HP Discover, Las Vegas; trips around Essex, UK; and Dublin, Ireland

I arrive in the UK

After a wonderful time with Daniel Billing I suffered the most undignified treatment, being sent through the post to Stuart Rance’s house in Essex. The parcel was dark and bumpy and I was inside for ages.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Not quite the first class experience I was hoping for

I really needed some fish to revive me, but first my new friend (lovingly referred to as “Mrs Stuart”) said I had to try this thing called “tea” (I was willing to give it a go because it rhymed with “sea”).

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Enjoying a brew

The tea was ok but I still needed fish. I wasn’t too sure what the silver things were with my salmon (humans are weird) but the fish was delicious.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Yummy in my tummy

Mrs Stuart and his family taught me a new game called Pengi Ping Pong, thankfully nobody brought up the topic of gamification (I would look silly with a badge) and I’m pleased to say that I thrashed them all!

Just call me Zhang Jike

Just call me Zhang Jike

Whilst I was staying with Mrs Stuart there was a Forrester conference at a hotel in central London, so I went to visit them on a Sunday lunch time to see who I could find. First some familiar faces:

Then I discovered a new breed of analyst by the name of Chris Matchett who I liked a lot because he wore clothes that supported penguins. Apparently he works for Gartner and not for Forrester. I think he might have been on a mission to steal CMDB secrets from the mighty O’Donnell but I can’t be certain.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

If you look closely you can see Chris’ small human, she was very cute.

Then I met the love of my life Andie Kis.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

The best day EVER

We all went for tea in Hyde Park and I even had time to teach Andie how to ride a scooter.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

I ate all the fish sandwiches

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Zoom zoom zoom

HP Discover, Las Vegas

After a brief visit with Mrs Stuart’s family it was time to do some ITSM stuff. We went back to my favourite town, Las Vegas, to HP Discover. I was expecting to get my own seat in the first class end of the plane, but Mrs Stuart said I had to hide in his bag because I didn’t have a passport. I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous; penguins have been travelling all over the world without passports for centuries.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

It was a tight squeeze

HP Discover was an enormous event. I couldn’t believe how big it was. This wasn’t an IT Service Management conference (apparently there is more to technology than just ITSM… I know it was a shock for me too); it seemed to cover every imaginable aspect of IT, but with about 12,000 attendees there were plenty of ITSM exhibits and more than enough people to keep me entertained.

Here’s a few of the friends I made:

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Michael Pott from HP Software

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Chuck Darst from HP Software

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Angela Chin from HP Technology Consulting

Mrs Stuart must get more of his colleagues to take part in Twitter so that I can keep in touch with them.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Andrew Speake from G2G3

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Carrie Pairman from G2G3

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Neil Whyte from G2G3

G2G3 are a company that really do understand IT Service Management, although there is of course always room for improvement. I commend their hiring of that super intelligent bloke Ian Clayton and my dear friend Ken Gonzalez, but let’s face it, what they really need is some penguin expertise.

Anyway, the HP keynote by Meg Whitman was really good.  She talked about HP customers and partners, as well as the huge range of HP hardware, software and services. There was also a presentation by some guy called Kevin Bacon who didn’t have anything to do with IT Service Management, but talked about Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. He made me think of Mr Ken (Gonzalez), he likes bacon.

The audience at Mrs Stuart’s presentation went absolutely wild for my silhouette. I wanted to stay there for the whole session but Mrs Stuart made me get down when he wanted to change slides. Personally I think my presentation on the importance of fish in ITIL processes would have been better but whatever.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Just making the presentation a little sexier

There was a concert one evening, by a guy called Carlos Santana. Lots of flashing lights and loud music, but the humans seemed to enjoy it. What I really like about Las Vegas, is that there’s always plenty of fish. Even on the fruit machines.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Unfortunately it pays out in $$ not fish

On my final day in Las Vegas, Mrs Stuart took me for a walk up and down the strip (which was nice considering that that Stephen Mann bloke never bothered on my first trip). There were lots of places where I expected to find fish, but they all seemed to be empty.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Oh fish where art thou?

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Maybe the fish are scared of ITSM people?

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Here fishy fishy fishy

When I did find some fish, there was a solid pane of glass in the way, so I was starving by the time Mrs Stuart finally fed me. ITSM is hard work.

