Well, the MSU IT conference is long and gone, so I’d figure I would write some sort of review of it.
All in all, it was a very well run and organized conference. A conference consisting only of the people that you work with seems weird to people who work in small to medium sized companies, but when there are over 1,000 IT staff in a place that has 10,000+ workers (and 50,000+ people all together), you tend to build silos, and not communicate between them. This conference was designed from the ground up to break these silos. Things like assigned seating during meals with people you typically don’t know really helps with this.
Breakfast and the keynote speaker were great.
Gerry McCartney, the Purdue CIO had an excellent speech about innovation within the education scope. It made a couple things click in my mind, and really raised some questions within our own community. I got to talk to him a bit after the keynote, and got to talk about the same innovation topic a bit.
The sessions were good as usual. I got to sit in on Jeff Utter and Jeff Goke-Smith’s presentation on network security. Both really know their stuff, so they made it difficult for me to give them a hard time. Their presentation really should have been about two hours, but they did really well with the time they had.
After a brief lunch I had my session on VoIP technologies. I had a packed room, with people standing by the door, and only two chairs left in the entire place. I talked about our department, what VoIP was, what were the pros and cons of using VoIP on your data network, and of course the demos.
I had some great questions from the group, so the time I had for demos got greatly compressed, but that’s ok. I showed :
- Unified Messaging
- Avaya 4610 VPNremote Phone
- Avaya 9640 IP Phone (with Calendaring and synced Contacts)
- Avaya IP Softphone
- Avaya 3645 WiFi Portable IP Telephone (with paging)
- MSUtv (IPTV).
It was great to finally show some of these projects we have been working on. I ran over by about 10 minutes, but just about everybody stuck around!
The final presentation I went to was proper techniques for deploying web applications. It centered around PHP, and lots of OSS stuff, so it was neat to see another point of view. A lot of the problems they were trying to solve were never really problems with ColdFusion, and the ones that were I’ve been implementing for quite a while already (by using SVN and things like that).
Finally, the conference wrapped up with a Q&A session with the guy who runs a majority of the IT on campus. Lots of good questions, and really helped people figure out where our campus is going in the future.