It is now well over a month since the IQMS Users Group 2010 kicked off and ended. Sitting here thinking back on the experience there is only one word that comes to mind. WOW!!!! I think that covers it pretty well. This being my first full blown Users Group to participate in, I was not exactly sure what to expect. The experiences that followed over the three days in Las Vegas ranged from heart wrenching to incredibly rewarding and will live with me for the rest of my life.
I have to start with the heart wrenching first. We received sad news on November 9th that Dustin Fields had passed away. It hit me hard on several levels. I was just starting to have the opportunity to work with Dustin on several projects and was looking forward to learning about him, his background, and what motivated him. WOW, that mortality thing smacked me right in the face again but unlike the positive outcome when I faced it with my Dad, this time it was over. That is very hard to resolve. My deepest sympathies go out to Dustin's family and friends. Anyone reading this, if someone contributes to your life in any measure, tell them how much you appreciate them and what they do. Do this NOW, you may not get the chance tomorrow.
Users Group this year had a great attendance with users coming in from all over the country. Between the users and the IQMS employees we had almost 300 people in attendance. I remember sitting in the main hall on the first day at the front and looking back over the full room thinking, "WOW, there are a lot of people here." This was an incredible opportunity for me to meet many of the customers I work with and finally have a chance to interact with them face-to-face.
This year we also had the opportunity to interact with our customers through Community Server, a platform for users to share ideas with IQMS. Using Community Server as the driver for discussion at this Users Group we were able to address many ideas and customer enhancements in real-time. I distinctly remember in the EDI session thinking to myself, "WOW, that customer entered that new software enhancement request into Community Server just now." You know who you are and we are working to address your ideas in a way that will benefit our entire user base.
As mentioned, Users Group was a great experience for me especially because of being able to directly talk with customers/colleagues. Between the sessions I presented to the individual interactions during breaks, I have to say that I am very appreciative of the collaboration I saw. The breakout sessions would not have been as successful without the interaction of the attendees. It was very difficult trying to determine what material people were going to find interesting especially with the diversity of knowledge of the groups I would be speaking to. The discussions between many attending the sessions helped to equalize the topics and provide something useful for everyone. I have never been a great public speaker so it was very rewarding to have people come up to me and tell me that they enjoyed the sessions and the material presented. "WOW, they really liked what I had to say."
I want to sincerely say thank you to everyone that attended this years Users Group. Your participation literally provides a great significance to the lives of many people directly and indirectly around the world.