Back in the UK

Then the same thing happened when we got back to the UK, Mrs Stuart took me for a walk in the park and the lake had this terrible sign! I really don’t think much of a country that doesn’t let its penguins go swimming or fishing.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

I miss Sweden

itSMF in Dublin, Ireland

Stuart’s next trip was to speak at an itSMF event in Dublin, I was quite excited because this was my first trip to Ireland (although I’m still not happy that itSMF still haven’t acknowledged the free advertising on my twitter profile). You can see how the audience listened to everything I had to say (because I am the ITSM KING… penguin! Ha!). It was a great event, that included a barbecue and bar at the end.

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

My service catalogue jokes had them in stitches

Moving on again

I was quite sad when I had to leave Mrs Stuart’s house for my next adventure, I think his youngest daughter had taken quite a shine to me and I didn’t even get a photo of her (I hope Andie isn’t reading this). Mrs Stuart says I can help deliver his presentation to itSMF UK in November, so we’ll be meeting again.

Where now?

At the moment I’m hanging out with Ivor Macfarlene although I am not sure where he is intending on taking me. If anybody knows please let me know! Rest assured I will be eating fish and spreading the ITSM love whatever happens.

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ServiceNow’s Knowledge13 Event – A Birdseye View

This penguin is fresh back from Las Vegas and Know13; well, I say fresh, even penguins get jet lag. It was an information-whirlwind and a chance to meet many of the IT service management (ITSM) Twitterati (but I’ll never get over the fact that humans are so tall and wear clothes, and don’t talk to me about those strange finger-things they have).

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Entering Las Vegas – do they speak Penglish here?

A few “disclosure” statements before I start:

  • Firstly I attended Knowledge13 on ServiceNow’s dime – next year I hope they will invite more penguins. There is a definite ROP, that’s Return on Penguins!
  • It was hard to attend all the sessions I wanted to due to the high demand for Pengi photo opportunities from the other attendees – but I appreciate penguins can’t help being so damn sexy ❤
  • This is my first blog, I’ve read a few by people like Ken Gonzalez and James Finister – it doesn’t look difficult and “Shakespeare and infinite monkeys” comes to mind. I should be fine.
  • I have been known to “do things for fish” but don’t we all in our own way.
  • Lastly, penguins never say mean things about anyone. If they do it is purely in jest, through provocation, due to a lack of fish, or if someone hijacks my hashtag.

What I learnt in Vegas – the keynotes

So there was some general behavioural stuff like not to pee on people’s shoes (people are so sensitive about these clothes things) and that developers don’t like sunshine (I’m told that Twilight is actually a DevOps movie that pits vampires against werewolves in the pursuit of the business’ affections). There was also some great content. I’ll start with the keynotes.

Know13 kicked off with ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman who threw some big figures out into the audience – over 3900 registered attendees for Know13, for a company that now has over 1200 employees and over 1600 customers. These are big numbers for a penguin, even king penguins.

Frank spoke of things such as ERP for IT and single systems of record but the real hook for anyone in the audience not already a ServiceNow customer came as part of his customer panel. With statements such as:

  • “When our IT is mediocre Intel is mediocre”
  • “Coca-Cola feels that ServiceNow is critical to our business”
  • “We couldn’t have done this with the other product, 50 clicks and a cloud of dust.”

So some great words from some important people in some very successful organizations but I’m still unsure why Coca-Cola advertises with polar bears and not penguins. I can only guess they have a cheaper day rate.

The day two keynote from ServiceNow-founder and CPO Fred Luddy was a laugh-a-minute-athon that contained some important new-capability announcements. The mobility stuff was cool but I think the most talked-about thing was the App Creator which allows the ServiceNow platform to be easily leveraged by customers – a demo showed a corporate room-booking app being created in just 4 minutes. Fred’s great lines included:

  • “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” (in IT)
  • “IT is no more a commodity than romance – IT has to be custom built”
  • “It’s easy to predict the future… It’s just hard to predict what and when”
  • “3-5 years ago corporations had a white board with “cloud strategy” written at the top. The rest of the board was blank”
  • “Tablets – what we use when in a meeting pretending to be in a meeting”.

