UK) Ltd. –