2009 European UGM - Archive opens
ChemAxon's European User Group Meeting archive is opened.
The archive includes all available presentations to download and review.
Conclusion from Wendy Warr's meeting report. Read full report
How does this meeting differ from other user meetings? Recently I have been to two user meetings where the underlying theme was "ELN ELN ELN", so it was interesting to sit through two days of a programme that was not ELN-centric. The ChemAxon meeting is also less marketing oriented than a typical American user meeting and there is less business jargon. Some of the talks did have lengthy lists of features but the underlying approach is, in general, centred on computer science and computational chemistry.
As ChemAxon seeks to become a more "serious" contender in the cheminformatics marketplace, I do hope that it will not throw the baby out with the bath water and lose the very special characteristics that its faithful customers appreciate. Alex Drijver says that ChemAxon aims to retain its existing virtues but to develop a more confident and serious business face as well. He speaks with the confidence that one would expect of a CEO but neither he nor the other speakers sound like smooth or slick marketing executives. I hope that ChemAxon will not begin to learn marketing-speak: currently it is a pleasure to find that no one at this user meeting thinks that "levverage" (sic) is a verb. Gradually ChemAxon is moving towards "enterprise strength" (another bit of business-speak you do not hear at this user meeting) but it still seems to be doing so in an approachable way. Customers clearly do not see ChemAxon as inflexible, arrogant or monolithic.
Are there any negatives? The variety of material covered in this user meeting did make me think that ChemAxon wants a finger in every pie (except perhaps a ChemAxon ELN). Could this lead to the developers being over-stretched? I hope not. Thus far the company has shown how fast it can grow its new ideas; it has low overheads compared with its major US competitors and it has taken on more developers in the Czech Republic and India. Thus far it has a good record for delivering on its promises. No company can afford to stay still; ChemAxon still seems to be managing the balancing act pretty well and it is remarkable how its revenues are increasing, despite the very difficult market conditions. Competition among vendors is good for users and I am positive about ChemAxon?s plans for the coming year.