The first annual Manufacturing IT Forum brings great content, no attendance

Lask week on May 20-21 in Cleveland, I spoke at the first annual Manufacturing IT Forum hosted by ISA. Overall, the content and form was excellent, but the attendance was small. The forum was a series of panels hosted by representitives of the five top magazine in the manufacturing operations software space. Every panel was very good. I represented Control magazine as the host of the panel on The Collision of IT and Manufacturing. This panel highlighted Eric Cosman of Dow, who spoke on the various ways that IT and engineering organizations are able to work together as separate, combined and hybrid groups. Another highlight was the IBM talk by Dave Noller on SOA for Manufacturing where he explained that SOA in manufacturing required the use of an information model based on standards to be successful. I also attended the break-out session on how to reach the CIO that was hosted by Mike Brooks of Chevron. It had a good discussion that highlighted that the CIO is a long way from getting interoperability or SOA benefits, so efforts need to be focused on the path and making the business case to the CIO's Directors. In the concluding session, The Futrue of IT in Manufacturing, Mike Brooks boldly and correctly stated that software vendor must understand that not supporting the rapid transformation of their product meta data models towards compliance with the Open O&M standards to help their customers successfully implement SOA, they will lose customers. The biggest issue is that ISA and all of the publications in the manufacturing software space were not able to get the end users or the SIs to attend this very important discussion.
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