More than 160 participants convened for the 14th AgileAssets International Users Conference (IUC) held April 16-19 in Austin, Texas. With the most attendees and the most sessions in IUC history, the 2018 conference offered new opportunities for AgileAssets clients to engage with each other and with the AgileAssets team.
As a forum for industry networking and professional development, IUC has been providing unique value to AgileAssets clients and business partners approximately every 18 months since 1998. This year’s event featured some innovative twists on our longstanding tradition. Here are just some of the highlights.
Clients and Business Partners Add Diverse Perspectives
Built on the theme of “Driving User Value,” the conference focused on helping clients learn the latest strategies and techniques for maximizing the benefits of AgileAssets solutions—and delivering greater value to the millions of road users and members of the traveling public who rely on the global infrastructure. This year’s attendees included delegates from 23 AgileAssets client organizations from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The event featured more than 45 presentations and workshops to help attendees learn about industry best practices, current research, and the functionality and value of AgileAssets offerings. Because the majority of client attendees also gave presentations about their asset management programs, audience members benefited by gaining cross-industry insights about how peers are using AgileAssets solutions to address transportation challenges across the U.S. and globally.
In addition to the many client participants, six of AgileAssets’ key business partners participated, including Esri, FieldGo, Fugro, the Kercher Group, Numetric, and Transcend Spatial Solutions. These partners help harness the value of AgileAssets software for specific client projects and programs. Bringing together partners and clients to support collaboration and development in the transportation industry is a key benefit of IUC for these groups.
Keynotes Set the Stage for ROI, Trust, and Innovation
IUC featured three keynote speeches relevant to driving value for agencies, the traveling public, and society at large. Kicking off the first day of sessions, AgileAssets President Stuart Hudson, PE, delivered a keynote on client happiness and return on investment (ROI). He emphasized AgileAssets’ commitment to improving customer engagement and satisfaction by helping agencies achieve the highest value from their asset management efforts. He also presented research findings on how agencies have increased their ROI by using the advanced analytics and improved decision-making that a robust asset management solution makes possible.
Building on the theme of value, Barry Rellaford, Leadership Consultant at FranklinCovey, gave the second day’s keynote on the “Speed of Trust,” calling for leaders to adopt behaviors of transparency and accountability that boost organizational productivity, agility, and innovation.
Innovation was a theme that continued through the third day’s keynote by Jason JonMichael, Assistant Director of Smart Mobility at City of Austin’s Transportation Department. Offering a preview of the future impact of autonomous vehicles, JonMichael challenged the audience to begin expanding concepts of asset management to include emerging transportation technologies.
Presentations Highlight User Successes, Thought Leadership
AgileAssets clients and business partners delivered 18 of the 28 breakout presentations, offering rich and diverse perspectives of their experiences in meeting complex business challenges through effective asset management strategies and the use of AgileAssets solutions.
Multi-speaker panel discussions provided insights on how clients from different agencies apply technology and team resources to enhance the value of their asset management programs. For example, a panel discussion on the benefits of various deployment models (hosted, SaaS, and on-premises) featured speakers from agencies who use each of the various models. Another panel offered perspectives from several different agencies who use AgileAssets Resident Consultants to improve the effectiveness of their programs. These discussions enabled audience members to compare perspectives and recognize common themes among client experiences.
Other presentations focused on agency case studies or collaborative research by clients and AgileAssets that highlighted successful asset management practices and frameworks. These presentations offered thought-leading examples of innovation in the transportation industry.
Workshops Provide Hands-On Practice with v7.3
The 13 interactive workshops, led by AgileAssets product experts and filled to audience capacity, offered guided practice in using a variety of AgileAssets applications. Many workshops emphasized the new functionality available in AgileAssets version 7.3, helping users stay up to date on the latest software features and benefits. Several workshops offered specific instruction on using AgileAssets mobile apps and Esri®-enabled GIS functionality—two popular areas of focus for many clients.
Livestream and Slido Boost Audience Involvement
As with previous IUCs, many of this year’s sessions were live-streamed via webcast to reach a broader audience. More than 44 attendees logged in from remote locations, including Mexico, to watch the 17 live-streamed sessions.
Both live-stream and in-person attendees had the opportunity to use the third-party Slido app to pose questions for presenters, enabling greater audience interaction through multiple communication channels.
AXIAM Awards Honor Client Innovations
IUC also offered an ideal venue to recognize clients who have demonstrated an innovative or effective use of the AgileAssets system to solve an asset management challenge. During the AgileAssets Excellence in Asset Management (AXIAM) Awards process, seven self-nominated agencies each presented an overview of their most praiseworthy initiative. Attendees could then vote for the winner using the Slido polling function.
Based on votes from 128 conference participants, Oklahoma Department of Transportation took the top AXIAM Award for its implementation of a User Satisfaction Design initiative, developed to improve users’ knowledge, comfort, and effectiveness in using the AgileAssets Maintenance Management System (Maintenance Manager™ ). The AXIAM Award runner-up, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, was recognized for its ongoing transformation of paper-based processes into digital workflows. Five additional agencies achieved honorable mention for their impressive and innovative projects: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, City of Austin, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, New York State Department of Transportation, and Texas Department of Transportation.
Networking Events Offer Variety, Peer Connections
Before, after, and in between sessions each day, IUC attendees connected with their counterparts from other agencies to strengthen collegial relationships. With breakfasts, lunches, and two peer-exchange offsite dinners included in the conference registration, attendees had ample time for professional networking. The conference location on the University of Texas (UT) campus also allowed attendees to explore some of Austin’s nearby attractions, including a hosted tour of the UT Stadium.
Thanks to All Who Joined
Sincere thanks go to all participants, including the many speakers from our client agencies and partner organizations, for making IUC such a successful event. We hope to see you back in Austin at the next IUC in fall 2019.