Back from TechMela 2007 which was held between 13th to 16th June in Mumbai. This was a mega event for ITPro, developers, designers and Technology and Business Decision Makers. This was a mix of IndiMix, MEDC and TechEd.
Sessions I Attended
This time i attended sessions on Orcas, Performance Point Server and OBA.
I am yet to explore all the features of Orcas, however my area of interest has been around Office Development with Orcas and i must say i am extremely happy with the deployment and security features available with Orcas for office development.I had heard about this from Somasegar during the MVP summit, and now saw how it works. It's atleast much much better than what was available in the VS 2005.:)
I had been working on PPS since sometime and the session by Rohit Rahi was a nice refresher and i learnt a lot from the wonderful questions the audience were asking.
Ram Kumar had given a wonderful talk on OBA. I had done a OBA session myself for the Office Launch for MUGH two months back, however there were few more new things to learn especially around the roadmap and the other comparitive frameworks and how OBA is different from them.
In general the session were good and i could find lots of speakers from the Product teams itself this time.It was nice to connect with Dinesh Kulkarni and listen about LINQ from him. And it was also a great chance to connect with lots of other buddies from DPE and MVPs
MVPs also had a meeting with Tarun Gulati, the DPE India Head and Jacques Bablon the Business Manager for the Managing Director,India.
Tarun spoke to us about the community plans and also the reason for the new branding of 'TechMela' (and not TechEd) and future plans. The whole idea of coming up with the name TechMela seems to be to bring the idea of adding fun along with learning of technology.However i still feel we could have the same fun with the name remaining as 'TechEd' also:) The brand value of the name 'TechEd' is pretty high and it would definetly take couple of years for 'TechMela' to get that place. Many MVPs felt the same. And moreover having the event in a place like Mumbai also was not probably the best things to do. Mumbai is one of the expensive places for people to spend 3 days, it rains cats and dogs and it has very high traffic congestion and hence no would want to stay long or travel long. I hope next TechMela is conducted in a different city.
However, i trust MS for it's marketing capabilities and believe that lot of thinking would have gone into deciding these things as well!
Discussion with Tarun and Jacque
The meeting with Jacques was pretty interesting and the focus was to know the key Microsoft Business plans for this year in India. Top three things that he mentioned where
1. OpenXML standardization in India,
2. Preventing and reducing software piracy and
3. Software+Services initiatives.
We also had an interesting debate over whether indic support should be provided by Microsoft in Zune or other similar products that target Indian Business Users. Like any other debate we did not conclude on anything particular, however we concluded that not all Business users in India would know English. So that implies what is expected as well :) Some of the MVPs also highlighted on the gadget buying behaviour in india. They said Gadgets are bought these days more because of craze and less with reason. What i understood from the discussion is that Indian market probably is no more that price sensitive as it used to be before!I I hope the inputs were helpful to Jacques as well.
Sponser Booths management
Stalls in any event like this are a nice refreshment for the attendees during the breaks and a nice way of knowing more about other companies and also build relationship with them to see if they can cater to any of there company needs. However i felt the Stalls management could have been done in a bit better manner so that there is mutual benefit for the attendee as well as to the sponser. There was just one break during the Business Decision Maker event , and it was just not not possible for all attendees to visit all stalls in a single 15 mins break. And moreover people were so immersed in attending sessions and asking doubts to the speakers, hence many of them could not even make it to the stalls.
I think a better way of handling this would be the way i have seen in the MVP summit. There was a three dedicated hours given during one of the tea breaks called ' Expo Show' where there would be just coffee,snacks and the stalls in the room from various product groups to showcase what they have. That way we could devote proper time for the stalls and understanding what they have to show, and at the same time the team in the stalls had to spend just three hour in a day for this . We were two thousand+ MVPs(definetly more than techmela attendees) attending and i am sure most of them would have visited all the stalls. And there was no way any of us could escape as well because the tea and snacks were served in the same room. I think similar framework should be tried out at other MS events wherein they give few dedicated hours for the sponser stalls, instead of 4 full days.This would save the time of both attendees and the sponser and also helps in building better relationship among them.
However i still did enjoy being at Satyam (company i work for) booth as well, as Satyam was one of the booth sponsers for the event.
CNBC Broadcast - MVPs Talk
The CNBC-TV18 also interviewed some of the MVPs to express our opinion on Microsoft Communities, MVP programe, the newsgroups and the MSDN Webcasts etc. Mr Sanjay Vyas, Mr Sujay Sarma and Myself got an opportunity to express our thoughts on the same.
The recorded video clipping of the same can be found here http://www.youtube.com/v/1o0K3f5nh5M