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May 3-6, 2015

Washington, DC

Explore from the IT Guy's POV

Hi, I’m Phil — that’s me to the right checking out art at the National Portrait Gallery during a recent visit to DC. It’s my job to scope out the technical details each year for QAD Explore. I’ve been with QAD for a long time (no need for specifics), but long enough to remember a lot of past venues. Since I manage a large amount of the technical needs, I have found that some are definitely better than others. I have to say that this year’s venue — the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center — is shaping up to be one of, if not, the best yet.
 
The thing that I really appreciate about the Gaylord is that it’s a very new hotel. From an IT/technical standpoint, that means that it has the newest stuff when it comes to the infrastructures, something that older hotels have a hard time retrofitting. Oh, and since I’m also one of those guys that is constantly looking down at his phone, I noticed that the cell signal is very strong. Another big plus in my book. 
 
I tend to look at things from a logistical perspective, and something that really stuck out was how easy it is to get from the hotel room to the conference area. I didn’t feel like I was going on a hike every time we toured a new space. I can already see how nicely the event is going to flow.
 
Although I did spend most of my time working on the site visit, I did get a little bit of time to scope out the hotel and surrounding area. The hotel itself is pretty cool as it has this huge atrium, so that no matter what the weather is like outside, you are enclosed in this little village that feels like you’re outside. It’s a nice place to hang out, but I didn’t spend all my time there. If you venture out of the hotel there are lots of things to do right outside: pubs, restaurants, and even a Peeps store. Yes, a store dedicated to Peeps. Too strange to pass up.
 
Since I spent the majority of my time working out the hotel and conference space logistics, I didn’t get a chance to check out DC, so I’m really looking forward to doing that in May. There are a number of museums that I’m looking forward to seeing. I also just got word from our event planner that the off-site event location has been chosen. I’m not at liberty to divulge anything else, but you’re not going to want to miss it!
 
A tip from a guy who doesn’t like to waste time: fly in to Reagan National Airport! It was super easy and fast to get to the hotel.
 
Looking forward to seeing you at Explore, I’ll be the one with the secret-service device in my ear. Yes, we actually use those in IT to communicate at events.

Explore What Lies Just Outside of Washington DC

I was in Washington, DC last month for some QAD Explore planning. Once the “work” portion of my trip was complete, it was time to see the sites. I managed to push past the well-known monuments for a taste (literally and figuratively) of what the locals do outside of business hours. Don’t get me wrong, the monuments are breathtaking and the museums are fascinating, but personally, I think that the striking beauty of the area surrounding DC often falls beyond that scope, which is truly a shame.

Whether in Maryland or Virginia, hopping between the three areas often is a matter of a bridge and maybe a handful of minutes.

The Waterfront Starts at Georgetown
This may be common knowledge, but I didn’t figure it out until my fifth day, so hopefully I saved someone the trouble by making that statement right off. Cool fountains, a nice park, and great views of the island and bridge and Virginia Skyline. Walk a little further from Georgetown and the boardwalk starts with some nice patio bars and restaurants as you work your way down towards the Kennedy Center. Good place to relax, drink a coffee, read the paper, or just enjoy the view.

Baltimore or Less
You'll notice that even 10 minutes out of town the freeways appear to start where the jungle ends. A sea of lush vegetation seems to dominate Maryland on the way to Baltimore, which makes for a relaxing drive that will take the better part of an hour. When you arrive, stick to the neighborhoods that are close to the water, as Baltimore has its darker corners. But a smattering of dingy dive joints offer stiff drinks in large glasses and a hipper, heartier crowd than you'll find in downtown DC. I particularly liked Fells Point and Canton areas, but there are many more to choose from.

Relax in Reston
A 30-minute trip down the Silver Line and you're in Reston, voted the 7th best place to live in the USA in 2012. A quiet, highly developed town center is clean and well thought out. Several patio bars are the perfect place to sip spicy ginger drinks on a warm and sunny day. Watch strollers and leashed dogs pass in this safe neighborhood where everyone seems to be smiling and enjoying each others company. Great area to find a bar to watch the game as well, as many bars have a host of great flat-screen TVs.

