Live from the 2007 SSPA Fall Leadership Conference

New Orleans is back, and as wild and wonderful as ever!  The Big Easy is playing host this week to over 400 service and support executives at the 2007 SSPA Fall Leadership Conference, and from what I can tell (through slightly hungover eyes I must admit) everyone is having one hell of a good time.

Things kicked off on Sunday with full day workshops, including my Web 2.0 Workshop.  15 people joined me for a trek through Web 2.0 definitions, functionality, generational attitudes, etc.  I was joined by a bevy of Web 2.0 experts who gave excellent presentations…including a few big differences of opinion along the way….illustrating how nascent this concept remains.  Guest speakers were John Chmaj, VP, Chief KM Strategist, eVergance; Joe Cothrel, VP of Community Management, Lithium; Todd Abney, Field Service Director, Novell; and Tony Baggio, Practice Leader—Support Solutions, SocialText. I’d also like to thank Regina A. Estes, Manager, Remote Services & Knowledge Programs, Xerox Corporation, who provided some great information about internal collaborative communities.

Yesterday the conference opened with keynotes from our Executive Director, Stephen Smith, and Paul Loftus, IBM Global Technology Services. Paul talked about the 4 areas where imagination, innovation and investment are required: client self-service, collaboration, globalization, and virtual worlds. If that last one seems out of place, it is a shame you weren’t in the audience to see the demonstration of the virtual world IBM is developing to support hardware and software–a la Second Life with hunky avatars and everything. One word: Wow!

Next up I announced a number of new SSPA Research programs for next year, including the construction of an RFP library for key technology areas. The first will be a master RFP for Online Communities, coming in the next month. Also during my keynote I announced the 2007 SSPA Fall Recognized Innovators, then guided 2 tours of about 50 people of the winner’s booths in the Technology Services Expo.

In the afternoon there were dozens of breakout sessions in 6 tracks:  Strategy Creation, Delivery Optimization, Organizational Alignment, Aligning Support and Product Development, Globalization and Emerging Markets, and Innovative Support Technology.  I think you can tell alot about trends by viewing which sessions had the highest number of attendees, and some sessions were standing room only with attendees spilling out into the hall.  Here are the 5 sessions with the biggest crowds:

  • Online Support Knowledge Readiness at First Product Ship; Arnfinn Austefijord, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Adopting a Support-Oriented Strategy; Jan Mellman, Motorola
  • Case Study: Measuring Self-Service and Support Capacity with the Avaya Diagnostic Model and Service Resolution; Andrew Cohen, KNOVA; Karen A. Cerroni, Avaya; Brian Hayward, Avaya
  • Better Support Through Better Knowledge Transfer; Bob Tatemichi, Kaidara; Daryl Bruxvoort, Pearson Assessments
  • The Cisco Customer Intelligence Platform: Taking the First Steps Toward Services-Led Product Development; Ray Cutler, Cisco Systems, Inc.

The conference continues today, and tomorrow we are sticking around to give something back to New Orleans by taking a bus full of SSPA members and employees to the Muscian’s Village in the Lower 9th Ward to spend a day building a house with Habitat for Humanity.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to all of you for making the 2007 SSPA Fall Leadership Conference a success!

Explore posts in the same categories: Best Practices, Consumer Support, Enterprise Support, Technology

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One Comment on “Live from the 2007 SSPA Fall Leadership Conference”


  1. […] is conference season, and after a few days at home recovering from the SSPA Services Leadership Conference in New Orleans, I was back in the Southeast this week for the 2007 Numara Software User Conference […]


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