Pink13 Review and Report

Once again Pink13 has shown itself to be the flagship premier ITSM event worldwide. The opening morning started with an amazing presentation from Neil DeGrass Tyson, one of the new breed of super articulate evangelists for rational thought, innovations, and science. And I have to say it was amazing. Two thousand people gripped by passionate yet factual information on space, asteroids, and science, which turned into a remarkable commentary on the ongoing fading of American progress and success. A brave and challenging rallying call for America to rise up in science, technology, and innovation before the rest of the world leaves it behind. Genuinely remarkable, and as I tweeted, viewing of that session should be mandatory viewing in every classroom around the world.

Next up was Captain Sully, pilot of the airline that safely landed in the Hudson River a few years back. A polished performance, I was left with a few key points from his talk:

  1. I hope no Canada geese ever fly near when I’m on board an airplane.
  2. I’m glad that airline pilots receive training to do their job. When the goose literally hit the fan, his training really paid off.
  3. If it ever happens to me, I’ll have a great future in keynote presentations and book publications for the rest of my life.

Beyond the keynotes we spent a lot of time in the many breakout sessions. They were widely varied. You could find anything from the driest academic framework discussions to motivation techniques, to the excellent practitioner case study sessions. Everything you wanted to know about ITIL, COBIT, Change Management, Problem Management could be found at Pink13.

As a Super Gold Sponsor, LANDesk not only had a booth on the show floor, but we had opportunity to present in two sessions. I’m rather pleased with what we did. The first was slide and words, conveniently supporting Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s call to ‘do more’. I called on attendees to do more. Integration, because it’s easier now than ever before to link and combine IT management technology to greater end user oriented benefit. And in the second of our sessions, Brian Hoskins showed live demo of how the example integrations I described actually work and how to build them.

Of all the ITSM events, Pink has always led on the social media front and this year was the same, if not more so. If you are at Pink and not on Twitter you are only getting half a conference. If you want to experience the event now, just search Twitter for #pink13 and read.

The social scene at the conference remains excellent. Friends, colleagues, and Twitter friends were either meeting for the first time in real life or catching up after a year apart. Massive networking, community, and collaboration was going on. Even—shock—vendors were talking to each other.

Over the next two days, there were more great keynotes including “Personality and Fascination,” and the wonderfully titled “When Ideas have Sex,” in addition to countless breakout sessions, meetings, and networking. Oh, and on a perfect note—and I mean perfect— a Pink Floyd tribute band called Which One’s Pink? who performed Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.

I remember one brief conversation I had on the LANDesk stand. A lady from a very large, globally recognized IT enterprise was chatting with me. She told me she was quite new to ITSM, and this was her first ITSM event. I asked her what her impressions were. “People,” she said. “I didn’t realize until I was here that it’s all about people.” Or maybe that should be IT’s all about people.

So, what are the takeaways? I think I’d summarize mine as follows:

  • If you want to see a conference done really well, go see Pink.
  • If you want to understand ITSM, go see Pink.
  • ITSM people have a real sense of a bigger picture, of wanting to improve the world we live in. Continual Service Improvement leading to Continual Civilization Improvement.
  • ITSM isn’t about technology. I’ve said that before: it’s by people, for people.
  • Lest we forget, only by using technology to help people, to bring people together, and to make people more productive, can we make the world a better place. One productive end user at a time.