The Connect conference that drew 2,700 attendees is long over, but some of the user group and HP messages from the HP Technology Forum & Expo live on, streamed from the Web. SDR News, a video interview service, gathered more than a dozen one-to-one interviews at the event. SDR was "invited media," according to Connect president Nina Buik.
The coverage includes a talk about the future of the Connect user group from its incoming president, Chris Koppe of Speedware. In 11 minutes of Q&A, Koppe talks about the efforts to raise the user group's visibility inside HP. There are also fundamentals about what Connect's mission is during a year when all user groups are working to remain relevant and vital resources.
The SDR coverage is interesting because it was recorded and streamed live at the conference -- so it's not as dressed up and controlled as the HP-created videos all over the Web. Koppe was one of only three people interviewed by SDR at the HPTF who were not HP employees. (There's also five minutes with the winner of a $10,000 drawing, but that probably qualifies as "human interest" instead of news.) Koppe takes his office in January for the user group and has been a board member or volunteer since 2005. He has brought the tribal knowledge of the HP 3000 user community to the group from his work on the Interex board of directors.
The 20 SDR videos also include a word from a company that began an HP 3000 emulator project, although that platform and the ongoing project aren't mentioned.
Koppe, who was a member of the Interex board when that user group folded four summers ago, talks a bit about the Connect business model. "We're non-profit and we run on a shoestring budget," he said. "Every dollar of what we collect goes to member services."
He also noted that vendors will get airtime to add to Connect's voice to HP user community. A Special Interest Group for vendors is in Connect's plans. The user group has great motivation for giving vendors a voice like the one Interex offered for two decades via SIG-Softvend. Speaking from a conference floor filled with vendor booths, Koppe said the Connect vendors "also end up being a funding source for our organization."
Other SDR interviews and video from the conference include keynotes from Intel and Brocade, a Microsoft roadmap talk, and a fascinating interview with Robert Boers, CEO of Stromasys. That company was once named SRI and started work on an HP 3000 emulator in 2004. We'll have more tomorrow about that subject, an issue that once dominated the advocacy of OpenMPE.