On October 30, researchers, IT professionals, and venture capitalists from throughout Israel attended IBM Haifa's first-ever "Technology in an On Demand World" seminar. Organized by the Active Technologies group in the IBM Haifa Research Lab, the seminar focused on e-business, on-demand concepts, and business and financial applications of technology.
The seminar's unique approach was both multi-disciplinary in nature and research-oriented. Although a number of lecturers described some case studies from the world of e-business, the seminar in general addressed on-demand computing from a methodological and architectural standpoint. Over half of the presentations were given by IBM employees, pointing to the strong emphasis the seminar placed on explaining Big Blue's view of the On Demand world. This approach led to a large pre-registration of seminar participants from venture capital companies, who were interested in hearing about IBM's technological view of the developing on demand landscape. Also in attendance were representatives from some of Israel's leading research institutions, such as Ben Gurion University, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and Haifa University, as well as employees of such leading IT companies as Comverse, Cisco, and Intel.
The keynote speaker, IBM Distinguished Engineer Fulvio Capogrosso, clarified the various ideas presented by the other speakers, distilling them into his crystal clear on-demand presentation, "e-Business On Demand: A Technology Perspective."
The dynamics of the market are changing, Capogrosso noted in his presentation. This requires a new way of thinking about business processes and the information technology infrastructure that supports them. One of the vice-presidents of IBM's Academy of Technology, Capogrosso presented the company's on demand philosophy as a singular, cohesive approach, explaining how IBM is changing from a purely technological enterprise, and adapting into an on demand, IT management and services company.
"The seminar clearly demonstrated the many aspects involved in the on demand transformation that is taking place. Our goal was to provide an overview of some of the different technology approaches, " said Ilan Paleiov, a researcher in the IBM Haifa Labs Active Technologies group and one of the seminar organizers. "What are the problems, what is the vision, and what can IBM provide. We saw some interesting perspectives and directions that can help identify some significant changes that will take place and the IT infrastructure required to make this transformation a reality."
Many of the participants in the seminar expressed their satisfaction with the content of the seminar's lectures and presentations. The Active Technologies group plans on continuing its on demand focus in future department seminars.
Presentations from the seminar can be downloaded for viewing from the seminar program site, http://www.haifa.il.ibm.com/Workshops/On-Demand-Technology2003/agenda.html.