Changing Times: Summit Daily Recap | Wednesday, May 23

Terri White's picture
 By | May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018

COO Frank Vella opens Summit and welcomes customers and partners. 

“Change is in the air,” says CEO Gerry Cohen. “But one thing that’s not changing is our award-winning customer innovation.”

Gerry made this remark during the keynote session this morning at Summit, right after a warm welcome to the crowd by new COO Frank Vella. Frank, says Gerry, is our biggest change-agent. And Frank and Gerry’s respective messages to customers, partners, and industry analysts today was a potent balance of the new and the familiar, the promise of an exciting future, with the same relentless focus on customer success.

The session opened with a super-cool presentation by TellAvision, as seen on America’s Got Talent. They wove the themes of Summit together – Data and Analytics in the New Connected World - in a compelling moving visual storybook. Frank got in on the act and made his entrance to the stage in a remarkable digital to human transformation! 

Frank then took us on a journey – his journey to be exact. How did he come to be the new COO of this well-established NY-based enterprise software company? Well, he looked at three critical factors in making his decision to join Information Builders: market opportunity, our ability to capitalize on that opportunity and finally, our people. He concluded that the data and analytics market was poised for high growth, our products could scale and were backed by sound, unflawed architecture, and most importantly we had bright, intelligent and driven people who thrived on building real relationships with customers, partners and with each other. So, he said yes to Information Builders and is thrilled to be attending his first Summit.

Frank continued to lay out his vision for an energized company, in which our platform for data and analytics leads the industry in the near and distant future. He spoke of four core strengths and points of differentiation: Data Monetization, Embedded Analytics, IoT and Trusted Data. We are helping to bring business intelligence closer to the end users across and beyond the enterprise. The fact that we can also ensure that the intelligence is backed by trusted data is a huge advantage to our customers. Without trust in your data, you have nothing.

Frank introduced a few emerging initiatives that we are working on such as harnessing all the data from IoT in innovative applications for predictive maintenance and fleet management, for example. Our partnership with DMI (who won an Award of Distinction today) was highlighted as state of the art in this area. He also talked about the potential for Blockchain and how we will help to make it relevant to the enterprise. Finally, he highlighted our unique strengths in the area of advanced and predictive analytics, which many of our customers operationalize with WebFOCUS RStat, so an army of data scientists isn’t necessary to embed this functionality right into your applications for non-technical users on the front lines, whether they are police officers or forklift operators or business analysts. 

“We’ve heard you,” said Frank. We are taking the complexity out of our products and making them much easier to use. We’re also investing in modernization of the user experience, more versatility and intuitive workflows all leading to an accelerated time to value. The progress here was evident in the live demos of the WebFOCUS Portal where Product Manager Jim Thorstad remarked, “We’ve made the complex easy and the easy automatic” (It’s now trending on Twitter!)

Frank welcomed Gerry to the stage and we were treated to a stream of product innovations and demonstrations – all focused around new ways to interact with and tell stories with your data. Create cool infographics and embed into WebFOCUS Portal (with help of Easel.ly). Use Report Caster to send the out to masses of people. Exploit new voice technology with the WebFOCUS mobile app and literally talk to your data. Kevin Quinn, VP WebFOCUS Product Management, did a “show and tell” demo. Here’s what he asked of his healthcare data: “Yo, yo dude, tell me about patient encounters….” Proving that you can create your own vocabulary that is relevant to your business.

There was much more depth around advancements in predictive analytics, blockchain and of course the strategic importance of the cloud and our new expanded partnership with Amazon Web Services. We are working to continually innovate to create more value for our customers, and make it easier for them to work with us through flexible deployment and pricing models. I encourage you to watch the keynotes and product demos in full as recorded live here on IBTV.

The morning session concluded with well-deserved awards of distinction to recognize organization for exceptional achievements using our technology.

Congratulations to the winners and their inspirational applications using data to change the life of their business, and the lives of their employees and communities.

Follow all the action on Twitter at #IBSummit.