There was a common theme that echoed throughout the hallways of the 2014 SedonaOffice Users Conference: Business is good. Without question the 100 companies represented at the conference are some of the best in the business and not inclined to plateau. 347 attendees came ready to learn from January 27 through 29 at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and their outlook for 2014 was as bright as the sunny weather.
In its 13th year, the conference provided over 48 educational sessions on a range of topics. Equally important were the non-scheduled interactions throughout the three-day event. "The best value of the conference is what you cannot get anywhere else and that is the ability to meet face-to-face with the SedonaOffice staff and users to talk about the real life procedures and ideas," states repeat attendee Karen Baker, Senior Vice President of The Protection Bureau.
Special guest presenters included Michael Barnes, founding partner of Barnes Associates who led a panel on Management Best Practices composed of SedonaOffice Users. WeSuite had an entire track that covered the sales process from contact to contract. New for 2014 were user discussions including representatives from Select Security, Mountain Alarm, Advantech, and more who shared their expertise on various aspects of SedonaOffice.
"There are software companies out there who do all they can to keep customers away from each other and away from potential prospects. We have a completely opposite philosophy. Come together as a group and tell us what we do well. Tell us what we can do better. Talk amongst each other," notes Don Faybrick, Co-Founder, Perennial Software. "The SedonaOffice experience is a community and we encourage interaction between our clients. It always amazes me how competing security companies can meet in this setting, offering help and encouragement to get the most out of SedonaOffice."
Day one of the conference was filled with informational presentations during a general session. The day opened with Michael Marks and Don Faybrick, Co-Founders of Perennial Software providing an overview on what is on the horizon for 2014. Followed by a special presentation explaining SedonaEnhancement, a new program where users can vote for enhancements to the application. Mark McCourt, SDM Publisher, who presented the 2014 SDM Forecast, delivered the keynote address. The final segment was a presentation on what new technologies are both disrupting and enabling the security industry to move forward; Rod Coles - President, Bold Technologies, Don Faybrick -Co Founder, Perennial Software, Steve Firestone - President, Select Security, John Galante - President, AE Ventures and John Lombardi - President and Founder, CIA Security all participated on the panel moderated by Mark McCourt.
The conference concluded with an Open Forum, an opportunity for users to ask questions of Marks and Faybrick. Meeting the high standards of their customers is no easy task, but they are up for the climb. Marks shared, "The analogy I've used in the past, and will use countless times again, creating a great software product is like climbing a mountain, except there is no top to this mountain. Every day we are working for you, to help you reach your potential. Helping you make your businesses great. There is no top to our mountain."