Monday, September 23, 2013

Global Directions 2013

I am presenting this week at the Global Directions 2013 conference which is being held in Washington, DC from September 22-25. This event is convened by Kodak, or more specifically Kodak Alaris. Kodak Alaris is basically a $1.3 billion startup spun off from Eastman Kodak which includes four businesses:
  • Film Capture, which includes some of the world’s most popular and recognizable award-winning still film for professionals and consumers;
  • RSS, a worldwide leader in instant printing with the retail instant photo kiosks offering consumers personalised photo products and the industry-leading APEX dry labs;
  • Paper and Output Systems, the broadest portfolio of high quality media, including traditional photographic paper, for a variety of professional print operations and workflow solutions for photo specialty retailers, professional and wholesale labs; and
  • EIS, the leading provider of digital souvenir photography services and solutions at theme parks, iconic destinations & resorts
The new company is building on the rich history of the Kodak brand starting with the birth of Kodak when their first camera was placed on the market in 1888, with the slogan, "You press the button - we do the rest." With less than one month in existence, but substantial capital and a serious dedication to innovation, I expect to be hearing a lot more about Kodak Alaris in the future.

Global Directions has really brought together an impressive group of thought leaders, starting with the keynote from Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil has written seven books and hundreds of articles. In recent years, there have been hundreds of articles each year by or about Ray Kurzweil in leading publications, including most major national magazines. His first book, The Age of Intelligent Machines (MIT Press), was named Best Computer Science Book of 1990. I was fortunate to receive a copy of his recent book "How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed" and have it signed by Ray. It is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. In his keynote address Ray discussed the exponential increase in computing power and intelligence, and explored the inexorable impact they will have on transforming information management for the enterprise. This was followed by a great panel discussion with Ray including Neil Isford, Vice President of Smarter Solutions at IBM, Bruce Richardson, Chief Enterprise Strategy Officer at Salesforce, Steve Fox, Director of Microsoft's Azure business unit, and moderated by CIO Journal editor Michael Hickins. Each of the panelists then gave keynotes throughout the day.