Office 2.0: an Irregular mashup

The upcoming Office 2.0 conference is one of the first in the fall calendar that keeps people like me in more airports than I care to think about.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

The upcoming Office 2.0 conference is one of the first in the fall calendar that keeps people like me in more airports than I care to think about. It's also one for which I have fond memories. Office 2.0 started out as an idea put out into the Enterprise Irregulars' discussion group by Ismael Ghalimi back in 2006.

He ran with it, a handful of the Irregulars turned out and for many it was the first time we'd met in meatspace. That happens a lot in communities that draw their numbers from those in the enterprise space. It doesn't depend on the Silicon Valley 'bubble crowd' but a global audience with attendees coming from around the world.

Two years on and the show has evolved considerably. As in past years, Ismael runs it as a not-for-profit, reasonably priced gig where attendees get some of the best schwag available at any conference. Last year it was the must-have iPhone, this year it's the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. As a die hard and converted Mac bigot I'm not sure I approve but heck - in enterprise land, I'm in an at least 9:1 minority.

Most of the sponsors come from the startup community but there is always a smattering of big names like Google and Salesforce.com in attendance. If you want to see innovation at work, then it's worthwhile checking out which vendors are planning booths.

This year, a number of the Irregulars will be there helping to organize, running unconference sessions, participating in or moderating panels. The panel quality looks exceptional and unlike vendor driven gigs this will include some solid real life case studies. Here's a few of the anticipated highlights with links to the Irregulars who will be there:

  • Unconference hosted by SocialText's Ross Mayfield. Ross has organized many successful unconference sessions in the past so I would expect this to be no exception. Susan Scrupski is planning a session on 'Barriers to Adoption,' something she works on with clients at nGenera.
  • David Terrar will be on the Document Management 2.0 session. At an unconference session, David will discuss the ion/ITCounts project in which I have had a significant involvement and which has already won an award for innovation.
  • Zoli Erdos is moderating the Project Management session. If you've read Zoli's blog then you'll know he has a great sense of humor and can guarantee to bring a smile to the most jaded of conference goer's lips.
  • Vinnie Mirchandani is on the Cloud Computing panel. Vinnie is my partner in crime when it comes to calling the enterprise vendors to account for their lack of innovation and pricing policies. He's a fearsome yet gracious debater who should not be missed.
  • Anshu Sharma, once with Oracle now with Salesforce.com is on the Platform as a Service panel which is being moderated by our very own Phil Wainewright - who is also an Irregular. Given this is a hot topic, again it is one not to be missed.

Lurking around will be David Tebbutt. David and I go back more years than either of us care to remember. He is now an analyst with FreeForm Dynamics, a boutique organization based in the UK. David's remit is to analyze environmental computing issues so if you want to learn how to make your business carbon neutral, he's the go-to guy.If he's in town, I can't imagine that Dan Farber will miss the show. Dan was one of the very early Irregular supporters and even though he's taken another position within the CNet/CBS empire, the Irregulars continue to value his company and insights.

Without wishing to blow anyone's trumpet too hard, you'd be hard pressed to find a more interesting, entertaining, sharp or independently minded group than those I've named above. They are among the finest minds in the enterprise world. They have deep domain knowledge across a broad range of topics representing vendor, buy side and analyst communities. As you might imagine, we don't always agree, but the debates are always enriching. Many of them end up parsed on this blog. But if you want to meet them, you'll have to show up.

PS - If I've missed anyone, I'll update.

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