Was there a silver lining hidden in the event planning disaster that was 2020? For a while, we were just canceling previously booked venues and moving deadlines back, and then we found our footing. We pivoted to a virtual event format, and as a result, we now have a collection of session recordings we might not have had from a live event. And so, as we look back, we have an enviable catalog from which we've selected a few outstanding examples to highlight in our “Best Sessions of 2020” Round-up.
We were very pleased to see that a number of IBM Clients stepped forward to share their stories of success with Automation and pass along their hard-earned wisdom. Among the stories selected here are Paul Cortellesi from Memorial Sloan Kettering for his session in June, presented with enChoice’s Gene Stakhov, on building Taxonomies in FileNet to prepare for improved governance as well as artificial intelligence. Another highlight was Ryan Dennings from Auto Owners Insurance explaining in his session how he and his team are transforming his business with IBM Capture and Content Solutions.
On a similar note, Yulin Yin, shared a demo of a document processing solution he built with IBM Business Automation Content Analyzer for a midwestern county government. And over at Kemper Insurance, Cloud Architect Harpreet Vohra shared his company's experience moving from FileNet on-prem to FileNet on AWS, with very practical advice.
Business Partners delivered great sessions too, like George Warner, former NY State Automation lead, now with Horizon View Services, who explained in his session how automation can help citizen services adapt to the pandemic. Meanwhile, James Taylor of Decision Management Solutions made the case for the synergies between Operational Decision Manager and machine learning.
We often turn to Industry Analysts for clarity on trends and directions and there’s none more galvanizing than J.P. Gownder, lead analyst for Automation at Forrester Research. He brought his “Four Shocks Reshaping The Future of Work” to the DBA Summit, which accurately lays out the challenges facing all organizations today and how intelligent automation can give them "shock absorbers."
In a year of really engaging IBM-led sessions, I picked out two to highlight, first Colin Budd of the IBM Garage team, who in his session showed just how valuable a Design Thinking workshop can be before building an automation solution. And Ed Lynch, Vice President of IBM Digital Business Automation, delivered the IBM strategy for AI-powered Automation at the DBA Summit in November, and is still the best description yet of what IBM is doing in this vibrant space.
There were many demonstration videos made this year, and I will highlight them in a different Best Of round-up, but there are three new and exciting demos from the DBA Summit that represent the latest releases and offerings in the DBA portfolio. First a look at WDG Automation, the newly acquired RPA company, and this demo on how to build a Chatbot. Then IBM Automation Document Processing, which represents the most advanced AI-powered document processing offering available today, which was a featured demo at the DBA Summit. And the newly announced Process Mining solution, from MyInvenio, which rounds out the capabilities for the IBM Cloud Pak for Automation with a tool that organizations can use to determine where automation will bring the most value. See it here.
Finally, IBM Automation Events of 2020 incorporated music and comedy, helping us to maintain an equilibrium in an off-kilter world. We had a hilarious and memorable set from Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s Ask Me Another.” Comedian Christian Finnegan (“The Late Show,” “Chappelle Show,”) took us on a comic journey that led to unexpected places. And comic singer-songwriter Rob Paravonian ("Pachelbel Canon Rant") killed with his songs about “Helping Mom and Dad with Tech Support,” and "I’m Just Here for the Swag.”
Do please mix them in with your software session and demo viewing, because remember, “Laughter is the best medicine.” (Well, I mean, after the Covid Vaccine). And I hope to see you at an IBM Automation Event next year!
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