Innovate 2010 began today with a welcome reception for the expected 4000 attendees. The packed ballroom included a live band, karaoke, plenty of food, drinks and people. I spoke with several of the attendees, asking what they hoped to get out of the conference. Most of the IBM’ers were here with plans to gather “voice of the customer” feedback from their Rational clients. Others are here to present or to learn. With over 350 sessions over the next four days, there will plenty of options.
Terry Quatrani (TQ), Regional Content Manager for the conference covering all the technical content, was sporting a uniquely decorated hat, complete with feathers, glitter and topped with a globe. She said she comes every year with a different hat, representing the theme of the conference. This year’s theme? Let’s build a smarter planet.
I spoke with Quatrani about the Rational product, first asking her how many products it included. An anonymous eavesdropper nearby joked, “Two million.” TQ couldn’t answer an exact number, but guessed around 50. I checked the Rational Website later and can understand why it would be hard to answer this question. Many of the products come in various flavors so it might be difficult to know exactly how to count them.
“Of those, how many are available on the Jazz platform?” I asked. Jazz is IBM Rational’s new technology that provides a framework for collaboration and integration of various Rational tools. The anonymous onlooker informed me that I had the terminology wrong. “The proper term is jazzified,” he said, and the answer to the question is “only three,” he said holding up three fingers, playfully expressing impatience. Quatrani said she thought there were more and said that there were “more and more coming.” As a matter of fact, it appears five products have been “jazzified.” According to IBM Rational’s Website: “IBM Rational Team Concert™, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Asset Manager and Rational Insight are the first offerings built on or significantly refactored for the Jazz platform.”
Quatrani said that IBM uses a Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF) model to help understand the customer’s pain points. “We give [customers] the Lego pieces to put together a solution that will solve their problem,” she said.
Quatrani will be presenting “Writing Good Use Cases” on Monday and on a panel with Scott Ambler on Tuesday called “Quality in the Trenches Panel: Traditional? Agile? Something Else?” She asked Ambler, a long-time agile proponent, to take the traditional viewpoint on the panel, she tells me with a mischievous smile. It should prove interesting!