IBL UGM 2018 Wrap-Up
The User Group Meeting
This September, Shyft Solutions had the opportunity to attend the IBL User Group Meeting in Bucharest, Romania. IBL is a Slovakian company that builds meteorological software products designed for governments, large and small private companies, and meteorological enthusiasts. Shyft Solutions' members have been users of IBL’s Visual Weather and Moving Weather software for the past 6 years and are proud to say that we are currently partnering with IBL to grow their US market.
Each year IBL hosts a UGM where customers fly from all over the world to share ideas, learn about new features, and get to know each other. This year’s meeting was held Sept 24-27 at the beautiful Sheraton of Bucharest with record attendance: 77 users from 31 organizations in 21 different countries. Shyft’s representatives were Eric, Justin, Joel, and myself. Unfortunately, our fifth team member couldn’t make it due to a last-minute injury. Maybe next year, Russ!
Shyft team enjoying the view of Bucharest at the Palace of Parliament.
On day one, IBL asked that all organizations do a brief introduction about who is attending the UGM and how they use IBL software. Last year, Shyft attended the UGM as a brand new (literally our first day as a company) startup. This year we were proud to return and let everyone know that we made it through our first year in business and we have revenue to show for it. It was fun to see how supportive and excited everyone was to hear this news! As icing on the cake, Delta Airlines was in attendance and mentioned in their presentation how happy they were with the products we built for them this year.
At the end of day one and into day two, there were customer presentations. This time, any organization that wished to present could share the innovative products they built in the last year with IBL’s tool suite. Shyft’s presentation focused mainly on the new web services we’ve built for our customers.
For the remainder of the conference, IBL team members did presentations about new features, updates to existing features, and future plans. My favorite presentation this year was IBL’s Open Weather updates. Open Weather is their new, optimized tool for using Visual Weather and Moving Weather in the Cloud. This will allow us to better support our US customers by providing the ability to scale our services quickly and easily. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with IBL and other users to develop and expand this new capability.
More Than Just Presentations
IBL, along with the host organization ROMATSA (Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration), did an exceptional job promoting interaction between the participants. On each of the first two nights there was a tour and dinner planned for us. On day one we had a tour of the Palace of Parliament, a walk through old town Bucharest, and dinner at Hanu' lui Manuc. Fun fact: the Palace of Parliament is the second largest administrative building in the world, right after the Pentagon. Day two consisted of a tour of the Village Museum, a walk through the beautiful King Mihai I Park in Bucharest, and dinner at Pescarus. Thank you, IBL and Romatsa, for organizing and sponsoring these after-meeting events.
Stunning view of the Palace of Parliament.
Bucharest from across the lake at King Mihai I Park.
As a fun way to maintain our attention throughout the conference, IBL’s CTO, Jozef, typically designs a Presentation Attention Game (which is always tied to the location of the conference). Clues were given throughout the presentations and winners were announced on the last day of the conference. This year all of the users were divided into three teams: Vampires, Vampire Hunters, and Humans. I was asked to lead the Human group where we tried to survive the week without being converted to a different team. The rules were complex, and it was hard to keep track of who belonged to which team at which time. However, we worked strategically, and I am proud to report that the Humans won!
Celebrating our victory as Humans with cake. Image by Michal Weis, IBL CEO.
This year was one for the books. We met and reconnected with numerous users (and now friends) from Romania, Australia, the UK, the States of Jersey, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, and many more! I’d like to send a big thank you out to IBL for annually hosting an event that promotes so much innovation, collaboration, and fun! We can't wait to see everyone next year in Salzburg, Austria.
Exploring Romania After The Conference...
Traditionally decorated Romanian egg shells.
Romanian church saved from ruin and placed in the Village Museum.
Papanasi is an amazing traditional cheese donut dessert.
Castelul Peles is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains.
We made a stop to Bran Castle, the home of Dracula.
Overlooking the city of Brasov from Castle Rasnov.