Skip to main content

9th Annual Enterprise Computing Community Conference: Day 1

In June, I attended the 9th annual Enterprise Computing Community (ECC) conference hosted by Marist College with collaboration and support from academic and industry partners and sponsors. This year’s conference was June 11 to 13, 2017. I gave an overview of the conference in my previous post. In this post, I focus primarily on the content of the first day of the conference, which was diverse and interesting.

Morning Sessions

The day began with registration and continental breakfast on the third floor of the student center. Breakfast was sponsored by Express Scripts, who also had representative present at a conference table where they were they were promoting their internship program.

9 a.m., welcome and opening remarks: Roger Norton, dean, Marist College
Roger Norton opened the conference with comments about the history of the conference, including its initial funding and the present role of sponsors. Today, there are 1,500 in the ECC, which reflects considerable growth from the first years. He also took the opportunity to tell the participants about Marist with its roughly 6,500 students. He also mentioned the institute for data center professionals and its focus on enterprise systems education, data center education and cybersecurity.

9:20 to 10:20 a.m., keynote speaker Bernie Meyerson, IBM Fellow and vice president, Chief Innovation Officer – Presentation: The Future of Computing: Wisdom in an Era of Discontinuities
Meyerson’s talk was largely about big data, and it was full of experiences and examples that he learned through his many jobs in IBM and his direct work with numerous clients. He spoke about leading enterprises and their continued use of mainframe computers and the related infrastructure being used to collect data that is residing on mainframes from sensors and other devices in the Internet of Things.

10:40 to 11:20 a.m., three concurrent sessions from which to choose. Links to the presentations from the first and second days where you will find “download presentation” links.
1. Reg Harnish, GreyCastle Security – Asymmetric Cyberwarfare: The Business Case for Insecurity
2. Eva Yan, IBM – The IBM LinuxONE Community Cloud-Get Your Free Image Now!
I attended this session to learn what I could about LinuxONE. A big team from IBM was present to share information and answer questions. Presently, there are many thousands of users who get a free VM for up to 120 days of use with MongoDB, Blockchain, Apache Spark and other software that you install and use. This is a good environment for educators and at the end of 120 days, they can simply renew and get 120 more.
3. Gary Fisher, IBM – More Data, Faster: Advances in Higher Capacity in Fiber Optic Communication

11:30 a.m. to noon, there were four concurrent sessions but only three to pick from as our colleagues from the University of Baghdad were unsuccessful in getting visas.
1. Abdullah Jassim Al-Zubaidi, Saifuldeen Mohammed, University of Baghdad – Cognitive Dynamic Software Defined Enterprise
2. Len Santalucia, Vicom Infinity; Steven Dickens, IBM – Open Mainframe Project
3. David Douglas, University of Arkansas – Predictive Analytics-A Comparative Analysis of IBM Bluemix Data Science Experience versus IBM SPSS Modeler
I attended this session to get refreshed on statistical software and how the tools are used. This session was basically a tutorial to help move from older tools to newer approaches. It also gave insights into the maturity level of the newer software. It was a useful refresher on how to set up a model and the kinds of reporting that you can expect from the software.
4. Nicolai Joukov, Elizaveta Belikova, modelizeIT Inc. – Click-to-Decommission: Identification of Unused IT Assets

We had a sponsored lunch in the great hall overlooking the Hudson River sponsored by BlackRidge Technology.

Afternoon Sessions

1  to 2 p.m., keynote speaker Madge Meyer, founder of Madge Meyer Consulting LLC – Presentation: How Individuals, Teams and Organizations Can Make Innovation Business as Usual
This was an inspirational talk about innovation. It had plenty of substance, but the main use for me was inspiration. Meyer told stories from when she was an IT manager at Merrill Lynch. She took some bold actions that saved the company millions of dollars despite their reluctance to change. The success of one IT project led to others that institutionalized innovation. Meyer was also part of the space program and was involved in three missions where “nobody died,” which was an ongoing concern for her and her husband who was also involved in pre-Apollo missions.

2:10 to 2:40p.m., there were three concurrent sessions from which to choose:
1. Tony Sager, BlackRidge Technology – Securing Commercial Blockchain Networks
2. Cameron Seay, North Carolina A&T State University Project Lead – IT-Leadership, Empowerment, Apprenticeship and Diversity in Information Technology
3. Jacob Gilenko, IBM – zD&T: Learning with a Personal Mainframe
I attended this this session as I was curious about IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment. This tool provides a platform for mainframe application demonstration, development, testing and developer education. It enables z/OS, middleware and other z/OS software to run on Intel and Intel-compatible platforms without the need for z Systems mainframe hardware.

3 to 3:40 p.m., there were three concurrent sessions from which to choose.
1. Misty Decker, Troy Crutcher, David Douglas, Klaus Rutsch, IBM – zSystems Academic Initiative-The Hits Just Keep Coming!
2. Harry Williams, SHARE president and Marist College – Open Mainframe Project and SHARE
3. Phil Teplitzky, HP Marin – A Methodology and Approach for Identifying and Mitigating Risks Associated with Enterprise Applications
I attended this session because I have a deep interest in methodologies. Phil Teplitzky spoke about the challenges in handling risk in legacy systems. He was funny, very experienced and had an incredibly powerful grasp of the issues and practice. Through his interactions with the audience, he added layers in information and insight to the useful materials already present on his charts.

3:50 to 4:20 p.m., there were three concurrent sessions from which to choose.
1. Lawrence Hill, Rochester Institute of Technology Enterprise Computing – System-Level Thinking, Much More than an IT Data Focus and Pedagogical and Career Imperatives to Include Such Topics in IT Curricula
2. Angelo Corridori, Marist College – Undergraduate Enterprise Computing Class Aimed at the Business Leaders of Tomorrow
3. Dan Ephraim, DuPont Fabros Technology – The Value Proposition of Mission Critical Infrastructure
I attended this session because I have a long history with data center infrastructure and I thought I might get some new information. Dan Ephraim lives and breathes infrastructure, so his fast moving presentation was full of insights, facts and figures. He had many stories about data center projects and the hot areas (like Virginia) where data center projects are booming.

4:30 to  5:10 p.m., Panel Discussion: NSF Principal Investigator’s Update
The moderator was Angelo Corridori and Roger Norton, Marist College; Cameron Seay, North Carolina A&T State University; David Douglas, University of Arkansas; Suk-Chung Yoon, Widener University; and Chu Jong, Central New Mexico Community College. The panelists each took a turn explaining what was going on with courses and projects at each of their institutions. The diversity of topics and institutional approaches presented was well worth the 40-minute investment of time.

In the evening, we participated in a boat ride on the Hudson River that was sponsored by
Lead IT.

In my next post, I’ll cover the second day of the conference.