• October 19, 2018

Leaving Las Vegas

As I get ready to fly home to Boston, I just wanted to share my thoughts about the great week that Rocket Software just had at IBM InterConnect 2015. This is one of the most important software industry conferences of the year, and I leave this week inspired by the breadth and depth of content and technology that was covered.

Our team of Rocketeers showed up in Las Vegas ready to engage with customers and partners. We listened – we really listened – as hundreds of you told us about your challenges and opportunities in the area of mobile, cloud, social, middleware, systems, security, development, and more.

But if I had to summarize in one word (ok, two words) all of the things that we heard you say this week, it would have to be business transformation. How should enterprise IT drive that transformation? How should enterprise IT respond to that transformation? How can I get maximum value out of everything I’ve invested in over the past 30 years? And at the same time, how should I invest in and respond to new customer engagement and business models? Will I be left behind? How will I be a part of what’s next?

Thank you to our customers and partners for being so open and honest with us this week. We take our role as a trusted advisor very seriously. And thank you to all of the Rocketeers who came to Las Vegas from all over the world to make this week such a successful week. Of course we partnered closely with IBM this week, as well as our good friends at Drury. It really was a TEAM effort, and our ability to get so much done across multiple locations, tracks, and events is really a testament to who we are at Rocket.

I have to highlight two of those events, ones that everyone will remember for a long time. First, we sponsored a concert by Boston’s very own Aerosmith, one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. The MGM Grand arena was packed with over 13,000 people. Aerosmith put on a performance that most everyone said was the best they’ve ever experienced.

I even had the opportunity to go on stage, play a guitar solo/riff, and introduce the Bad Boys of Boston, which was pretty awesome. Marcus Hatfield joined me on stage to give away one of our custom designed Rocketcaster guitars, made by our now famous Rocketeer, Steve Bice.

And after the concert we celebrated our 25th birthday with a private event for 550 of our closest customers and partners. If you’ve followed along this year, you know that 2015 is our 25th anniversary year and we are celebrating “Rocket 25” in various locations around the globe (we will be in Frankfurt in March and in Sydney in April).

This week was inspirational. It was a chance for us to meet with our customers and partners and listen. It was a chance for us to talk about what Rocket is doing and show off our talented Rocketeers and our innovative products and solutions. It was a week of hundreds of conversations with the top leaders in technology and across a wide range of industries. It’s not an exaggeration to say that IBM InterConnect is where business gets done. I have no doubt that we will be able to trace much of our future growth back to this week.

I am particularly proud of the Rocketeers who spoke at the breakout sessions, demonstrated our products in the expo hall, and hosted our up-close-and-personal roundtable lunches. I know how hard you prepared and am thankful for sharing your insights and expertise. I am also thankful to our many customers and partners who spoke on our behalf. We really do enjoy being a part of your successes.

You couldn’t walk anywhere this week without seeing signs and banners telling us that it is time for “A New Way To Think.” This theme was repeated in each general session and keynote. I’ll close this blog post with two powerful statements that really resonated with me this week.

  • Robert LeBlanc, IBM Senior Vice President, challenged us to think about moving the cloud closer to your data.
  • Heather Cox, CMO at Citi, said that we need banking, not banks.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your InterConnect experience this week.

What new ways of thinking will inspire you?

-Andy

Andy Youniss

Andy Youniss 60 Posts

Andy Youniss co-founded Rocket Software in 1990 and continues to be the company's main driving force. Andy successfully established and actively manages Rocket's largest OEM partnerships and is guiding the company's growth through technology investments, acquisitions, new product lines, and strategic partnerships. Prior to founding Rocket Software, Andy was the development manager for DB View Inc., a software company specializing in DB2 database tools. Previously, he was a programmer/analyst at American Management Systems, and was also a project development consultant. Andy holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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