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EMC SourceOne Insider Spotlight: Checking in on Momentum Lisbon with Chris Blaik

SourceOne Insider recently spoke with Chris Blaik, the Director of Marketing for EMEA for the Information Intelligence Group, about Momentum Lisbon.   The conference is scheduled for 25-28 October.

SourceOne Insider:  Hello Chris. We’re interested to hear more about preparations for Momentum Lisbon.  How’s it going so far?

Chris Blaik:  Hello, Joyce. So far it’s going really well – we’re looking to be on target for the second year running, which means we’re anticipating a sold out show.  We did that last year, but with the ongoing issues of the world economy – in some ways it would be an even bigger achievement this year.

We’re going to have the main event – with 85 sessions driven by partners, customers, and our own employees – but we’re also going to have little mini Momentums running alongside the main event.

SourceOne Insider: Can you give us an example of a mini Momentum?

Chris Blaik:  Sure.  For example, we have a press program planned with over 35 journalists set to participate from across Europe. We’ll kick off that event with a panel discussion that I’ll be leading and that will feature three of our partners, WiPro, Cap Gemini and Tieto. We expect to have 75-80 interviews conducted during the course of Momentum.

We also started a partner conference, about three years ago, and this year we plan to have between 250 and 300 partners joining us, starting with a Sunday evening reception and then a full-day conference on Monday.

Finally, we’re also going to have some industry roundtables, which are three hour sessions where we discuss issues with customers.  This year we’ll have one for local government featuring customers such as eLuxembourg. We’ll also have one for defense and public safety – and I can’t really mention who will be there but it’ll be a good closed-door session!  The third one will be an energy sector round table.

So overall we think it’s going to be great but as you can see, there are lots of moving parts.

SourceOne Insider:  That does sound like a lot going on.  Is there an overall theme or focus to Momentum that ties everything together?

Chris Blaik:  You know, this is my fourth Momentum, and about three years ago, we started introducing themes just so we could focus our content and make sure we had consistency across the conference, from keynotes to parties.  We look for themes that reflect the times and the environment our customers live in¸ and the theme should also reflect the country who’s hosting us.  This year, our theme is Explore Information, Discover Intelligence.  Since we’re in Lisbon, we want to leverage the rich history of the great Portuguese discoverers who broke a lot of new ground and gave us such an historical legacy. Of course this also gives us a chance to introduce our new divisional name, Information Intelligence Group. Hopefully the audience will get an appreciation of that context and see our theme highlighting the fact that there is more information than ever before and that we need to explore the context of that information.

SourceOne Insider:   Can you give us a sneak peek and let us know who the keynote speakers will be, and what they’ll be focusing on?

Chris Blaik:   Yes of course, I’m very excited about the keynotes this year.  They’ll be some strong topics.  First as I mentioned, Information Intelligence Group is a new name, and we’re thrilled that Mark Lewis, our Divisional President and Whitney Tidmarsh, our Chief Marketing Officer will lead off in the morning, to reveal the vision of what that new name means and how it’s connected to the world outside.

Then we’ll have an afternoon session with Jeetu Patel, our new Chief Technology Officer and Rick Devenuti, our Chief of Operations to discuss the strategy for that vision and how we’re going to execute.

Finally, we’ll also hear from a customer, Lloyds Bank, a leading UK bank and we’ll have Melissa Webster of analyst firm IDC both discussing what information intelligence means to them.

SourceOne Insider:  Those should be good sessions we won’t want to miss.  Do you want to focus on any partners that will be at Momentum?

Chris Blaik:  I certainly do.  Let me start by saying that our lead sponsors support us tremendously in being able to build and provide such an experience for our customers.  We wouldn’t be able to do Momentum without the help of our sponsors, particularly the Elite and Gold sponsors.

Let me mention a couple of partners specifically, starting with C6 who is based in France, but has helped to drive value to customers across Europe.  They have a smart user interface that sits along Documentum.

And I can’t say too much more here, but two of our partners, Cap Gemini and Tieto are each going to be launching something new at Momentum and you won’t want to miss it.  You’ll definitely want to explore what these partners are doing at Momentum.

SourceOne Insider:  One of the things Momentum is known for is the wonderful night time activities.  Can you tell us a little bit more about this year’s plans?

Chris Blaik:          Something you may realize is that part of European culture and business is all about relationships.  The amount of business that is driven over coffee or wine or beer is tremendous. As a result, we put a lot of effort into producing industry best-in-class social events to drive conversations and build relationships.

Our Monday evening welcome reception is being held in the space around the exhibition in part to help drive traffic to our partners. We’ll be doing a Portuguese Fiesta – in effect transforming the space into a Portuguese village.

Tuesday evening is traditionally our cultural evening, and this year we’ll be going to the wine cellars of Colares to celebrate the Portuguese wine- and port-making traditions.  The event will be at the winery itself and we’ll have some Gregorian Monks providing chanting, so it should be a good event.

Wednesday evening is our conference party, and for Iberian flavor, we’ll be converting the old Kais Warehouse into a blues club with an Ibiza-like chill out zone featuring the DJ Combo High on Heels to provide a real Café del Mar experience.  These ladies have recently played at the Formula One event in Monaco and Brad Pitt’s birthday party, so we’re sure they’re worth checking out!

SourceOne Insider:  That sounds like a lot of fun, and we’re sorry we’re not going to be there.  Is there any good news for those of us who cannot attend Momentum in Lisbon?

Chris Blaik:  I’m glad you asked!  We’ve decided to do Virtual Momentum.  It launches one week after the Lisbon event, and it will be live for 3 months.  If you are attending Momentum, then this year, it is complimentary for you.  And if you have a stand at the physical event, then you get a virtual stand too.  For people who couldn’t make the event, we’re selling passes for $200 a person or for groups of five or more, it is $100 a person.

We know that a great amount of value is generated at Momentum every year, between customer use cases, partner solutions or even EMC talking about new products and directions.  However, once the event ends, it all just seems to disappear.  Likewise, we have six tracks at Momentum this year, and no one can attend all of them, so it’s hard to get everything even if you do get to attend! We really see that there is a ton of opportunity and value that doesn’t get shared, especially when you think about all the people who can’t make the event, or can’t afford to take the time or have travel restrictions in this economy.

So we thought about all of that and decided Virtual Momentum would provide not only more value to those who are attending and paying so that they maximize their time and money spent coming, but also we decided to extend that value to even more customers, partners, and members of the Documentum community!

SourceOne Insider:  Great!  Before we let you get back to Momentum planning, is there anything else you’d like to pass on to our readers?

Chris Blaik:   Yes.  You know, a huge amount of effort is needed to make this happen, and I want to thank a couple of people, if I may.  First, there are our sponsors from the partner community.  Without them we couldn’t hold such a great conference.  Then there’s the event team who work day and night to make this happen.  It’s phenomenal how a team of two people can pull off so much!

I’d also like to thank the wider field management team in EMEA who really drop everything else they’re working on to make Momentum successful – especially getting the attention of our busy teams.  And of course I’d like to thank the sales team who get really focused (once the quarter ends) to get customers interested and who help us find the best practices, deployments and use cases.

I’d also like to thank the SEs and presales team who do most of the technical presentations at the event and of course corporate marketing who help on the big things like the presentations and keynotes.  There is a tremendous amount of teamwork that goes into this event, and it’s great to see how it all comes together!

SourceOne Insider:  Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and we look forward to hearing all about the highlights!

Chris Blaik:  Thank you and we hope to see everyone either in Lisbon or at Virtual Momentum!

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