Rob Jago (Rob_Jago)
Senior Consultant
Rob_Jago Member since 2015 41 posts
Posted: June 25, 2017
Last activity: July 4, 2017
Posted: 25 Jun 2017 20:21 EDT
Last activity: 4 Jul 2017 20:09 EDT

PegaWorld 2017: a [late] retrospective

Well, the energy and excitement has dissipated a bit, the lack of sleep has been resolved, the weather difference adjusted and everyday work reality has now settled in. It is of note, that one item still remains from PegaWorld 2017 and that is free online-training. This is one of the main reasons for the delay in posting these observations. It is must also be noted that it’s the first time that the following statement is actually not true: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.

I was going to write about every keynote and every presentation (that I attended) but, being that I am late, it would be a moot point and I might do any of the presentations justice. So, in looking at the links for all of the keynotes (https://www.pega.com/events/pegaworld/keynotes) there are a few takeaways that I was able take away from them:

  • Partnership: The underlining theme this year is the partnership. This partnership is not the one we often think about with consulting services or vendor services but rather with the business. The ability to partner with your business to deliver business value has always been stated and desired. But when you have multiple keynotes and breakout sessions speaking to it, it indicates that someone in that IT/business partnership doesn’t seem to think that. A business partnership of this nature results in a win-win situation for both sides and not a win-lose partnership. A focus on business partnership is extremely powerful in spending the right effort on the right initiatives with the right individuals in delivering the right solutions to meet the right business-value. But, in saying that, and as highlighted at the keynotes, it needs to be continually brought up and dealt with.
  • Opinions: Keynotes by Alan Trefler and Dr. Rob Walker highlighted a few things. One of the key thing that they highlighted is that the IT industry has plenty of vendors and plenty of visionaries. For some of these visionaries and thought leaders, they each and all have an opinion on many different things. The keynotes highlighted that the question is not whether the thought leaders are right or wrong but rather, whether or not those opinions/technologies/roadmaps meet the business needs – if they don’t, then what value are they really.
  • Business Partnership: IT products/concepts are enablers and not the end-game. AI, robotics, cloud, and micro-services are all technology offerings and so forth; But without proper organizational goals, business vision and IT alignment, those IT items are but another silver bullet mistakenly and wrongly implemented and thus impacting the business partnership.
  • People disrupt, not technology: Technologies have sometimes been labelled as disruptors but they are always the means to assist the true disruptors, the people within an organization. Transavia and Scotiabank are true examples where the people disrupted their field and the IT just helped it. Transavia, a self-recognized small airline company, is competing against larger airline companies by focusing on people and not the number of planes. Scotiabank is changing the way do business by providing innovation capabilities for their employees. Sprint re-invented themselves and then used the technology to assist them.
  • The future of Pega continues to excel and improve on so many fronts with no shortage of possibilities for the product offerings but also in what the partners can do and offer to businesses.
  • Don Schuerman: Is always an entertaining MC.

Volunteers and the planning committee

There is lots of work that go into any event and putting together an event for 4,900+ people must be quite the undertaking. Everything was seamless.


Yet, again, MGM did a wonderful job in making sure the different setups were ready. The only item that was slightly disappointing from last years’ event was that the overall food for some of the events didn’t seem to be as tasty as last year’s. Getting coffee/tea/hot water at certain times was difficult either due to running out or none available.

Breakout Sessions

As in 2016, choosing breakout sessions to attend was extremely difficult. The saving grace is that the presentation slides and video recordings are available to see. (Keep in mind it’s only available for 6 – 9 months: I got through three quarters of the way through Pegaworld 2016 before they were cleaned up in preparation for PegaWorld2017 ) So, with that in mind, I plan to review all the presentations as well as watching all of the videos within 6 months.

Meeting new people

As I promised in my original PegaBuzz post (https://pdn.pega.com/community/pegabuzz/question/pegaworld-2017-excitement-growing), I attempted to meet new people. Although I did meet more people, I didn’t happen to meet as much as I wanted. But as this past year has been an amazing journey for me, I have been able to recognize and know many of the Pega personnel. So much so, that I was able to be accused of “name dropping” on a few occasions as well as knowing lots of people at Pegasystems.

In final note, my only main shortcoming from PegaWorld 2017 is that I haven’t received the information to register for PegaWorld 2018, yet!

….And now back to my FREE (until end of 2017) online training….

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