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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fusion 12 Must See’s!

With such a huge list of sessions and events, it’s hard to know what to attend at the upcoming Fusion conference starting this weekend.  We asked some of our people who will be attending what their “Must See’s” were. Here’s our top ten:

1)      Session 203: Process Maturity – it’s not about the numbers! Donna Knapp, ITSM Academy

2)      Session 702: Overcoming the Fear of Continual Improvement  Michael Cardinal, ITSM Academy
We’re a little bias but we can’t help but put Donna and Mike at the top of this list. Both of their sessions offer practical strategies that companies can use to ‘Unlock the Secrets of Service Management’ (this year’s conference theme) and continually improve the quality of their processes and services.

3)      Session 201: Is ITIL Really Worth the Effort?  - Doug Tyre is a great speaker and he has a vast ITIL Knowledge.   He has the ITIL experience to truly answer the question, “Is ITIL really worth the effort”?

4)      Session 305:  The Cloud:  Why Service Managers Should Care -  We find this topic very fascinating.   We think a lot of people run around talking about the "cloud" but do they really understand it?

5)      Breakfast Briefing 1: Writing Executive Briefings for IT  - We don’t know the speaker, but it’s an important skill, that we get asked about pretty frequently.  And it’s a “fresh” topic. We’ve not seen anything quite like this before.

6)      Session 309: Process Documentation: A Valuable Commodity  - Just look at the description - who doen’st need to learn this:  “Learn some simple techniques to develop, organize, publish, and maintain process documentation that is designed to be easily accessible to all consumers and complete enough to satisfy the toughest critics at a moment’s notice.”

7)      Session 303: The Real SMOs of the South - This is one of the first real-life examples of the benefits of establishing a Service Management Office.

8)      Session 105: A Look at the NextGen Service Management Platform - Interesting look at what may be on the horizon.

9)      Session 604: A Tale of Two Utilities: A Service Catalog Case Study – A ‘must see’ session for us as it brings the ten process design and improvement steps to life and also emphasizes using the ten steps as a method of accelerated process design.

10)   Session 108: ITSMS Implementation in a State Government Agency – Many of the ITSM Academy team lives in Florida and we’re looking forward to seeing the great work being done by our state government.

11)   Session 101: Stop Delivering Services and Start Delivering Value - This caught our fancy since that is what ITSM is all about!

12)   Session 603: Knowledge Management in ITSM: Use What You Know - Chris is a super smart guy Knowledge Management never gets the respect it deserves (the Rodney Dangerfield of process).
Hope to see you at Fusion!

If you haven’t registered yet, you can still use our discount code: F12ITSM [register here] are we sure this still works, I think it’s expired, and Rachel will know.
Be sure to visit us on the floor at Fusion in booth 626. You can follow us on twitter under the hashtag #ITSMCrew, join us for some interactive games and enter drawings for free seats to our public classroom.

Follow @ITSMAcademy or the team members on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The ITSM Academy guide to surviving Fusion 2012

Since 2004, the ITSM Academy team as been sponsoring and attending the itSMF Conferences.  After all the years, we know a thing or two about navigating the event and ensuring all of our bags arrive on time (great stories about past mishaps, if you want to stop by and hear them!) 
It’s our hope that this quick and easy guide to Fusion will help facilitate a more enjoyable experience.
  • Things to Pack
  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Things to do in the Area
What should I pack?
Here at the Academy, we make it easier on ourselves, and all attend as a cohesive, color coordinating crew.  

With the average temperature in Dallas in October at 79 degrees (perfect!), what do you need?  Comfortable traveling clothes and shoes, business casual for the days and something nice for the evening – you expect these.  But what should you bring besides the essential clothing items?
  • Business Cards
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Comfortable Tote Bag
  • Sweater – it can be cold in there!
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen
  • Granola Bars 
  • Foot Rejuvenating Cream
  • Fuzzy Socks
Another tip from our team, after a rough day on your feet, apply a liberal coating of foot cream, slip on the fuzzy socks and turn in for the night. This can make the difference between a good day and a bad day at conference. 

Getting around the area
For travel to and from the airport, the Gaylord does not provide free shuttle service. They do provide a few options on their site for transportation to and from DFW International and Love Field. [see here] 

The Gaylord is within a short distance of many dining and activity options in Grapevine, but none within walking distance. 
To reach these, you might consider renting a car or taking advantage of some of the transportation at the hotel. 

Where do you want to stay?
The Gaylord is a beautiful hotel, with many on location facilities, such as restaurants, bars and shopping. It may be too big and noisy for some, or just not the right fit for others. Great Wolf Lodge is a similar option, that might be more appealing to those traveling with families and children. In the near vicinity, there are a few other options, Embassy Suites, Hyatt Place, Homewood suites, Spring Hill Suites and others are located nearer the Grapevine Mills Mall. 

Things to do in the Area
Once Fusion gets up and running, they will keep your schedule pretty jammed packed.  Depending on when you arrive / depart you may have time to do some fun things in the area: 
  • Wine tastings! Grapevine celebrates the love of wine each year with a grape festival where the local vineyards offer tastings of their latest wines. Many of the vineyards offer tours and walk-in tastings for those who really want to get to the source of their favorite red or white.
  • Grapevine Mills Mall is a shopping Mecca. Tons of stores, restaurants, Lego Land and Sea Life which is an aquarium complete with a shark tunnel.
  • For the outdoor lovers, go to the Bass Pro Shop and enjoy a taste of nature indoors. The store features a waterfall and natural catfish pool, as well as a duck pond and rustic cafĂ© if you need a break from shopping for your next bicycle.
Hope to see you at Fusion!
If you haven’t registered yet, you can still use our discount code: VFUSION12 [register here]
Be sure to visit us on the floor at Fusion in booth 626. You can follow us on twitter under the hashtag #ITSMCrew, join us for some interactive games and enter drawings for free seats to our public classroom.
Follow @ITSMAcademy or the team members on Twitter.