By | October 26, 2020

“MEET” AND ITS HOMONYM “MEAT” come to mind when reflecting on inspire 2017 in Austin, Texas.

After all, the 300-plus people who ventured to Texas for inspire came to learn from their peers and experts in maintaining Operational Excellence, and, of course, to network, network, network.

So the “meet” of this homonymous scenario is fairly intuitive, but why pepper in “meat?”

Let’s hear from Neal Rosen, Sphera’s vice president of strategy & alliances, who MCed the event.

“Texans are definitely serious about their food, and another type of food that Texans are just passionate about is steak!” Rosen said. “Yes, there are so many big, fancy steakhouses down here, and oftentimes, for business dinners and social events, I find myself sitting at a table with a big group in one of these fancy steakhouses. The problem is, and I’m a little uncomfortable admitting this with a lot of Texans around, I don’t like steak … yeah, I’m just not a steak guy.”


Software Improvements: The Meat & Potatoes of inspire 2017

Beyond the traditional edible fare, there was another meaty choice cut coming out of inspire: namely SpheraCloud. During Sphera CEO Paul Marushka’s keynote, he announced that SpheraCloud, a game-changing Software as a Service platform, would be launched for Operational Risk in January 2018, which it was, with future rollouts in other solution areas on the docket as well. Even Maintenance Repair & Operations (MRO) joined the party this year when Sphera acquired sparesFinder earlier this year.


More Core on Our Plate

As we all know, not every company has an immediate need to venture into the clouds. That’s why, as Sphera’s chief product officer, Mike Zamis, explained during his product roadmap presentation that there are some tantalizing and meaty updates on the docket for our core products, too. For those folks who like their products well-done—and who wouldn’t?—Sphera is bringing more to the core with innovations for Stature, Essential, Impact and other products.


Other Highlights

There were so many juicy tidbits that came out of inspire, including a thought-provoking keynote from Christine Todd Whitman addressing “The Shifting Environmental Policy & Climate: Staying Ahead While Going Green.” Whitman, the former governor of New Jersey, also participated in an insightful Q&A led by E2 ManageTech’s Vijay Gudivaka that also featured Environmental Health & Safety expert Dr. Robert Young, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sprinkled in throughout the first two full days of the conference were award presentations. We handed out eight Embracing Excellence awards in all (see “Excellent Vibes,” p. 44). Sphera was also excited to host a partner pavilion where attendees were able to speak directly with our partners. We understand these meetings were sizzling hot.


More to Come

If you missed inspire in Austin and the EMEA event in Brussels, Belgium, then make your plans to be with us at the next inspire user conferences in San Antonio, Texas, from May 6 to 9, 2019, and Barcelona, Spain, from June 3 to 6, 2019. With exciting announcements planned, there will definitely be a lot for you to chew on. Until then, this meeting recap is adjourned.