Around 80* end users met at the Majeski Stadium in Reading to hear from SIRB speakers and sponsors and network with peers.
In a nutshell: Overall it was a good event with a mixture of educational and informative content, some of the presentations could have been more relevant.
Sharper Agenda Required
Although the presentations were free from product pitches, some of the sessions could have been a bit sharper and more relevant. For example FrontRange Solutions had a captive audience in which to demonstrate some leadership in front of the UK SAM market. They have, theoretically at least, the breadth in technology portfolio and channel partner base to tell a really good story around SAM. But chose to present a high level view of how to implement ITIL, which whilst interesting was an opportunity missed.
Similarly it would have been good to see some fresh ideas from Microsoft. They have arguably done more than any other vendor to promote SAM and educate their partner base on how to sell SAM, but don’t seem to want to commit beyond benchmarking. Scratch below the surface of the SAM Optimization Model messaging and it’s difficult to see any real substance beyond a sales tool for selling SAM services.
FAST have a good model here and I hope they can build on it to continue to provide research and events in the future – But they will need to sharpen their message if they are to resolve their ongoing identity crisis (“You say tomato, I say tomahto”) and appeal to UK organisations, especially with IAITAM bringing their successful conference format to Europe next year.
* My rough estimate.