Larry Murphy, VAI's vice president of research and development, demonstrates new software features to attendees in a how-to session.
The user conference hosted by Vormittag Associates (VAI) at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Sept. 22-24, 2005, offered a number of in-depth breakout sessions and industry-specific open forums, focusing on technologies that help companies move their business forward. “Growth” was the overall theme.

Bob Vormittag, president, welcomed more than 150 conference attendees. His introduction addressed the devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, pointing out that backup systems and disaster recovery sites were essential to a business and how new technologies could help. He also touched on industry trends and emerging product developments being introduced over the course of the three-day event.

The latest release of VAI's System 2000 Enterprise Portal is based on one of the company's keys to success, said Joe Scioscia, vice president of sales. Listening to customers helped determine the new features of the Web-based management software that allows companies to require user logins to their sites. The enhancements cater to the needs of different users to better suit customization and self-service, and essentially, create a faster workflow in several departments such as warehouse management, purchasing and order processing. Separate technical sessions were conducted as how-to demonstrations and questions moderated by Larry Murphy, VAI's vice president of research and development.

Two industry guest speakers also presented general trends and the future of technology in business and innovation.

Ongoing Business Value

Malcolm Haines, chief imagination officer and marketer for IBM, gave examples of current technology that have evolved since its early days. Supercomputers like Blue Gene, a machine that can replicate a nuclear explosion, can also calculate all of America's income tax in one second, he said. Offshoots of this kind of valuable technology are directly related to “on-demand” business where a growing number of industry participants are demanding: “I want what I want, when I want it.”

He also explained today's emergence of information with huge Web outlets such as WebFountain (“Google on steroids”) and Wikipedia (a globally open access encyclopedia). Keeping up with this kind of new technology will certainly help businesses grow year by year, he said.

Robert B. Tucker, industry consultant, gives an interactive presentation with unconventional methods for building innovation into a source of growth.

Innovation As A Source Of Growth

Robert B. Tucker, president of The Innovation Resource, as well as author and business consultant, asked the audience: “Do you have a process of innovation in your company?” He urged listeners to encourage innovation by regularly reading 10 to 20 industry magazines and identifying current, unmet and unarticulated needs of their customers.

By Suzette Rubio