Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 Portal Excellence Conference

Samuel Sharaf, Solution Director, West Coast

This year the IBM Portal Excellence conference was held in Hilton Chicago. I was there with one of our key clients (American Express Corporate Travel) to co-present on the solution Prolifics developed. For those of you who are familiar with the IBM world, there is a conference every year for each of the five main brands. For me, this one was nearest and dearest to my heart as I have been involved with IBM Portal technology for several years.

So let’s go over some of the key highlights of the conference…
  • Portal and LWCM 7.0 will be officially released around mid September time frame this year
  • IBM acquired Coremetrics (
    The plan is to integrate Coremetrics with the WebSphere platform and exposed the web metrics through out of box Portlets so that organizations can make intelligent business decisions.
  • Project NorthStar was announced, which reflects IBM’s vision and multi-year roadmap for how organizations can create next-generation online experiences. (

Since I am intimately involved on daily basis interacting with the clients, the announcement of Portal 7.0 coming out soon was big news. Besides supporting JSR 286 and Web 2.0, Lotus Web Content Management will finally be fully integrated with the WebSphere Portal and will take advantage of Web 2.0 features for authoring and presentation templates. Also, the integration of Coremetrics with the WebSphere platform and the ability for the companies using Portal internally/externally to perform web trending will be huge.

I might sound biased; however, my presentation with American Express was received very well by the attendees. The session was full and we had lot of live interaction via Q&A with the attendees. The presentation was divided into two main parts. Chris, from American Express, talked about the business case and how the solution brought overall value to their business, while I focused on how the Prolifics team helped designed the overall solution and implement it. What drew attendee’s interest was the fact that the solution is scalable to millions of end users and has been rolled out in 22 different languages; and people in all 5 continents are actively using it to book their travel. If you are interested in learning more about the solution we developed for American Express Corporate Travel, our marketing department has done a great job in providing an overview. (

Overall I found the conference very informative and hey – where else could you meet the co-author of JSR 168 and JSR 286 (Stefan Hepper) and some key IBM architects one on one?

Samuel Sharaf is a Solution Director at Prolifics on the West coast with real world customer expertise with Portal implementations, Dashboard, Forms and Content Management. Sam also has expertise with migrating applications from non-IBM platforms to IBM WebSphere Application and Portal Servers.