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Spring 2015 Chicago Roundtable Recap

Hosts Steve Edwards and Dean Mueller welcomed 23 members and four guests to Chicago on April 16-17 for the Spring 2015 Roundtable. Four sponsors also contributed to the success of the event.

  • Zoom presented their cloud video conferencing and online meeting solution. Several members are Zoom customers which lent to good discussion and use cases. Zoom also received a favorable reaction from those that had not been exposed to it previously.
  • OpenAsset showed their new cloud based service and features. They also covered their development track and discussed their retreat from the BIM cataloging software they had developed. It was a good explanation and the membership appreciated their candor and support in the short term.
  • Hedvig presented their storage offering designed to leverage commodity storage hardware. While initially suitable for teir 2 and 3, teir 1 is anticipated in the future. Mike Rinken of Mazzetti has been working with Hedvig on a pilot and will share his experience as it progresses.
  • Newforma introduced Shari Zedeck as their new product manager. In addition to reviewing features of version 11.5 they heard directly from members on their needs and discussed plans to address concerns. The group sent their wishes to Bob Batcheler for success in his future endeavors.

In addition to vendor presentations, member discussion over the course the two days touched on a wide variety of topics including virtualization, cloud storage and licensing, work anywhere and mobile, data protection, and more

A highlight of the event was the tour of the Microsoft’s Technology Center, a collaborative environment providing access to a variety of innovative technologies. The group viewed demonstrations of Microsoft’s expanded data mining tools, context aware speech recognition, creative applications of Kinect, amongst other things. Members came away with a new appreciation of Microsoft as an innovator.

After a full day on Thursday attendees enjoyed dinner followed by a comedy show at Second City. Only time will tell whether we saw the next John Belushi, Gilda Radner, or Bill Murray.

Friday’s business meeting included presentation of ideas for a new logo and website. Chicago guests were encouraged to join the group and ways to increase membership were discussed. Vancouver, BC was confirmed as venue for the Fall 2015 meeting and Kansas City will play host in Spring 2016. Those who were unable to come to Chicago are encouraged to attend future roundtables.

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