Companies Capitalize on Talent at OCEAN Tech Conference
May 19, 2014 Dan Burger
What’s on your top 10 business and IT priorities list this year? Increasing growth, reducing costs, improving applications and infrastructure, improving efficiency, and implementing mobile computing with increased analytic capabilities are projects that a lot of IBM midrange shops are talking about.
Any and all of those priority projects comes with a lot of questions attached. Let’s start with where do you turn to for help getting these projects planned, coordinated, and completed? You can go outside the company to people who are marketed as experts in particular technologies and products. But those people know little or nothing about your business. You also have the option of keeping these projects in-house and investing in a skills upgrade for your staff. They understand the business and the IT infrastructure investments. That goes a long way toward project success.
If you see workforce development as a better plan than outsourcing IT or hiring consultants to accomplish IT projects that by necessity must align with business objectives, then getting some IBM i-focused training and education should take on greater importance.
Next month, the annual OCEAN Tech Conference takes place in Orange County, California. For many IBM i shops, particularly those west of the Mississippi, this annual conference is the right training, at the right time, in the right place. It’s a small initial investment that can move companies forward with their business objectives by bringing staff up to speed with technologies, skills, and deployment strategies.
Tech conferences like this one are great opportunities to start laying a foundation for IT projects. Attendees gather project-specific advice, update their knowledge in specific technologies, get questions answered, make valuable contacts, and learn about other similar projects that have succeeded or failed.
Many Southern California IBM i shops have been sending one or more of their IT staff members to this event each year for 10 or even 20 years. The OCEAN user group is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It’s the only local user group in the western United States that hosts a technical conference, and, although 90 percent of the attendees are from Southern California, the organization would love to bring in participants from a wider geographical area.
The speakers list is top quality. It includes popular subject matter experts–who are also excellent instructors–such as Aaron Bartell, Larry Bolhuis, Alison Butterill, Dan Cruikshank, Susan Gantner, Scott Klement, Jon Paris, Mike Pavlak, Craig Pelkie, and Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, plus many others.
There will be more than 35 sessions on Friday, July 18, plus a vendor exposition. Lab sessions and workshops (available only to attendees of the Tech Conference, but requiring a separate registration and fee) will take place on Saturday, July 19. The topics are: IBM i systems management, SQL, and Rational development tools. Also available on Saturday is COMMON certification testing. Training and testing July 18 and 19 will take place at National University. There’s also a dinner and keynote address Thursday evening, July 17, which takes place at the Wyndham Hotel.
Both the hotel and the conference site are in close proximity to John Wayne Airport.
Pricing information and registration can be found here. An early registration discount is available through June 20. And group discounts are also available.