Revel at Great Falls
My first cab driver told me not to get too excited about Great Falls: "They're not real waterfalls, it’s kind of like rapids." A gross understatement in my opinion, I thought they were a pretty exciting sight! Roaring rapids, with several notable drops over 10 feet, serve as a playground for ambitious kayakers and the scores of people cheering them on. The river at the national park area is at least 80 feet across, and you hear of the occasional fall victim to the vicious rapids. But don't worry, you'll be safe from any one of the marked (and hand-railed) viewpoints. Take a walk or jog in the paved park pathways. There is even a snack bar that will allow you to stick it out there for a few extra hours and enjoy the tranquility.

Bike or Jog the C&O Canal
Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. This canal runs parallel to the Potomac and was originally horse driven and used to raft goods over a stretch of 185 miles. Now void of traffic, it serves as a quiet waterfront for jogging and gravelly bike trail that ends right in the heart of DC.

Old Town Alexandria
Are you a bit of a food or coffee connoisseur? Alexandria is where it's at. Just old enough to have charm, but filled with current cutting-edge restaurants and breakfast spots. There’s lots to explore and its only a $12 Uber ride from the Gaylord (the Explore 2015 venue). Hop over here to grab breakfast before the sessions start for one or two days during Explore!

There is still so much of DC to check out, so if I were you, I’d tack on a few extra days to make sure you get the most out of your visit — I know I will. See you at Explore!

Submit Your Explore Session Topic Ideas

The response to our call for potential speakers has been tremendous, and we’re excited and energized by your enthusiasm. Just in case you haven’t submitted your idea yet, we want to remind you that the November 15th deadline for submission is fast approaching.

Here’s what we’re looking for:
The theme for Explore 2015 is “Learn. Network. Discover.” This year, we hope to hear from customers and other QAD community leaders about their journeys toward becoming effective enterprises. As examples, we would especially like to receive presentations covering new implementations, SE to EE upgrades or early adopter experiences. We welcome joint presentations with multiple speakers such as a QAD service or R&D team member and an individual from a customer or partner.

All sessions at Explore 2015 will be one hour in duration and presentations should consist of no more than 30-35 slides.

Submission Requirements:
Presentations should be original contributions to the QAD experience and body of knowledge and present results, benefits and conclusions. Submissions should include some or all of the following:

  • The business value of the work, method or approach used
  • Outcomes, benefits or KPI improvements
  • Lessons learned (positive as well as negative)
  • Tips and tricks

Topics of interest for the conference include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • QAD Cloud ERP upgrades
  • New implementations
  • SE to EE upgrades
  • Integration to partner or third party apps using QAD Boomi AtomSphere
  • QAD QMS implementations
  • Managing compliance
  • Global operations
  • Early adopter experience
  • Cultural, social, economic, business, managerial and environmental aspects of ERP implementation or usage
  • BYOD and mobility experiences
  • Analytics
  • Case studies
  • Industry best practices
  • Using or implementing new modules or capabilities in QAD Enterprise Applications

What will we look for in a paper?
QAD is looking for high-quality customer and industry contributions that are innovative yet practical. Reviewers will evaluate submissions on the following criteria:

  • Does this work contribute to the body of knowledge or help customers improve the benefits they enjoy by using QAD Cloud ERP/QAD Enterprise Applications?
  • Have previous speakers covered this problem before or is this a new idea?
  • Is the analysis clear and are the facts convincing?

Submission
Please submit a session title and abstract of no more than 150 words by November 15, 2014.

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: November 15, 2014
  • Notifications to authors: No later than January 15 2015
  • Final presentations due: March 30, 2015

Save the Date for Explore 2015: May 3-6 in Washington, DC. Registration will open in December, so stay tuned to the blog for updates as we get closer to the event!

Washington, DC Has a Museum for Everyone

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job at QAD is that I’m part of the team that plans for  Explore, which involves going on location months in advance to check out the facilities and the surrounding attractions. We just returned from a couple days in Washington, DC where we will be hosting Explore 2015.
Smithsonian's Air and Space MuseumWould you believe there are more museums in the United States than there are Starbucks and McDonalds combined? Most people think of government when it comes to Washington, DC, but I think of museums. There are over 200 to choose from. A trip to DC without a visit to a museum is like going to Disneyland and not going on any of the rides. While I don’t frequent museums on a regular basis, I find a trip to the museum very educational. In fact, museums make me realize how much I don’t know, which can be very humbling.

There are too many to list so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites from my recent visit as well as some that are on my wish list.

