The conference program looked impressive to say the least: 2768 sessions on topics as varied as cloud, customer engagement, data and analytics, human resources, IoT, security and Watson. As Integration Designers has a strong focus on IBM Integration solutions, we were mainly interested in the updates on IBM DataPower, IBM API Connect, IBM Integration Bus and IBM MQ. We spent the first day of the conference getting updates on IBM App Connect Enterprise, IBM DataPower, an overview of the IBM Integration portfolio, and a session on SalesForce connectivity. That last one appeared to be of good use for one of our clients. A follow-up meeting with the labs has been scheduled.
Ginni Rometty’s keynote speech made clear how IBM is focusing on (hybrid) cloud and AI. Three customers joined IBM’s CEO on stage to talk about how digital transformation is changing their businesses and how IBM is helping them on that journey. Later that day, I got the chance to meet one of my heroes, Dr. Michio Kaku, the physicist. He shared his view on the future and the technological trends coming our way. According to Kaku, we still have to wait until the end of this century to see AI robots that will be as smart as monkeys. Progress is made, but not as fast as some hope – or fear. Kaku strongly believes that man and machine will collaborate more over the next decades, and that this will be beneficial to the human race.
In a session on Digital Business Automation, we learned about IBM’s view on how Robotic Process Automation, BPM and Case Management will help companies automate their processes. Together with our colleagues of RoboRana, we will start looking at this solution to address the Belgian market.