Earlier this month, Laura Myers and I were very fortunate to attend the ProgressNEXT 2018 event in Boston as media reporters. Peers from every industry and as many as 30 countries around the globe came together to join in on this exclusive three-day event.
This was my very first event that I attended and I was taken aback by the amount of inspirational insight that I was able to receive during this event not only from the keynotes but also when speaking with a number of customers, partners, and industry experts, all providing us with insightful stories on industry trends and how they were utilizing the Sitefinity platform.
The first day kicked off with Loren Jarrett, CMO, Progress with her welcome session followed by Yogesh Gupta, President & CEO at Progress where he emphasized the essence of what Progress is about and what it exactly means to be “Cognitive, Adaptive, Connected.”
Yogesh started off his session by going in depth with not only what Progress stands true to but what their values and mission is as a company and what they will continue to do and strive for: “Our mission is very simply to provide the best platform for building and deploying strategic business applications and digital experiences.” said Yogesh.
Here are my notes on this subject explained by Yogesh:
Adaptive Experiences: User Experience – This is the first big thing that is happening everywhere. The user wants to get the job done and the user wants to do what it wants to do quickly and very effectively on any mobile device anywhere. Building front end experiences is a different skill set and a different mindset so this is a new challenge for many.
Everything as a Service: The backend itself is also changing but how so? Everything is becoming as a service. This includes APIs, scalability and cloud first services.
Microservices: Breaking Down The Monolith - There are also a lot of existing services so here is where you want to think about how you bring them along and how you incorporate them into the cloud or break them up into other services. Think of it as being broken up into smaller services – they can be a different size or they can provide a different capability as well.
Connected Everywhere: The entire world is being connected so think of this as legacy data, analytics data as well as business applications or IoT data and data that is coming from all over.
Agile & Lean: Being able to deliver faster and stronger.
Secure & Compliant: Business systems need to be secure, compliant and always on and always available.
Cognitive – Smart and Self-learning: Machine learning and AI capabilities are essential in the modern businesses applications and the applications of tomorrow.
As you may know, the volume of data is definitely exploding and digital devices are proliferating, so it’s critical to be able to innovate rapidly, get to market quickly, and provide the best application experiences possible. Yogesh made a really good point when he said “modern problems need modern solutions. You need an architecture that is different, you need an architecture that allows for decoupled application development on the front end and the back end yet tight collaboration between the front end and the back end”
Following Yogesh's opening keynote, we were able to hear directly from customers about how they are building out the applications for the future using the Sitefinity platform.
Progress Customers Tell Their Stories
Although there were quite a few keynote presentations, here is an overall recap of a couple that really stood out to me and what I learned from the presenters.
First, Pamela Hudson, CIO of Canopy Health, shed light on how they use Progress’ Health Cloud for their need for speed and how Canopy Health embraced digital transformation in the form of connected care apps that improve not only the patient experience but their outcomes.
To give a brief overview, she went into how, with a complex ecosystem of hospitals, disparate computer systems and heterogeneous data sources, Canopy Health, like many healthcare organizations faced significant obstacles in creating a patient-friendly, high-impact streamlined digital experience for its customers and how they used Progress and Kinvey for their mobile application development.
Tom Stein, Operations Manager and Senior IT Lead, NASA and Progress customer, went into detail on NASA’S success story and how they used a great UI to bring Mars to Earth. Yogesh asked Tom “What is the importance of user experience for NASA?” Tom replied with “The user experience is critical. What we have really seen is a transformation in getting data out to the user community as fast as we can and the user experience helps do that. With high profile missions going on like the Curiosity Rover, you have hundreds of people on the team that see the data right away but NASA has made a concerted effort to get the data out faster”
He also explained what some of the experienced scientists had a difficult time mining and identifying some of their key results. This is where the technical challenges they found came into play. Tom said helping users find the data and what they want is the number one goal.
TVH, a leader in replacement parts and accessories for material handling and industrial vehicles welcomed Kalman Tiboldi, Chief Business Innovation Officer at TVH as he discussed how IoT data, advanced analytics, digital twins and a move from preventive to predictive maintenance is fueling a transformation within TVH that is poised to disrupt the industry.
“More and more digital technologies are moving inside the product and services.” said Kalman “IoT generated large quantities of data that need to be processed and analyzed in real time. Value comes from the information that is hardest to manage.” Kalman also mentioned that Gartner predicted “By 2022, IoT will save consumers and business $1 trillion a year in maintenance, services and consumables"
Progress Releases Big News
Not only were the keynotes and individual breakout sessions super informative, there were also some pretty big news items Progress released alongside their event.
To summarize the reports:
DataRPM self-service – On May 29th Progress announced that with Amazon web services they will now offer the industry’s first industrial IoT self-service option for anomaly detection and prediction using cognitive machine learning. What this means is the trial will allow companies to load their data securely on AWS, detect equipment anomalies, predict failures before they occur, and validate against failures – both known and unknown – thereby confirming pro-active steps that should be taken in advance to avoid unplanned downtime and unscheduled maintenance.
NativeScript 4.0 – On May 30th Progress announced the release of NativeScript 4.0, the leading open-source framework for delivering cross-platform, native iOS and Android apps. With a streamlined development workflow, support for advanced navigation scenarios and deeper integration with Vue.js. NativeScript 4.0 empowers developers to quickly and easily create high-performance cross-platform mobile apps fast.
Progress Sitefinity version 11 – Following the above news, also on May 30th, Progress announced their new release of Progress Sitefinity version 11 that is said to deliver engaging web experiences with new levels of marketer and developer productivity.
Progress Application Server (PAS) for OpenEdge – On May 31st Progress announced their advancements now available in the Progress Application Server (PAS) for OpenEdge, the highly scalable, performant and secure application server, designed for cloud-first deployments. PAS for OpenEdge server helps developers evolve complex mission-critical business applications in less time, while limiting security vulnerabilities and easing installation, configuration and management.
The content of keynotes, customers and partners definitely exceeded my expectations. All the attendees left Boston with tons of ideas, best practices, information, and new peer connections besides all the great memories.
Laura Myers and I sat down with the Progress executives, customers and partners for exclusive video interview’s live on location so be sure to check back to our website in the upcoming days to watch all of the exclusive footage!
I’d also like to give a special thank you to the Progress team as they were extremely helpful, organized and friendly throughout the entire event. If you have any hesitations to attend ProgressNEXT 2019, I highly recommend that you do so. I have no doubts that you will learn and take away so much from this very informative and captivating event.