Rockwell's Kevin Roach and Matt Bauer meet the press...

Kevin Roach and Matt Bauer held a press conference this morning after Roach's "executive address." I guess an "executive address" is what you give when you've hired Alvin Toffler to give the "Keynote Address" tomorrow... This is the 11th RSTechEd conference...and has 1600 registered attendees, above 60% of whom are customers, from 48 countries. There will be 400+ training sessions, on over 1200 computers...a veritable love fest of virtualized training. There are also 25 "manufacturing industry professionals" on the various panels. The theme, according to Kevin Roach, is "Fueling your innovation engine." So what has Rockwell Software done in the past year? Acquired Pavilion Technologies, and Incuity Software, that's what. Remember that I said that Roach's set of examples in his "executive address" was mostly Incuity and Pavilion apps. This is how big those two acquisitions loom in Rockwell's strategic plans. Tying Pavilion, Incuity and FactoryTalk together will be a gamechanger, according to Roach. "We expect to be able to predict the future," Roach said. At this conference, Rockwell is "pre-launching" two products. The first is the first historian appliance in the world...the FactoryTalk HistorianME...that Roach demonstrated with success, and no little relief from his colleagues, who know him. The second is the FactoryTalk Viewpoint zero admin thin HMI client, also from this morning's talk by Kevin Roach. Then Roach reminded us of the Rockwell-Dassault Systems partnership, which intends to provide the absolute Holy Grail of manufacturing maintenance and design: living drawings that are bi-directionally synchronized every time some changes are made, either in the design or in operations. Roach talked of SCRUM, the innovative software development system they are using at Rockwell Software. He noted that Rockwell is spending 50% more per person in training and development than the industry average. ASIDE: Here's what SCRUM is all about (from
Scrum is a "lean" approach to software development. The term Scrum comes from a 1986 study [1] by Takeuchi and Nonaka that was published in the Harvard Business Review. In that study, Takeuchi and Nonaka note that projects using small, cross-functional teams historically produce the best results. They write that these high-performing teams were like the Scrum formation in Rugby. When Jeff Sutherland developed the Scrum process at Easel Corporation in 1993, he used their study as the basis for team formation and adopted their analogy as the name of the process as a whole. Ken Schwaber formalized the process for the worldwide software industry in the first published paper on Scrum at OOPSLA 1995 [2]. (You can download Ken's whitepaper on Scrum from our website.) Scrum is a simple framework used to organize teams and get work done more productively with higher quality. It allows teams to choose the amount of work to be done and decide how best to do it, thereby providing a more enjoyable and productive working environment. Scrum focuses on prioritizing work based on business value, improving the usefulness of what is delivered, and increasing revenue, particularly early revenue. Designed to adapt to changing requirements during the development process at short, regular intervals, Scrum allows teams to prioritize customer requirements and adapt the work product in real time to customer needs. By doing this, Scrum provides what the customer wants at the time of delivery (improving customer satisfaction) while eliminating waste (work that is not highly valued by the customer). Read more about the Scrum framework and the benefits of Scrum.
END ASIDE: The preceding was taken from Roach says Rockwell's sprint time is about two weeks, leading to the development of far faster delivery and far more relevant software. Then Matt Bauer took over, and gave the skinny on the rest of the program for the next few days. Top of the list, of course, is the keynote address by Alvin Toffler, the man who invented the concept of futurism.