COMMON Heads To Ohio With Hybrid NAViGATE Event
May 24, 2021 Alex Woodie
COMMON this week is welcoming members back to its first in-person event in over a year. The physical fun will commence in Columbus, Ohio, where it will hold its NAViGATE conference for both in-person and online attendees this Monday through Wednesday.
More than 250 sessions will be presented by 100-plus IBM i experts during COMMON’s three-day show. Each session will take place live (as opposed to being pre-recorded, which became quite common during COVID-19) and will be available to folks who travelled to the Columbus venues as well as to people logging in over the Internet.
The NAViGATE schedule shows an abundance of IBM i topics planned for the show. Attendees will be able to attend sessions like:
- “Connecting to IBM i from the Cloud,” a primer on calling the Db2 for i database from cloud native applications by IBM’s Abdirahim Musse.
- “Using Authority Collection to Remove *ALLOBJ,” a guide to improving security by DXR Security co-founder Carol Woodbury.
- “Troubleshoot IBM i Networking,” in which IBM engineer Wayne Bowers will give you clues on how to handle the IBM i when the network starts to give you trouble.
- “A New Engine Inside Your IBM i: the Power10 Microprocessor,” which will be presented by IBM Distinguished Engineer William Starke.
COMMON is testing out a new session format for the show. Individual sessions will last only 20 minutes and are organized into blocks of five or six sessions at a time. At the end of each block, there will be a 20-minute “office hour” where attendees can ask the presenter questions. This pattern will be repeated twice a day, once in the morning hours before lunch, and then another block of sessions in the afternoon, on Monday and Tuesday. Only the morning block will take place on Wednesday, and it will be followed with the meeting of the members Wednesday afternoon.
There will be a virtual Expo area, where attendees can learn about vendor solutions, as well as a physical Expo. In Columbus, NAViGATE attendees will be able to attend an actual Expo hall on Monday and Tuesday, followed by a reception Tuesday evening. Numerous IBM i vendors will be represented in the Expo and in person include. Vendors that have committed to appearing in-person include ARCAD Software, iTech Solutions, and Seiden Group.
COMMON anticipates a mix of participation. “We will have some speakers in-person, about half of the 21 exhibitors from the Expo will be in-person, and about one-third of the attendees will be in-person,” COMMON Executive Director Manzoor Siddiqui tells IT Jungle. “All the education will be done live, and broadcast live virtually to our virtual attendees from our in-person speakers, and vice versa.”
The Expo will have a live and in-person component as well, along with in-person and virtual networking events, Siddiqui continues. “So, it will provide a COMMON conference experience, similar to what people have come to expect from our events, but we’ve taken it to the next level by ensuring that our virtual community is fully integrated into the experience as well,” he says.
NAViGATE represents the first foray back into physical events for COMMON, which was hit hard by the coronavirus last year. The Chicago-based user group abruptly cancelled its annual meeting, called POWERUp, scheduled for Atlanta, Georgia, last April, and rescheduled it for Tampa, Florida, at the end of August. But it was forced to cancel that show, too.
In addition to the hybrid event this week, COMMON is planning to hold an online “Netflix” style event in July called iNSIGHT 2021. But the midrange community as a whole is looking forward to the fall, when COMMON plans to hold its annual POWERUp meeting in Virgina Beach, Virginia, from October 4-6.
In addition to the hybrid conference, COMMON is wrapping up its board election this week. After the polls close on Tuesday, the new board will be introduced at the meeting of the members on Wednesday, where COMMON President Gordon Leary will give an overview of the state of the organization’s business over the past year.
Late 2020 and early 2021 have been a tumultuous experience for everybody, including COMMON. But the national group of Power Systems users is looking forward to getting back to business as usual.
“I can tell you that we are excited to move forward with this event and lead the user group community in getting things back to ‘normal,'” Siddiqui says. “It’s also provided us with a great opportunity to be creative in serving the different needs of our membership. We couldn’t have done this without the continued support of our vendor partner community, without whom we would not be able to fulfill our mission, and continue to move forward.”
There is still time to register for NAViGATE. More information can be found at www.common.org/columbus2021/home.