Kodak Event to Focus on Leading Edge Information Management

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Here’s an excerpt from an article that appeared in last week’s premium edition of DIR:

From Sept. 22-25, Kodak DI will be hosting its second annual Global Directions Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington D.C. The event features a keynote by Ray Kurzweil, the noted technology inventor, author, and visionary who is currently employed as the director of engineering at Google. Kurzweil, who is probably most widely known for his work on artificial intelligence, but was also an early pioneer in the area of applied OCR, will talk on “The Next Wave of Intelligent Information Management.” According to the Global Directions Web site, the talk “sets the stage and explores the exponential increase in computing power, computing intelligence, and the inexorable impact they will have on transforming information management for the enterprise.”

This is in line with the event’s theme of intelligent information management. “We look at Global Directions as an educational conference,” explained Tim Palmer, VP of worldwide marketing for Kodak DI. “We want to help advance the thinking of the whole industry around understanding information and taking friction and cost out of business processes.”

The other opening day keynotes reflect this broad focus that expands well beyond the traditional areas of business for Kodak DI. In additional to Kurzweil, high level executives from IBM, Google, Salesforce.com, and Microsoft will take the dais to discuss topics like big data and analytics, smarter enterprise search, the death of the desktop, and the future of business collaboration. There will also be a panel discussion moderated by Michael Hickins, editor, Wall Street Journal/CIO Journal, that will pull together multiple keynote speakers, including Kurzweil.

“We are taking a very broad view of where Kodak DI intersects with traditional business and new business going forward. We are looking to have our brand and division associated with end users, service providers, manufactures, resellers, etc., as they think about what they need to do to go to market in the future.

“If you consider the concept of information workflow, traditionally capture for us has meant scanning paper documents. But, we realize that information is coming from more and more sources and the growth of digital information as input is increasing exponentially. In the future, we need to help businesses capture information not only from paper, but from multiple other sources.

“‘Collecting’ is probably a better term than ‘capture,’ when you talk about taking this one large stream of information and getting it all to the right places, routing it, understanding it, semantically and contextually, and making sure you have the right associations and the right conclusions are being made.”

We asked Palmer, if Kodak’s Info Insight platform, which brings semantic and contextual understanding to the table, will be prominently featured at Global Directions. “It certainly fits on the far right of the information workflow model,” he said. “But, the event is focused on themes that are much wider than our current product offerings.”

A look at the agenda
After a Sunday evening reception, the full first day of Global Directions, Monday, Sept. 23, will be full of keynotes presented in a general session followed by an exhibitor showcase where dinner will be served. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature four tracks of breakout sessions, with no more than two or three sessions overlapping at a given time. Tuesday evening will feature a “Monuments by Moonlight” bus tour of downtown D.C.

Kodak is hoping for 300-400 attendees, or about double the number from last year’s inaugural Global Directions, which was held in Las Vegas [see DIR 9/28/12]. “We are looking to make a giant leap forward with this year’s event,” said Palmer. “We felt last year was pretty successful, and we definitely learned a lot, but this year we feel we are really offering a world class conference.

“We think we have a strong enough program to attract senior IT executives at end user organizations and business process owners. Primarily we are marketing to end users with the understanding that if they show up, systems integrators and resellers will certainly follow. We are marketing the event throughout the U.S., as well as internationally. We expect a decent turnout from Central and South America, and our team in Europe is looking to bring over some top end users customers—at least a double-digit number. Just because of logistics, we think it may a little tough to attract attendees from Asia-Pac.”

Kodak is also looking for sponsors and exhibitors. It is looking for a total surpassing 20. “Anyone that believes they can make a contribution to the future of intelligent information management is encouraged to exhibit at Global Directions,” said Palmer. “We expect plenty of end users to be on hand looking for those types of partners. We are taking a broad view of this conference as an educational opportunity, and we are looking for a similarly broad representation of exhibitors.

“The bottom line is that I think we are at the beginning of a very exciting period of time that will play out over the next 5, 10, and even 25 years. I sense another revolution in the way we are going to use information. With the presentations and networking at Global Directions, we hope to help attendees bridge the gap between this revolutionary vision and the practical first steps that need to be taken. We are hoping people are able to come away from our event energized and with at least a few things that they can put into action when they get back in the office on Thursday [Sept. 26].”

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