Time flies when you’re having fun. This part of the blog looks back on the past two days of Social Connections 14. Located in Germany’s capital Berlin, the team consisting of all IBM Champions, has outdone themselves once more. The wonderful venue ‘Spreespeicher’ serves as not only a great event location with several break-out rooms, but allows attendees to step outside to catch some fresh air overlooking the river Spree.

A big, big, big thank you to Simon Vaughan, Wannes Rams, Maria Nordin, Martin Jinoch, Jan Valdman & our own Nico Meisenzahl for your hard work and commitment to making this event a reality.

As an international IBM Connections and social business user group, it was evident that IBM was going to be the topic of conversation. It was interesting to hear compelling customer stories regarding their best practices and organizational transformation journey when it comes to using IBM Connections. It was just as exhilarating to hear the constructive feedback some customers had to IBM and in the same breath they explained the effort IBM went to solve their concerns.

The evening wrapped up very nicely at the event location “Beach Mitte” where a buffet dinner of salmon or goulash filled the stomachs just as the day’s sessions had filled our minds. An archery tournament on the sand, an oversized foosball table as well two fire pits encircled by relaxing beach chairs encouraged friendly competition just as much as they did friendly conversation.

The attendees of Social Connections in Berlin, October 2018. IBM-ers, IBM customers, IBM partners, IBM Champions, presenters and the organisers. Aren’t they beautiful? #soccnx #ibmchampion pic.twitter.com/tmpNUUQPs8

— Hogne B. Pettersen (@elfworld) October 16, 2018

For some the early hours of the morning, for others a comfortable start into the second conference day, the first sessions were held at 08:30 AM. Despite a lavish self-serve breakfast in the sponsor room, many attendees flocked to the sessions, ready to sponge up even more knowledge and exchange questions. Part of what made the sessions so popular was the caliber of the speakers. With diverse backgrounds, they not only offered valuable information but their professionalism and flexibility when presenting often made a presentation more conversational as the audience also asked questions throughout.

Before the closing sessions started, HCL’s Richard Jefts and Jason Roy Gary summarized their 22 months old collaboration journey and where they see their role in the future of collaboration and digital experiences. Amongst other exciting statements, they announced a European factory tour in either Krakow or Rome, similar to the one in Chelmsford in July. As soon as we find out more, we’ll make sure to share the information with you.

Looking back, it was great to see the development that companies have made over the past year. Abundant questions toward analytics of their enterprise social networking platforms, suggests an overall level of maturity that many providers have been waiting for. The benefit for companies not only using ESNs but identifying the need for strategic development and growth while focusing on a holistic integration with other ESN platforms in place was definitely evident at this event. This sentiment was only reinforced by the positive feedback and appreciation that customers and partners as well as IBM voiced over panagenda’s IBM Connections analytics tool, ConnectionsExpert. This has definitely humbled us and motivates us to strive for even more than what ConnectionsExpert 2.0 already offers. On that note, keep an eye out on our social media channels for V2.1, with a scheduled release in the next month.

To keep those that couldn’t attend on the same page, we’ve asked out colleagues to reveal their impressions of Social Connections 14.

We look forward to our next personal conversation with you and hope you enjoy watching the videos.

Conference Summary Videos

Session Videos