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IFS Unleashed event

IFS called its event last week Unleashed - very appropriate given the immense energy of the event in the city of Miami Beach which throbs with Latin energy.

I have another name for the event - “Serendipity”- for the unplanned opportunity to meet people from countless countries and industries.

They had so many sub-themes converge. The main event ran from Tuesday to Thursday, but they had a partner day, a customer advisory board meeting and a Board of Directors Meeting around it. They had so many opportunities to mingle – in the Expo Hall, in various evening activities, and at breaks. The compact Miami Beach convention center made it so much easier to network. I must have detected at least 25 accents from my meetings (ten from around the UK!)

I ran into and had lunch with Craig Conway. I have not seen him since PoepleSoft days. Great to reminisce about past and talk about the present. He sits on several boards including that of IFS.

Nick Ward of Rolls-Royce was brilliant on stage. He covered outcome-based business models like their pioneering “Power by the Hour”. Even more fascinating was his description of material science and how it is pushing aviation boundaries and making it more sustainable. I have interviewed him over Zoom, but it was nice to spend a couple of minutes in person.

I have long admired the Norwegian company, Juton. Known as a paint company, they are actually a technology company with all kinds of unique skills and tools for maritime, oil and gas, skyscraper construction sectors. It was nice to spend a few minutes with the CEO, Morten Fon. I asked him what he thought of the Miami heat. He said he quite liked it – he had enjoyed a stint in tropical Malaysia.

I missed meeting him in person – have done so on Zoom but it was awe-inspiring to hear Mark Adams of Lockheed-Martin on stage. He described one of the most complex asset management and maintenance projects ever - modernization of US Navy. Aircraft carriers on down. Need to work anywhere in globe. Paper manuals to digital twins.

We heard inspirational talks from Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian ever with 23 Gold medals; from Tia Clair-Toomey, the fittest lady in the world having won 6 CrossFit tournaments, and from our friend, Ray Wang who in his own energetic way described what staying fit means for corporations in today’s digital world.

I met journalists who cover energy and aerospace and defense. Nice to not just hang around IT types. There were plenty of sustainability and partner awards. CEO Darren Roos handed out advance copies of his book “Moment of Service”. I got a personal tour of the Expo Hall from Bas de Vos who heads IFS Labs.

There was music everywhere – a sax soloist in the analyst track, bands at every outing, a DJ continually playing music outside the expo hall. There was time to explore South Beach and Miami’s museum/aquarium district.

In keeping with the Miami theme, I must have tried salmon, mahi-mahi, lobster and plenty of other seafood over the 3 days. I delivered my gift of Tampa cigars to Oliver Pilgerstorfer and he generously shared the box with others.

I am just scratching the surface on all the venues where other attendees had serendipitous meetings of their own.

I have requested to record a video episode with the IFS team which planned and executed such an amazingly diverse event – once they have had a chance to catch their breath. One regret - I missed spending more time with I have come to know over the last couple of years like Marne Martin, Mark Brewer and Alex Ivkovic. Hope to at next year's Unleashed, er. Serendipity event

In the meantime, enjoy this 3-minute recap of the event and some of the music.