The iTour was a great team effort that brought together Fresche, IBM and Common Europe including Common Iberia, Common Poland, Common Austria, Common Sweden, Common Denmark, Common Switzerland, Common Luxembourg and Common Benelux, to share knowledge and discuss top challenges facing IBM i clients today.
A very special thank you to Piotr Tkaczyk, Christoph Cuscoleca, Torbjörn Appehl, Jesper Hemmet Omer, Thomas Schweizer, Ranga Deshpande and Paul Roy.
The Fresche team was composed of Brendan Kay, Sol De Leon, Jonathan Bailey, myself, and many folks from our marketing team behind the scenes (Andrea Murray, Jade Jehle and others), all of whom helped to make the iTour happen.
Total travel: over 47,000 miles (75,000 km) which is pretty much twice around the globe for our multinational team to get to and from the events.
The experience was a great one. We found a warm welcome in all the countries and user groups we visited.
Consistent feedback from the sessions:
- People are very interested in looking at how AI and Watson can be utilized.
- Design Thinking was new to almost all of the attendees.
- Digital transformation is very much a two-level message.
There is a big picture that requires new mindsets. At the same time, a lower-level but equally important message is that existing systems are the foundation of digital transformation and need modernization to enable change.
And some interesting observations from the sessions:
- Some attendees felt that Design Thinking was great but only possible if they had their C‑level pushing for it. While this would be great, we believe the answer is to just make a start. Taking a couple of small items like Personas and Journey Maps and spending a few hours of effort doesn't require C-level approval, but it will change how you work. Small, useful and incremental changes allow you to test value and refine without any large cost or effort.
- Thinking at all times from the user’s perspective will mean products are much better aligned with their specific needs and this fits well with Agile, Lean and Design Thinking.
- One of the key digital transformation messages that seemed to resonate with audiences was about competition and new business models. We have seen many businesses affected by companies that have come from nowhere and were not known competitors. Digital transformation is many things, but a key point is to move quickly and look for new business models and opportunities.
- You can either become the disruptor or you can sit back and be disrupted – sometimes permanently.
- One of the key points that Brendan stated in his AI session was not about being perfect but being better than a human at certain tasks. AI will not take all our jobs, but there are many places it can do things better than we can and assist us. With Watson it has never been easier to give AI a try with your IBM i applications.
Overall, this was a great team effort, and we were pleased to meet and share with everybody who attended. Attending is the best way to find out what’s going on, where everyone is, and where they could be going. Thanks!