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Whilst the location of Las Vegas for this year’s summit was a “love or hate” it town, the event itself was superbly organised, with diverse and wide ranging content.
Each of the four days started with a Keynote Speech where the goal was to inspire and let the audience “Grow from Here” that presented a different view of business and politics which I would suggest that everyone in the audience took something from.
These Keynotes were live streamed and it was stated that they reached an audience of some 8000 people. Not bad for a niche conference based around a software package. The Keynotes are still online at the Sage Summit 2014 website and if you have time, I would encourage a watch of them, particularly the Biz Stone (Founder of Twitter and Jelly) and the two panels, one with Jessica Alma and Magic Johnson, the other with three young start up entrepreneurial businesses.
If you want to see where big business is heading globally with technology, the two presentations from Master Card and Microsoft provide an insight into what they are working on and how they develop innovation.
In the “Showcase Hall” and the breakout rooms around the conference hall, there were education and sponsor presentations on virtually every element of the Sage portfolio for the North American Market, this gave everything from new product releases, such as the Sage ERP X3 V7 through to how to carry out payroll on Sage 50 North America. The list on offer was a task in itself to get the best out of the event, but I believe most did and it was noticeable that for this market place the focus of the event was around accountancy as well as ERP.
From a personal point of view, the Sage Innovation Lab where there were many technologies that were “looking for markets” was one of my highlights. Up until this point I had considered “Google Glass” a gimmick and not sure where it may fit into our market sector. Well, having used it and been guided to a location to scan a barcode, I can see where it will work for us and how it could change the dynamics of a warehouse operation.
On reflection a week after Summit, the mix of content, the networking and making of new contacts, yes it was worth the flights and time shifts, as for Las Vegas – I think it will be a long time before I visit again out of choice.
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Wednesday keynote featuring Biz Stone, Magic Johnson, Jessica Alba, and J. Carey Smith
Thursday keynote featuring Robert Gibbs and Karl Rove; Jennifer Fleiss, Ben Kaufman, and Eric Ryan
Microsoft: A future worth wanting by James Whittaker, Distinguished Technical Evangelist at Microsoft