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Registration deadline approaches for IT Forum

March 17, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will be "Focusing on the Business Value of Technology" when it holds its seventh annual Information Technology Forum from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, in the Fetzer Center.

The IT Forum requires advance registration by Tuesday, March 25. It is open to the general public for a fee, but targeted toward West Michigan businesses, non-profit organizations, and WMU students, faculty and staff. The theme for this year's event is "Collaboration and Connection."

The gathering will feature keynote talks on three different topics: service-oriented architecture, multi-source Web applications known as mashups and software as a service. The speakers will address the evolution of these three technologies, interpret the current research about them discuss their business-sector value, resource requirements and implementation challenges.

Talks by WMU faculty members, students and staff will be intermingled among the keynotes, and there will be two concurrent panel discussions from 3 to 4 p.m. One panel will delve into the forum's three keynote topics while the other will focus on IT job opportunities for students.

The keynote speakers will take center stage from 8:50 to 9:45 a.m., 11:25 to 11:55 a.m. and 2:10 to 2:30 p.m.

First up will be IBM software architect David King, who uses service-oriented architecture techniques to design IT systems for IBM's largest customers. King has worked at IBM for 22 years and has served as an IT architect in various parts of the company's Global Services and Software businesses.

Giving the talk on mashups will be Ross Emerton, director of Fusion Middleware Solution Architecture for Oracle Consulting. Emerton has more 20 years of IT experience and has served in senior technical management positions for such firms as Electronic Data Systems, Medaphis Corp. and Tellangon Associates as well as in senior consulting positions with NCR Corp., Coopers & Lybrand LLP, and CTG/Zenius.

The final keynote presentation on software-as-a-service applications will feature Model Metrics founder Adam Caplan. Model Metrics was launched in January 2003 to leverage the tremendous value that Web-based software as a service provides to both for-profit and not-for-profit companies. He previously worked for Bain & Co. and in the pharmaceutical industry, helping to develop key performance indicators surrounding profitability and sales.

The 2008 WMU IT Forum is being hosted by the Computer Information Systems section of the Haworth College of Business' Department of Business Information Systems. Dr. Thomas F. Rienzo, faculty specialist in business information systems, is chairing the event.

"We created the forum as a venue to exchange ideas about how technology is changing the way we live and work. We hope to educate our constituencies, especially local businesses, about technologies that will demand their attention in the near future," Rienzo says.

"We also wanted to create a venue in which our students could showcase their talents, and members of our campus community could explain how technology is changing the way they teach, conduct research, or perform administrative or logistical functions."

Rienzo adds that event organizers plan to expand on this year's "Collaboration and Connection" theme during the next few years by focusing on specific items that appear on Gartner's annual list of top-10 technologies.

"These technologies are creating the next big wave of re-engineering business processes," he notes, "so they're relevant to all our constituencies, especially those in business and academia."

There is no registration fee to attend the forum for WMU students, faculty and staff. The fee for other groups is based on a sliding scale and includes all conference handouts, a continental breakfast, a lunch buffet, and morning and afternoon refreshments.

For complete details or to register, go to cis.hcob.wmich.edu and click on the registration link. More information also is available by contacting Thomas Rienzo at thomas.rienzo@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5511.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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