A blog by Geoff Hook, projects director at Lanner
I was lucky enough to be able to attend both days of the recent Optimize 2012 conference arranged by Casewise. This conference was a little different to many software vendor specific events; in that the content was wide and varied as opposed to repeatedly having presentations containing numerous screenshots that illustrate details of the product that was used. This meant the conference was accessible for a wide range of attendees, users and people with a broader interest in improving business performance through business process improvement and enterprise business architecture.
Possibly the highlight of the conference for me was the speech given by Michael Portillo, who described himself as a member of the ex-potential future British Prime Minister club. Joking aside, and there was one or two good ones from Mr Portillo, he went on to present an illuminating analysis of the current economic crisis and in particular the state of the Euro. I found his comparison to other currency amalgamations very insightful, re-uniting of Germany and the single Deutsch Mark and the situation in North America after the civil war where again a single currency was adopted. No doubt having ‘celebrity’ speakers at events does make the event look attractive, however in my experience few celebrity speakers have been as interesting and thought provoking as Mr Portillo.
The conference featured many interesting speakers, all of which had obviously prepared well and communicated excellently with the listeners. I did find the story of savings made in IT by the UK HMRC particularly stimulating since I am a UK tax payer. Aside from the good use of Casewise products at HMRC to achieve the savings made, sound data collection, basic analysis and common-sense were also contributors. This was brought together by good project management and charismatic leadership otherwise I doubt the great success achieved in the time wouldn’t have been possible.
I’d like to personally thank Crimestoppers and Jane Parkin for presenting a fascinating case study on how simulation was used by the anonymous crime reporting charity to refine their call centre operations to cope with higher demand. This was a perfect example of why Casewise have partnered with my company Lanner in order to provide best of breed simulation technology to all Casewise customers.
The evening dinner was accompanied by a sportsman’s presentation, which is a well tried and trusted formula. On this occasion Ollie Phillips was the speaker, the England Rugby 7’s captain. Ollie spoke convincingly about the importance of planning, technology and teamwork in the right balance as key to achieving that extra performance that makes a winning team.
The venue was the extravagant Andaz hotel adjacent to London’s Liverpool Street Station, I did manage to spend a short time relaxing in the 1901 bar, amazing architecture and good wine list… after all you do need time for some networking and team building at a conference.