My three favorites:
  • The Newseum is new, and it’s all about news. It’s like a walk through history showcasing the headlines of our news, complete with historical artifacts and amazing photography. This place is huge — seven levels, 250,000 square feet with 15 theaters and 14 galleries. I could spend an entire day there!
  • Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is one of the busiest museums in the world. There is something about being surrounded by planes and spaceships that makes you realize how big our universe is. It’s amazing to see how it all got started, those early planes were pretty flimsy!
  • Smithsonian's Natural History Museum - Julia Child's Kitchen Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum has a little bit of everything — from dinosaurs to diamonds. As a scuba diver, I especially enjoyed the portraits of planet ocean that showcased Brian Skerry’s work. As a foodie, I loved seeing Julia Child’s actual kitchen, including the cabinets, appliances, cookbooks, kitchen table, and hundreds of utensils and gadgets. There was also an exhibit of The First Ladies’ inaugural gowns, unfortunately it will be gone by the time we arrive for Explore 2015.
On my wish list:
  • The International Spy Museum is on the top of my wish list. I’d love to check out the 200 spy gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and technologies. It’s an interactive museum where you can test your skills of observation, analysis, surveillance, and disguise. Imagine what we could do with a pen camcorder at work?  You can find out because they sell them at the spy store!
  • The Crime Museum is one I’ve got to get to in May. I love crime mysteries and they have a whole exhibit simulating what it’s like to be a crime scene investigator where you get to interact with a fully intact crime scene, gather vital clues to determine what happened when, where, why and by whom. The super sleuth in me would love this.
  • The National Geographic Museum must be amazing! I’ve been a fan of their photography since I was a kid, and I love just about everything they stand for.
You might find this map useful to get a birds eye view of the museums surrounding the mall. If you want to research options beyond the mall, there is some great information on museums here

See you at QAD Explore in DC, I’ll be the one in disguise!

QAD Explore is 7 Months Away - What We Know

QAD Explore is roughly 200 days away. That seems like a lot, but it’s only seven months! If we break it down even further, it’s less than 150 working days. Now if you account for the holidays and breaks between now and then … well, you get the idea.
 
It may seem early, but I always say that it’s good to be prepared. Not all of the details for Explore are ironed out, but what we know for sure is that it’s:
 
While we still have work to do to make this year’s Explore the best ever, take a moment to look back at last year’s conference by viewing the photos and videos.
 
Stay tuned in to the blog to hear about all the fun stuff you have to look forward to. A team from QAD recently toured the venue for Explore, and they can’t wait to share stories of their travels with you.
 
In the meantime, please share this image to spread the news about QAD Explore 2015!
   

QAD Explore 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Mark your calendars to save the date for QAD Explore 2015 — May 3-6 — in Washington, D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland.

Stay tuned to the blog (be sure to subscribe if you haven't already), and be the first to hear when registration opens in the fall.

We've already begun planning this Explore to be the best one yet, you don't want to miss it — join our Explore 2015 mailing list to stay on top of the details as we share them!

Check Out Photos from Explore

Explore in New Orleans last week was a ton of fun — you can see it on all of the smiling faces in the photos! Take a moment to look back on the good times we shared...

In case you weren't able to make all of the sessions, don't worry — you can still catch up on what you missed by viewing the recordings.

QAD Explore 2014 Videos

We've received a ton of great feedback about the videos presented at last week's QAD Explore conference, so by popular demand, here they are for your viewing pleasure!

Lear
Coupled with QAD solutions, Lear is standardizing its lean manufacturing model in many of its geographically dispersed facilities.

 

Sharp 
Sharp demonstrated its use of QAD serialization to provide track and trace capabilities of pharmaceutical products throughout the global supply chain.

 

Kendra Scott
Using QAD, Kendra Scott can rapidly respond to dynamic sales trends by quickly manufacturing and shipping desired merchandise.

 

Nexteer
Nexteer is using QAD to manufacture and deliver industry-leading, steering and driveline automotive systems.

 

everyday
Every day at QAD we get closer to achieving our vision of the Effective Enterprise.

 

See You Next Year in D.C.!

Thanks again for helping to make this the best Explore yet. We’ve set the bar pretty high for next year, which will be in Washington, D.C.! Can’t wait for the QAD community to take over the nation’s capital next May.

Help Make Explore 2015 Even Better
We thrive on your feedback to help improve future events, so please take a moment to complete the Explore 2014 Event Survey — we really appreciate it!

See you in 2015!

What's Next?