That’s what I told a group of tourists at the top of Lombard Street in San Francisco last week after making the hike from my hotel across both Nob Hill and Russian Hill - with my laptop bag strapped across my shoulder no less.  Windows Mobile 027

My legs were a bit shaky and I debated whether to head down to Aquatic Park or turn around and head back to the hotel.  I chose the latter.

I was in San Francisco for OSISoft’s 20th annual user’s conference.  As I walked back to the hotel – my legs still unsteady – I began thinking about the different conversations I’d had at the conference.  My quote to the tourists could’ve easily applied to the reaction of some of the people I talked to at the user conference. 

Seeing some of the innovative ways people are applying technology to operations gave some attendees pause about how they were using technology in their business.  “I thought we had good information visibility and flow, until I saw that…”  

That’s the main reason to come to events like these – meet with your peers, see some thought-provoking ideas, and benchmark what your organization is doing compared to others.

We hope we were one of those bringing thought-provoking ideas around information visibility.  Our US Manufacturing General Manager, Tyler Bryson (bio, blog), delivered a keynote address titled Empowering Excellence in Real-Time for Business Performance.  His talk was all about how technology can be applied to increase the information flow inside a plant and out to the rest of the organization.

As part of the talk, Microsoft’s Chris Van Dyke showed a demonstration on how manufacturers can use an integrated technology environment to drive improvements in operations.  The demo was based on SharePoint, and used web 2.0 concepts (blogs, wikis) along with integration into manufacturing systems and Microsoft’s unified communication technologies to show how companies can speed the identification and analysis of operational issues.

I’m hoping we get the demo posted soon (Chris, I hope you are reading this) so those of you who want to see it can.  Based on the feedback and scheduled follow-ups, people saw the value in using the technology this way.

In addition, Microsoft and OSIsoft announced a set of joint workshops to help customers take advantage of these integrated capabilities.  The workshop is designed to help you plan and architect around a series of information visibility scenarios including energy management, conditioned-based maintenance, performance management and others.  If you are interested in learning more, drop me an email on the blog or email the Microsoft Alliance Team at OSIsoft.