I owe it to my friend and business partner Jörg Allmann that I made it to the eighth edition of the Social Connections conference, and made my way all the way to Boston – to be precise to Cambridge. It was worth it. Social Connections is a good conference format. Participation is worthwhile also for not - or not yet - IBM Connections users. Social Connections is a kind of "user group" conference of users and consultants from IBM Social Business technologies. A big family reunion - sold out, with 180 participants. Naturally, focus was therefore also on topics related to IBM Connections. There were ample opportunities to discuss with product managers and developers of Connections, and to get to know the topics IBM is focusing on. Obviously, IBM Verse was also an issue. However, it was not about social software alone, although it is necessary but not sufficient for Social Business Success. Exemplary of the broad spectrum of the conference, here some spotlights on topics. Louis Richardson, for example (in his capacity "Storyteller" at IBM) talked about "Lead, follow or get out of the way" and thereby highlighted the role of leadership in the era of "social".
My main focus of the first day were insights into one of the main themes of IBM currently: Design Thinking. My impression - after presentations, briefings and hands-on training - is that they really take it serious with the remodeling of IBM. My highlight of the second day was a presentation by Ed Brill, who has been responsible for the adoption of social business within IBM for some time. That was excellent, simply because he avoided presenting banal Success Stories. I have fabricated a rather long storify summary from the numerous tweets of the two days. It might be valuable for some. By the way, the Social Connections 9 will be in October 2015 in Ehningen, Germany. Hopefully with some more participation from Germany!