So, it's over, for one more time.

This year, Connect 2016 has been a true blast for me, I never had a more busy and more appointment-packed Connect-O-Sphere Conference since I touched ground in Orlando for the first time 17 years ago. Yes, I grew to be an old fart with this conference and yet - it still has these moments that I recall from my first visit. What I mean ? Well, these inspiring moments you will remember for a long time, that send shivers down your spine and that are able to energize you for the year ahead.

While I grew older, these moments started to come from different sources. In the first years, they were mostly technology driven. New stuff, new features, new products - all so exciting, shiny and new, endless possibilties to do business with. Well, I never lost my excitement for technology, but it somewhat became more rational, more relaxed. Wait until they deliver taht stuff, wait what they might deliver. Will your customers like that stuff the way you are appreciating it ?

Today, my excitement comes ore and more from the true heart of this conference - meeting people, meeting subject mater experts, interact with IBMers I have met virtually in countless conference calls and in customer situations but rarely in person. Meet customers and listen to great session talks that are eye-opening and brain-expanding (is that the correct term?) in inspiring new ideas. For all this, I have to thank a special bunch of people that I met face to face for the first time in person here and that helped me and hosted me like I never have been hosted by IBM before - Team IBM Canada ! So in person - Vivienne, Connie, Aldrin and Angel - cheers to you and thank you SO MUCH for all your help during this outstanding week ! And please, IBM, pay these people well, they are true gems in your organization !

But that's not all. My highlight moments this year have been numerous but top of mind of course is my first speaker engagement at a Connect Conference. As you can see in the previous post, we had a very special topic to talk about, but it was an hour to remember - lots of questions, a good crowd for the competition of having to present at 8am in the morning and not one but two super sessions as the competition.

I don't know if I ever talked about it, but it has been a line on my bucket list to be speaking at Connect-O-Sphere Conference once in my professional life and I can't tell you how satisfying and rewarding it is to be able to mark this goal as achieved. Now, while I know that Patrick, me and the Teams in the background came up with a great piece of technology, being able to speak in Orlando would not have been possible without the help of other outstanding people I got to know in the past year on customer side and within IBM. So the next round of a big THANK YOU goes to the project team at Lufthansa (Heike Griess-Nega in person) and the complementing IBM Team (Torsten Reissig, Mathias Marhoff, Peter Schütt and Tom Zeizel, just to name a few) and their help to get this ball rolling. Thank you, we owe you all !

I continued my tradition of visiting the general closing session. I totally appreciated the talk by Erik Wahl as it resonated to me for the journey we have been on over the past two years. What are ideas worth ? I asked this question to myself a lot of times last year and after this week, I feel rewarded for taking risks and following my intuition. And I'm truly thankful of being able to recognize these moments and to be able to enjoy them.

So once more, I will be leaving Orlando tomorrow with a fair share of confidence and positive thoughts for the year. What a great way to kick off the year. If all is going well, I will be back next year for sure.


P.S.: I have one more thank you I almost forgot about - thank you Annette Ahrens for coming to our session and the pictures you have sent us ! Save travels back home ad we will meet at the next DNUG "Stammtisch".

Image:Why for me, Connect 2016 met its goal - make every moment count
Heiko Voigt   |   3 February 2016 00:07:01   |    Connect  IBM  IMPRISIS    |  
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Comments (1)

Pedro    04.02.2016 10:55:13

I surely will go with you next year after this motivating résumé :-)