“No more pencils, no more books,
No more teachers’ dirty looks,
No more math and history,
Summer time has set us free!”
Kantatook Summer Camp, Bella Vista, Arkansas – 1985
It would be difficult to describe HxGN LIVE to a person who has never been. My coworker and partner-in-crime described it as “summer camp for technophiles,” and I think that is an accurate description. A group of highly engaged, highly intelligent folks arrive, we all eat breakfast together in a giant room, and we split off to go to our respective sessions for the sharing of knowledge and discussions. We gather together for lunch, and again head off in our own directions for an afternoon of breakout sessions and meetings. Sprinkle in a playground of technology from the pages of a science fiction novel, a couple of spectacular keynote speeches, and evenings full of libations and sites that can only be seen in Las Vegas, and there you have it. It’s HxGN LIVE. There’s no other way to describe it.
I have been fortunate to visit HxGN LIVE for the past two years. And, for the prior two years, I went to a conference that was known as the EcoSys User Conference. When EcoSys was acquired by Intergraph, the User Conference became part of HxGN LIVE.
For those of you who do not know, EcoSys is a configurable software platform that is capable of, well, just about anything. It’s a solution for resource and cost management, right at the tip of your fingertips. Configure the software to match your company’s business rules and processes. Make your own spreadsheets, forms and reports for tracking project progress and performance. /plug
As I stated previously, this is my fifth User Conference (third HxGN LIVE), and this year is different…BETTER… for a couple of reasons.
One reason this year is better is that we were finally able to upgrade our version of EcoSys at C&I Engineering. We had previously been unable to upgrade because it resulted in our configuration being broken. We would install the upgrade, do a bit of testing, determine we couldn’t use that particular version, and then we’d end up rolling back to the previous version that allowed our configuration to work as intended. This was incredibly frustrating when it came to the User Conference, because we would hear all of the exciting upgrades in functionality that had been made. By the end of the conference, we would be excited to get back to work so we could employ an upgrade, only to be crushed again when it didn’t work. It is so nice to sit in the breakout sessions and learn about functionality in the latest version that we can actually use when we get home! It makes a lot of difference.
Another reason this year is better is because EcoSys has made changes that have resulted in better breakout sessions and more usable information for folks (like us) who configure our own modules. They listened to our criticisms from preceding years, and they delivered an EcoSys-specific TUF and several sessions that really dive into the nuts and bolts of configuration that were missing from previous conferences. I applaud them for listening to our concerns, and for acting on them.
Finally, and not least of all, the last reason this year has been better is because of the friends I’ve made at HxGN LIVE over the past several years. We are a group of like-minded individuals with similar interests and trials. It is a delight to be able to share ideas, successes and the occasional ice-cold beverage with them! I consider them life-long friends.
In closing, I can say that this is the best HxGN LIVE experience I’ve had to-date, and I look forward to many more. Summer camp for technophiles, indeed!
Lannie Plummer, PPM
Lannie Plummer is the Production Coordinator for C&I Engineering, where she has worked for 9 years. She has been working as a configuration specialist in EcoSys since its company-wide rollout in 2015. Her duties entail configuring EcoSys modules from the conceptual phase, through design and implementation, to training of staff and promotion of the application for end-user buy-in. Lannie has an MA from Oklahoma State University and obtained PMP certification in 2015. This is her fifth EcoSys User Conference, and her 3rd appearance at Hexagon.