Good Feelings + Great Ideas at xChange



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xChange 2011 has now passed the halfway point, far enough along to be declared a success.  Serena’s Global User Conference is notable for the good feelings it engendered and for the great ideas exchanged between users and Serena staff.

The good feelings were evident last evening in the Solutions Showcase.  With the ever delightful Bella Electric rocking out in the middle of the joint, a dozen demo stations were humming around the perimeter.  I guess this proves that IT types get inspired by both great software and great music.

The great ideas came fast and furious.  For instance, a Six Sigma Black Belt informed me last night “My biggest epiphany today was…”, going on to describe how he could use the new Serena Request Center to bring his thousands of business users into revenue generating workflows.  Come to think of it, I never got around to asking him what his other epiphanies of the day were.

This morning was devoted to customers.  But first Doug Troxel transfixed the audience telling Serena’s founding story.  Everybody loves Doug.  (Hey, that could be the title of our next demo skit!)

Then he and maestro Kevin Parker gave out the Serena Innovation Awards to three very deserving customers: Carefirst, Nationwide and AgustaWestland.  Their stories were inspiring.

I then led a fun and surprising Fact or Fiction roundtable with Dale Clark of Carefirst, Sheila Stephens of QBE First and Ken Vane of Navy Federal Credit Union.  These three good humored and extremely wise IT leaders responded to a series of ten provocative statements by declaring each as Fact or Fiction and then explaining their answer.  The results were insightful.

All of the above took place in the first two hours.  The next six hours included countless breakout sessions.

Tonight is the xTravaganza party at Studio 54.  Wonder what’s going to happen there?

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