Ed, Antony and Adam all mentioned the party at Anthony's Pier 4 last week that IBM invited Microsoft partners to attend. It was a promotion for IBM's A Better Way campaign. I decided to attend. I almost changed my mind due to all the traffic tie-ups caused by the ceiling collapse on one of Boston's "Big Dig" tunnels, compounded by the threat of thunderstorms, but the thing about Boston is that it's a really small city, and even if you know really know your way around you can't get that lost. I figured that even though roads through much of the portion of Boston that I had to navigate through had been reconfigured as a result of the Big Dig, I could navigate through the city streets, bypassing the highway. Plus, I picked up a friend, Danny Lawrence, in Charlestown before crossing into Boston and between the two of us we did manage to get there.
It was a nice event. it got a very nice turnout, but was not overcrowded. Ken Bisconti, Antony, and a whole bunch of other IBMers made sure it had a very casual atmosphere, with no in-your-face selling going on. There were a few demo booths, and I got a few minutes hands-on with the just-announced Notes 7.0.1 Linux client. Mainly I was there for the conversations, though, and I had some good ones with IBMers, IBM partners, and Microsoft partners. As a networking event, it reminded me of the days when Lotus' Boston sales office held regular monthly briefings for BPs, and Ken Bisconti was often the guy doing the demos at these events. It also turns out that Ken drove through the tunnel that had the collapse just a few hours before it happened -- which was a little bit disconcerting.
The photos above came to me courtesy of Alan Lepofsky, who wasn't at the party. They were apparently taken by Antony. IBM had purchased a good bit of advertising space around Boston during the Microsoft event.
More events like this would be great.