Connect is coming!  YEA!

With Halloween behind us, it’s no surprise we’re seeing Black Friday previews online and Christmas tree displays in stores. (I’ve actually seen displays as early as September!) This abrupt change of season is a reminder that 2014 is quickly approaching, bringing more changes. But as far as I can see, the changes on the horizon look very good.

For starters, the Connect 2014 Conference,  January 26 – January 30, is expanding to reflect the growing breadth of what it means to be a social business. In addition to the strategic social business content we saw last year and the Technical Program, Connect 2014 will include the Kenexa World Conference – focused on empowering HR, your workforce and your business. This addition addresses exactly what we are seeing in the marketplace; in order to be competitive, your business strategy needs to consider social, mobile, cloud, a smarter workforce, digital, smarter commerce and analytics. And even more importantly, businesses have to figure out how to integrate these game-changing technologies into a seamless customer experience.

We’re also getting an earlier look at the sessions for Connect 2014. The content team recently shared some IBM abstract submissions we can expect to see on the agenda, including IBM Sametime 9: From On-Premises to Mobile, Cloud and Beyond, Getting Beyond Theory and into Practice: Deploying Mail and Social Business in the Cloud and IBM Digital Experience Platform: Strategy and Roadmap. I’m told they will continue to release additional session titles on a regular basis. So stay tuned!

And in keeping with the theme of early holiday shopping, the conference team recently extended the early bird discount until December 13, 2013. With news like this, maybe Santa will want to start his shopping early too!