7 Months Of Integration User Group! The Journey So Far

Last week, we posted this statistic across our social media channels –

Yes, its been 7 months since we launched Integration User Group! We’ve had 31 sessions from 25 speakers (MVP’s, Microsoft product group, industry experts, community members) till date, with topics ranging from Microservices, Azure App Services (Logic Apps, API Apps, and so on), Generic Integration concepts, BizTalk Developer tips, BizTalk in Healthcare, BizTalk ALM, covering enterprise adapters like SAP, covering new frameworks “TransMock” and lots more. We would like to extend our thanks to the speakers and attendees for making the #IntegrationMonday sessions a success. We’re not done yet! We have sessions lined up all the way into December on some very interesting topics!  You can take a look at the Integration User Group website for more details about the upcoming events. One of the hardest part in conducting these kind of events is being consistent (both quality of speakers and audience count), we are very pleased with the outcome so far.

History

Integration User Group (IUG) is nothing new as such. It has been in existence since 2006, gradually evolved under different names. It all started back in 2006 when Saravana Kumar and Michael Stephenson wanted to build a strong technical community (around BizTalk/Integration) where people can easily share their experiences and learning. This paved the way for “BizTalk User Group“, which was later renamed to “UK Connected Systems User Group” (UKCSUG). The main scope of this user group was to see beyond BizTalk and look into new technologies (at that time!) such as WCF, AppFabric, BizTalk Services, and so on.

The user group meetings were mostly face-to-face discussions at a central location in London, for a closed group of audience. The challenging part was to accommodate *enthusiastic* folks from outside London. On popular demand, it was suggested to have a “Webinar” kind of event that allowed folks from around the world to be a part of the event – from United States to New Zealand.

But as time went on, technology had its own improvements; and today we are in the world, where the scope of integration technologies has grown to a wider reach. Aptly, it was time to “re-brand” UKCSUG in line with the current trend (of Integration technologies), hence the name “Integration User Group“.

We decided to dedicate one day every week for the sessions and decided “Monday” to be the day. So, why not call it “Integration Monday“. That sounded interesting, and here we are after almost 7 months since we started.

Some Interesting Statistics

We’ll let the statistics speak to show how we’ve come so far with #IntegrationMonday.

Stats

Here’s where our attendees came from …
Attendee Geography Map

Few Highlights

Integration User Group has indeed turned out to be the “Biggest Integration Community in the world”. To justify this statement –

  • Consistency rate about 80-100 attendees every week
  • Maximum attendee count – 250/250 (seats) + 45 on Wait list (later added) for one of the session
  • Attendee Interest rate > 60% on an average
  • People from Australia/New Zealand dialling in around 0400 hrs to attend the sessions
  • Sessions from the Microsoft Product Group

Topics Covered

We have had topics ranging across different subjects. Here’s the exhaustive list of topics (with video/presentation links)

Speakers

We’ve had speakers from companies like Microsoft, Codit, Solidsoft Reply, Motion10, Datacom, and so on. In addition, we’ve had well known Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award winning folks presenting in the sessions. We’d like to thank all speakers (and the one’s lined up) for taking time and get involved with the community.









Community Reaction

Since we launched Integration User Group, we have been receiving feedback and comments personally and on Twitter. Here are few excerpts from what the community folks have to say about this –

And, Microsoft Product Group Did Contribute Too…

Integration User Group is not just about having sessions from community members and MVPs. Even the Microsoft Product Group guys realized the importance of this platform and presented few sessions. This opened the door of opportunities for them to interact directly with the community folks and get valuable feedback for their products/solutions. We extend our thanks to the Product Group team for considering the IUG platform and look forward for more exciting sessions in the future.

Join The Largest Integration Community

Interested to present a session on Integration Monday? Great! Just let us know what topic you are keen to present. We’ll slot the session for you and take care of the rest. Feel free to reach out to Michael Stephenson and/or Saravana Kumar or fill up the form here.


Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote - “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

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