Data, Driving and Demos: AIIM 2014 Delivers the Goods

A drive down to the AIIM 2014 conference proved that information opportunity really does have a chance to win out over information chaos.

One of my favorite things about living in Orlando is that there are a lot of trade shows here. That means I don’t have to pack six pairs of trade-show shoes, spend three days determining which dress pants fit me this week, agonize over the carry-on bag (hair products in 3-ounce bottles?!) versus check-in bag (Orlando has the world’s slowest baggage claim and I’m freaking TIRED when I get home) dilemma, or decide which electronic devices best fit my travel needs for this particular trip (will I be taking notes? I’ll need the iPad with keyboard. Do I have writing deadlines the week of the show? Laptop. Long flight with the need for lots of music/movies stored? Galaxy Tab).

Anyway. You can see why I have travel anxiety, and why I’m a fan of any show I can drive to. And why I was very pleased that this year’s AIIM Conference was held at the Hyatt Grand Cypress in lovely Orlando. Fighting the tourist traffic I generally try to avoid on the Disney side of town was a small price to pay.

Very small, in fact, because I really like the AIIM conference. It’s an interesting show, well put together by a great team (and having worked on the planning side of way too many trade shows to count I notice these things). My positive impression started with the fact that the parking lot was immediately outside the conference center, and went uphill from there (hey, I still had to come up with one pair of trade-show shoes, after all).

Now, since I did not make it to every day of the show I did miss the keynote by Guy Kawasaki. I heard it was good. And why not? I mean – Guy Kawasaki! Apple’s former chief evangelist who gets props simply for having held the title of chief evangelist.

I did, however, find plenty to keep me entertained, enlightened and educated. The theme of the conference, “Information Opportunity vs. Information Chaos” promised that and didn’t disappoint. “The Evolution of Enterprise Content in the Mobile Era,” was a good example. Presented by Accellion’s Hormazd Romer, the session examined how mobile worker productivity will shape expectations around ECM and workflow, and why a universal and unified mobile interface to enterprise content will be the new model going forward.

I also attended “Content Sharing and Processing in a Cloud and Mobile World” by AIIM’s own director of market intelligence, Doug Miles. Then I stayed in the same room for “From Hoarders to Pickers and Pawn Stars” because … well, wouldn’t you have? I’ve already given props to Dan Antion, who is the VP of information services for American Nuclear Insurers, for not only the title but the presentation – it really did give a beautiful overview of the various types of problems and solutions required by different types of clients. (And if you have a specific interest in that kind of thing, Dan has a cool blog about his experiences in information management and Share Point in particular).

I also had the chance to meet with a number of interesting people who showed me their stuff, which is one of my favorite parts of going to trade shows . For instance there was Ed Hallock of RSD, who gave me a great overview of RSD GLASS, a platform that powers information governance. Erik Baklid and Kristi Jackson introduced me to VirtualWorks, which was announcing the certification of its ViaWorks Connector for Alfresco One, as well as its integration into the Alfresco Share interface. Ali Moinuddin gave me an impromptu demonstration of Workshare’s file synching and collaboration abilities. And  Jackie Risley and Sean Nathaniel walked me through a demo of a job application’s trip through the system using Filebound software. Here’s a revelation – workflow is amazing!

And this is what I love about shows like AIIM. I write about it, I edit the articles of others who write about it, I read about it – but sometimes I forget about all the things workflow can do until I see it. ECM, BPO, document management, information management – it’s amazing stuff. Yes, I’m preaching to the choir – I am the choir. But whenever I get a chance to be amazed, I call it a good day, and this was a very good day. I got to see a lot of people and products in action, and let me tell you – data moves fast. Technology moves fast. Do you?