Last week was the annual BLUG event this time in Leuven, Belgium, and as always Theo and team created an amazing event. The BLUG event is now the biggest user group in the a World with a staggering 325 attendes and it really makes BLUG a mini-Connect event attracting the top names from IBM as well as the top speakers from all over the World. This year was no exception and the attendees were gifted with 18 IBM Champions covering everything from Domino to Websphere, XPages to widgets and social to taxonomy. It was a great event.
Now as the title might suggest this post is not about BLUG per say.
One of the super cool things about the user groups (besides being FREE, FREE, FREE) is that IBM Collaboration Solution (ICS) is really stepping up to the plate. They are sending their top guys and this year was no exception. Among others we heard from Philippe Riand, Pete Janzen and Scott Souder who had made the trip across the Atlantic. Ed Brill also made a surprise appearance to talk about and promote the IBM MobileFirst initiative which he's now evangelizing. Now these aren't just anybody as these guys really are calling the shots when it comes to Notes, Domino, iNotes, Connections Mail and social appdev in Boston so if you had something to say to these guys at Connect 2013 and missed your chance because the IBMers just aren't accessible at Connect this was your chance.
As always a big THANK YOU! to all the IBM'ers for making the trip and making themselves available to the European community as well. Thank you.
Now to the sheriff thing...
Scott is really the new Ed (who he jokingly referred to multiple times during the keynote) and thus the Program Director for Notes / iNotes / Connections Mail so he pretty much calls the shots across the board. And what an entry he made. Giving one of the best keynotes by an IBM'er I remember seeing (sharing the limelight with Louis Richardson) he really kicked the event off with a bang. He managed to introduce himself formally to the community, set the stage for the new IBM Notes / IBM Domino 9 release (released on the day of BLUG) and honestly talk about the road ahead and the changes IBM are making to "dumb down" the product.
So to finish off the sheriff metaphor, Scott securely took the reins and stod up in saddle for all to see. It was a great talk, great appearance and I'm very confident that IBM has found a great guy who really knows and cares about the products we all love and who has the ability to lead the teams forward.
As to the keynore I know Chris Miller had his camera out at the keynote and I'm pretty sure he filmed it so if/when it makes it online I highly suggest you watch it.