IOD '09: Day Two: Maria Winans on IM in info-led transformation

Maria Winans, IBM® vice president for WW Information Management Brand and Category Marketing, illuminates the Information Management part of information-led transformation — from Day Two at the IOD 2009 conference.


Scott Laningham (, developerWorks Podcast Editor, IBM developerWorks

Scott LaninghamScott Laningham, host of developerWorks podcasts, was previously editor of developerWorks newsletters. Prior to IBM, he was an award-winning reporter and director for news programming featured on Public Radio International, a freelance writer for the American Communications Foundation and CBS Radio, and a songwriter/musician.

29 October 2009

Also available in Portuguese

Winans: My team and I have been involved in this conference since it started which was four years ago; this is our fourth event, fourth conference. And where we were when we started this four years ago, very focused in the information management software space, very focused when we first introduced information on demand, to what it's evolved to and what's it become today.

Maria Winans on going to the next level in IM


And some of the things that we have really focused this year has been first of all not only driving the attendees but driving the quality of attendees that we want here who are more of the decision-makers, still maintaining the technical audience that has been so loyal to us over the years coming to these conferences to learn about our products, our technology, what's next, the innovation that we're driving. But also, reaching those business audiences that now are making decisions together — the IT and the business coming together on decisions in the information management space.

And what we have done this year is focus on really taking this event to the next level. It's no longer a Software Group-led event that focuses on, let's talk about our Software Group offerings in the information management space. It's become the leading industry conference for information management solutions.

And as IBM, we've come together to really bring that story to life. So what we have here is our partners from GBS, the consulting services. We've got STG. We've got S&D and we've got Software Group. And then, various other groups from the Research, for the development, in the labs, that have come together to really bring this message to life in front of our customers around, how do I get started on this journey, on this path of driving an information-led transformation within my enterprise and my company.

developerWorks: It's very solution oriented ...

Winans: Solution oriented ...

developerWorks: ... bring all the brands together.

Winans: ... yes, and it's really starting to take it to the next level, that it is one of the biggest IBM plays around this space, around information management. And us coming together as a company ... there's no competitor that can really attack us and compete with us, of us really with all the solutions from the hardware to the software and then the services that we bring together.

Guest: Maria Winans

Maria Winans is Vice President for IBM's WW Information Management Brand and Category Marketing.

So this year, we have over 6,000 attendees here. We've introduced some new programs or elements to this conference to really take it to the next level. We had for the first time what we call an information-led transformation leadership exchange and that was led by our GBS team, bringing in our S&D, bringing in the Software Group, but really reaching a very senior C-level executive to talk about how do I drive an information-led transformation within my enterprise.

And this was new to our program this year and we touched and have attendees of over 128 C-level attendees that registered and joined us yesterday for this program.

developerWorks: I've got to get Todd in here, I can tell you're chomping at the bit.

Turbo: Yes, well, I mean, I've been fascinated ... I've been here before, as you know, so I've kind of seen this evolution and the maturation of the event. And it clearly has been demonstrated this week thus far.

I want to go back to the information-led transformation. You know, we heard Ambuj talk about it and Steve Mills and it clearly seems like it's a foundational underpinning to this notion of New Intelligence in support of building A Smarter Planet. And I was wondering if you might just elaborate a little bit about the role that information management is playing in building out that story.

Winans: Yes. I mean, we have a huge role, not only for we being part of the [A] Smarter Planet message...I mean, New Intelligence is at the core of the [A] Smarter Planet message, and I think you heard it from Steve Mills this morning in our keynote, that whether it's collaborating through smart work, whether it's building that dynamic dnfrastructure or making this world become greener, at the core of all that is the information management opportunity and really using us ... using and leveraging data and information to drive those changes and making this world A Smarter Planet.

And New Intelligence, with the theme, the core that what we're trying to do in the marketplace, of how do we drive new intelligence, is a tremendous opportunity for IBM, for information management software.

And this journey and this message that we're taking to the marketplace which is the theme of our conference — information-led transformation lead the way — it is in the hands of us collaborating with our customers and clients of how do you take that step, how do you get on board, how do you get that journey to really drive information-led transformation within your enterprise.

Whether it's building an information agenda, which has been an approach that we introduced two years ago, on how to ramp up on really understanding, you know, how do I build the roadmap, what's my strategy to really tackle this challenge within my enterprise, to also looking at now within their portfolio, how do I ... it's not about react and respond, it's really predict and act. It's being much more predictive and looking at the future and being able to act on it in real time today.

developerWorks: I'm assuming you're having conversations with people at the conference and has input and feedback been a driver behind this transformation into kind of a different approach with conferences? Do you see this ... ?

Winans: Yes, so we started ... I started ... I personally worked on the first conference we ever put together, and it was really brought individual events into something big, and we came together as one, with one message that consistently carried out, rather than disjointed messages or disjointed conferences that were throughout, let's say, a period of a year. Also different groups leading different messages in the marketplace.

We've brought it together to really bring one message in front of the client all together as one. And we've evolved it based on feedback that we've received — strengthen this, how about introducing that? How about bringing that message more tightly and carrying it throughout.

So we've done, what we've become and what this conference has become or shown this year has been through years of learning and taking the input from our clients. We do a survey after every one of these conferences and reach every client — give us your feedback. What do you think we need to improve? How can we make it better?

And some of the things that the clients have asked is more networking opportunity, more ability for us to interact peer to peer. I want to hear from another client that has had the similar challenges and has thrived to really take it to that next level. How can I learn from that?

So at this conference we introduce the Smart Site. Smart Site is a networking social tool that allows you as an attendee to be able to see every other individual that's attending here, interact with them, request meetings, and completely through either your PDA, your iPhone, your computer.

And it's a site that was specifically built for this event to allow that social networking, not pre-event, which we had over half of the registrants register before, built their agendas, seek out customers with similar challenges and interests, request meetings — all of that which we've never done before, but again, was the feedback from the clients. We want to network, we want to get to meet some of those other clients.

To then on site, it's being actively used ... blogs, Twitter, you know, and also all of the information that's on there in real time. And then after, it's going to continue that e-nurturing that continue to reach those clients and be able to continue that interaction among them. So we're going to keep it live afterwards, even after.

We have over 500 one-on-one meetings. That's clients that want to speak to IBMers. That's partners that want to speak to IBMers. That's clients that want to speak to clients. Over 500 meetings that we've scheduled in the three days, four days that we're here. So, it's outstanding, what this has become.



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