A little over a week ago, I had the good fortune to be in Europe during the 2013 edition of BLUG. I caught the morning train from Paris to Brussels, a quick connection from there to Leuven, and after a short taxi ride arrived just in time for lunch in a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Faculty Club.

Why was I there? Scott Souder is doing a perfectly awesome job as the new public face of IBM Notes/Domino, so that wasn't it. IBM Notes/Domino 9 Social Edition had shipped the day before, so the party was already over on that. I'm not much of a beer drinker, so the wonderful speaker dinner and tour at Domus was nice, but not critical.

The answer, actually, was IBM MobileFirst. Seven weeks into the new job, I wanted to see if all the cool stuff I was learning about was just as cool to my family, the community I've worked with for so many years.

In other words, the chance to deliver an IBM MobileFirst strategy presentation and demo to friends, colleagues, people I've known for a long time was enticing. I was a bit hesitant, not sure emotionally if I wanted to show up at a "Lotus" event so soon after moving on. So many friends were there, though, both IBMers and among the excellent speaker/exhibitor roster that Theo put together. I didn't feel any sense of loss or missing out, just a great chance to catch up with people -- especially since I was sick the last few nights at Connect-o-sphere and hadn't had that opportunity in Orlando.

As for the presentation itself, I used a variation of the presentation from Slideshare that is embedded above, along with a couple of demos that we've built for showing off IBM Worklight. The presentation - standing room only - validated for me a lot of what we've been talking about inside of IBM. The discussion about mobile application lifecycle management is indeed early in so many organizations, and the opportunity to adopt a platform like Worklight, instead of treating mobile development as a point solution exercise, is thus very high.

I found myself spending a lot of time on slides 2-3-4. Much like the IBM Business Connect event the day prior in Paris, I'm asking questions to genuinely learn other points of view. It's a huge difference of understanding versus a market I spent 19 years in and leading. Here I don't know what the opportunities and challenges are, other than by asking. Likewise, I found the BLUG audience really ready to dig in on these early slides, to understand why IBM has put such a significant investment into mobile.

It was such a great day overall. I had the opportunity to talk about additional events such as MOBUG (London, September) and a potential speaking engagement in Spain through my colleague Luis Suarez. I gave away several copies of Opting In, to people who seemed genuinely excited to read it. And there was much happiness reconnecting in the speakers' room and at dinner with the aforementioned friends and colleagues.

I'd like to do more of these, but I also know that I have to personally put some space between myself and Notes/Domino. For now I've signed up for MWLUG in August, but am open to doing others. You all have been with me for such a long part of my personal journey, I'd like to keep that going even with a new subject matter and domain. Thank you to those at BLUG for being so welcoming of the old guy, just as much as it was an opportunity to celebrate new beginnings as well.

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