The turnout for the conference was pretty good at around 250 attendees. The theme of the conference was “Transformation”, with at least a 50% focus toward government IT. It was interesting with a lot of excellent speakers.
Topics ranged from Enterprise Architecture [EA] to Business Process Management [BPM] to Service Oriented Architecture [SOA] to Open Source technologies. We could have dedicated an entire conference on any one of those topics easily. In addition to the Open Source sessions, I found the sessions covering BPM to be real interesting. There is no doubt in my mind of the role that BPM will play in SOA implementations in the future, particularly ones deploying Open Source. From a model perspective, the fit is just too compelling.
There was an excellent session by Derek Miers of Enix Consulting titled BPM Best Practices. Derek really knows BPM and co-authored a report analyzing and comparing various BPM Suites. It’s very comprehensive and is freely available at the BP Trends web site.
Another interesting session was given by Hap Cluff, Director of IT for the CIty of Norfolk, VA. The city of Norfolk has gone through a major transformation of how their business is run and how their services are delivered to the citizens. BPM Technology played a major role in their transformation and Hap presented many excellent examples. Today, there is not a single project started unless they have done a BPM model, complete with executive sponsorship and ROI analysis. The results were pretty remarkable.
There were others of similar quality addressing EA and SOA. Very compelling technologies which will no doubt grow in scope.
On the OSS side, Winston Damarillo of Simula Labs and Peter Zotto of IONA gave a keynote titled The Future of Software. They mostly talked about open source software and how it is changing the way software is sold and licensed. They spoke about SOA and how open source is driving into the enterprise applications space in today’s market. Both companies offer OSS SOA solutions.