When 26 integration firm executives get together in the room—some competitors, some that have never met—it can go a couple of different ways: Horribly wrong or it can yield some unique dialog and perspective.
The latter was the result of the first annual CI Summit, which took place Nov. 6-8 at the Westin Galleria in Houston. Representatives of top integration firms, many of which were highlighted in Commercial Integrator’s 2012 CI Industry Leaders coverage, convened to talk about business challenges.
Ninety-one percent of surveyed attendees say, if invited, they’d attend the second annual CI Summit, which takes place in San Diego, Nov. 13-15.
Webinar: CI Summit Attendees Share Takeaways
Roundtable discussion topics, led by CI editor Tom LeBlanc, prodded integrators to discuss the merits and pitfalls of collaborating with other firms and to reveal anecdotes and theories about bad projects their firms have undertaken.
Panel discussions focused on various vertical markets with LeBlanc and CI managing editor Arlen Schweiger firing questions at leading integrators in healthcare, retail, hospitality, education, corporate and house of worship markets.
The tone emanating from the integrators in attendance was in continuous flux. Integrators were clearly skeptical entering the event. “I wonder if Microsoft and Apple get together to share ideas like this,” quipped Bruce Kaufmann, president and CEO of Maryland-based Human Circuit.
The group quickly opened up, asking questions and engaging in continuous dialog, leveraging opportunities to discuss shared challenges (yes, that means there was some therapeutic venting involved).