What I learnt in Vegas – the sessions

As I have already admitted, I wish I had attended more sessions. Here is what I attended (and you can see most of these people, and where they work,below):

  • Saurabh Dubey talking on practical configuration management – using non-IT scenarios to help understanding. It seemed that configuration management was actually a popular topic across the event, I must inform Carlos and Glenn that they need to do an update to The CMDB Imperative. In my opinion, they would have sold far more copies with a picture of a penguin on the front of the book but they wouldn’t listen. Maybe next time?
  • Gene Kim spoke of DevOps as only Gene Kim can. Even a little penguin could see the benefits of breaking down the fence between Run the Business and Change the Business, although I imagine many would still love to sit on it. A killer stat: “High-performing IT DevOps teams deploy 8000 times faster and restore service 12 times faster than legacy IT Ops”.
  • The Culture Eats Process For Breakfast panel with Eveline Oehrlich, Paul Hardy, Chris York, and Adam Mason was popular and interesting with a 50:50:1 male-female-penguin ratio. Lots of questions, probably helped on by gamification at work (you could win an Apple TV by asking a question), and evidence of there still being so much more to do around culture, social, gamification, and even the age-old art of knowledge management.
  • Simon Morris gave a Lab-type session on Agile. Helping beginners from the bottom up on sprints, scrums, and other highly-athletic activities. Please remember that I only have short legs.
  • Farah Remtulla and Mark Kawasaki (that’s a lot of As in one name) spoke of understanding and delivering customer value. Mark gave up his office for 30 days, became mobile on campus, and just observed his customers. He never went back. They also used a great quote from Matt Hooper ~ “IT is not a department, it’s a competency”.
  • A panel led by Michael Dortch and including Jarod Greene of Gartner, Ken Gonzalez of <<any company with bacon>>, and three guys with real IT jobs looked at what needs to change in IT, IT service management, and IT service delivery beyond 2015. There were far too many great comments to list them all so I have include one from my new friend “Big D” (although many call him “The Dortch”) ~ “There are still people who still say that: this #SaaS thing could take off any day now”.

I also hid in the bushes and listened while Ken Gonzalez and someone I didn’t recognise spoke with Chris Barrett of Capita about the future of ITIL, the ITSM best practice framework. Ken came up with some genius points but the other guy was as much use as a chocolate tea pot – I think he used to be an analyst.

What I learnt in Vegas – the people

I met lots of fantastic people at Know13. They were a lot bigger than their Twitter avatars, especially Jarod Greene. It seems he gets this a lot, even from those bigger than six-inch-high penguins.

Matt Hooper of Acorio

Matt Hooper of Acorio

Daniel Billing, Time Lord

Daniel Billing, Time Lord

Daniel Billing, Time Lord

Brian Hollandsworth of ServiceNow

Mike Malcangio and Simon Morris, ServiceNow

Mike Malcangio and Simon Morris, ServiceNow

Shane Carlson of Cognizant

Shane Carlson of Cognizant

Matt Beran of Maryville Technologies

Matt Beran of Maryville Technologies

Forrester: Courtney, Glenn, and Eveline

Forrester: Courtney, Glenn, and Eveline

Jarod Greene of Gartner

Jarod Greene of Gartner

Adam Holtby of Ovum

Adam Holtby of Ovum

Saurabh Dubey of KPMG and Ken Gonzalez

Saurabh Dubey of KPMG and Ken Gonzalez

Peter Doherty of ServiceNow

Peter Doherty of ServiceNow

@foolwithatool unmasked

@foolwithatool unmasked

Rhett Glauser of SaltStack

Rhett Glauser of SaltStack

Earl Begley of University of Kentucky

Earl Begley of University of Kentucky

Hey, who let the Hornbill toucan in?

Hey, who let the Hornbill toucan in?

Gene Kim, Legend

Gene Kim, Legend

Paul Hardy of Informa

Paul Hardy of Informa

Chris York of York Services

Chris York of York Services

Adam Mason of Loyola University

Adam Mason of Loyola University

Craig McDonogh of ServiceNow

Craig McDonogh of ServiceNow

Arlen Vartazarian of ServiceNow

Arlen Vartazarian of ServiceNow

Linda King of G2G3/Capita

Linda King of G2G3/Capita

Ros Satar of the ITSM Review

Ros Satar of the ITSM Review

Mark Kawasaki of Emory University

Mark Kawasaki of Emory University

Farah Remtulla of KPMG

Farah Remtulla of KPMG

Mark Carroll of ServiceNow

Mark Carroll of ServiceNow

Michael Dortch of ServiceNow

Michael Dortch of ServiceNow

Who forgot their penguin suit?

Who forgot their penguin suit?

I know it sounds clichéd but meeting all these great people was a big part of the success of Know13. We just needed more penguins!

Spot the birdie

Look out for me in Sweden as Daniel Billing shows me the sights and frights. We are big mates now, massages and everything …

Massage time with Daniel

Massage time with Daniel

I’m also hoping to be at more sexy ITSM events in the future – invitation for a small one please?

So please follow me on Twitter, if you don’t I’ll tag you a penguin-racist 🙂

@ITSMPenguin out.