Listen to the Systems podcast.
developerWorks: Hi. I am Robin Wood with developerWorks, and I'm here today to bring you the third in the series of four podcasts for Innovate 2011, the premier conference for software and systems innovation.
We're publishing these all on developerWorks to introduce you to what's going to be happening at this year's Innovate conference. Today we will focus on the Systems track. I'm talking with Dominic Tavassoli, the director for Rational Industry and Systems Marketing at IBM. Dominic's team is in charge of pulling together the most compelling agenda possible for systems customers; to achieve this he shamelessly draws on the best from past Rational, as well as Telelogic user conferences.
Dominic, thanks for joining us today. I've heard you say that this year the IBM Innovate Conference will be fantastic for systems customers. Tell me more.
Tavassoli: Well, hi, Robin. So, first, when I say "systems customers," I'm really talking about customers who are involved in building smarter products, embedded software, systems engineering or systems of systems -- lots of really interesting areas today.
And not only are lots of these customers Rational customers, but we also have lots of friends who have come along from some of the acquisitions that are now part of the Rational portfolio such as Telelogic, iLogix, QSS, Continuus, Popkin Software -- really, a fantastic group of customers. And for them, we've pulled together for the first time a full systems engineering track and a dedicated systems keynote that will be addressing everything systems.
And there will be systems content all across over 90 breakout sessions, industry solution sessions, sessions dedicated to modeling architecture construction, requirements definition and management, enterprise architecture management, product portfolio management. There really is a lot of fantastic content there for...at Innovate this year.
developerWorks: Wow, 90 sessions, that's amazing. So what will this mean for your customers?
Tavassoli: Well, if we look at the systems track itself... the systems engineering track itself, there will be 17 breakout sessions just dedicated to systems of systems engineering with 10 different customers alone in that track. We really are focusing on making sure we can get as much customer feedback as we're speaking to customers, and that's really what's interesting.
So, customers like General Motors will be talking about the Chevy Volt, or Israeli Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Samsung Electronics, Pratt & Whitney, I mean, really lots of customers from lots of different industries like aerospace and defense, automotive, electronics, energy and utilities, communications, really all of this area that's changing and evolving a lot today.
And the customers will not only be able to listen to these fantastic sessions about what's new, what are the new products, what are the roadmaps, tips and tricks; there's also an IBM certification lab. There will be night school classes with extended evening hours, I mean, really a lot of opportunity there to learn and to get up to speed on what's coming out in this space.
developerWorks: Great. Well, this sounds like a great opportunity to meet your peers, too?
Tavassoli: Sure. We really will have a lot of fantastic companies at Innovate, and it is a fantastic time to actually get there and meet both colleagues from the same company as you but also colleagues from the same domain or to learn from other domains.
There's a lot of best practices and a lot of methodologies and tips and tricks you can learn, so we'll be organizing roundtables, and even at lunch we'll be organizing meet and greet sessions. There will be "ask the experts" sessions.
There we'll be able to learn about systems engineering best practices in the sessions on Sunday afternoon. We'll have technical workshops at partner integration focus areas. There's a solution expo floor, multiple pedestals featuring demos, customer success story tracks, a birds of a feather session on both Monday and Tuesday evenings. So really, lots of opportunities to meet people who think alike, and hey, why not, extend your LinkedIn and your Facebook page.
developerWorks: Yes, these are always great networking opportunities. It's hard to pass that up. Do you have any other surprises planned for us?
Tavassoli: Oh, we've actually got a lot of fun planned. We've actually got one of my favorite Web entertainers, which is Felicia Day who people will know from The Guild, from Dr. Horrible, from a lot of TV and a lot of Web entertainment
developerWorks: Yes, from Buffy.
Tavassoli: A fantastic entertainer. We also will, of course, I mean, we're having this in Orlando, so we'll have some exciting outings there. And the team's really working a lot of real fun stuff for the evenings to really help us all bond together.
And of course, I mean, you know, there's fantastic restaurants, fantastic bars. And don't forget, I mean, this is also an opportunity to bring the family around and take them to Disney. So yes, lots of fun there.
developerWorks: Well, I'm sold. How do I sell this to my manager?
Tavassoli: There really is a lot of benefit that we can present for our own managers. I remember when I used to be a customer presenting exactly the same lists. It's a great opportunity for training, to learn about new best practices, to speak to the services and support teams who will be there and listening and helping you out if there are any issues that you need to address or any areas of improvement you want to look into.
From a personal point of view, this is a great opportunity to come back energized with new ideas that you'll want to implement straight away, so it's boosting morale. It's really energizing you for the full year. Getting up to speed on new technologies, new products, new practices that are coming your way. So, be prepared for new products. And also, helping your entire organization optimize their performance and productivity.
So it really is an investment that will keep on paying throughout the year and help you do your job better and make sure the whole department and the whole company really is more productive this year.
developerWorks: Well, it sounds wonderful. Dominic, thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me to talk about the systems track at this year's innovate conference. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando.
Tavassoli: It was a pleasure, Robin. Thanks.
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Dominic has 20 years experience in systems engineering, advanced software development and delivery, and process improvement around CMMI, agile and application lifecycle management, and has authored over 15 papers on these topics.
He's currently working on crafting solutions for the next wave of smart products in cross industry ecosystems, which meet business requirements for innovation while achieving compliance, quality and cost objectives.
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Robin started her web career in the financial industry in 1995. In 1999, she left finance behind and joined Rational software to work on web content for Rational Rose and Rational Unified Process, which both later became part of IBM. She's currently the developerWorks Rational acquisition editor. When not working, Robin can be found at the beach with her surfing chocolate Labrador Retriever, husband, and daughter.