In 2004 network operator Orange launched it’s “Code Camp” to help bring the developer community closer. Now, two years on Orange have grown into an internet provider, mobile network and business solutions supplier. The Camp has grown too – it’s now known as the “Partner Camp” and is a marvellous collaboration between developers, content providers plus those responsible for creating and selling ringtones, wallpapers, video, music and mobile applications. I was lucky enough to see at first hand why the distinctive Orange Partner Camp event was so popular, informative and entertaining.
The innovative Orange Partner Programme is poles apart from many other developer schemes. There’s a relaxed openness and an eagerness to facilitate partners at every step. Plus as part of the programme you get the chance to meet with key Orange staff from all over the world at the Orange Partner Camp. The camp itself is like no other corporate event I’ve ever seen. My three action-packed days were in Sarasota, Florida – at a beach resort! Sun, sand, sea and your own Orange cell to test and try your applications on. All the latest handsets were there too, all hooked up to the Orange network with 3G coverage across the resort. The event itself has previously scooped awards and it’s easy to see why – a circus tent on the beach, filled with trapeze acts, jugglers and knife throwers aren’t the normal things you’d expect to see at a conference. An attendee even commented that he didn’t know what to expect – he’d brought a suit!
Continue reading my overview below or click here to see the summaries of the event.
The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort was, I must admit, a fantastic venue. Although each Orange Partner shared, the apartments were huge and on two floors. It was easy to feel at home with your own room and facilities, plus you had WiFi and a beautiful white sandy beach just yards away. In fact, after a bit of testing, I found that you could get WiFi on the beach. How’s this for an ideal working environment ?! Inside the sessions were in full swing – the heat of the day being kept at bay with air conditioning and bottles of water in huge ice buckets in every room – all part of the service. The attendees wearing shorts and Orange flip-flops, listened intently to the speakers. I had several comments from people after to say that they were delighted with the approach Orange had taken. There were no closed doors here – Orange were keen and eager to help and answered questions from the assembled audience. The “Lets talk about…” sessions were even more interactive with up to an hour being given to a vibrant discussion on various topics – from content service ideas, Java, Search and DRM. The great thing too was that some of the more popular sessions were repeated, giving everyone the opportunity to participate. I particularly enjoyed the relatively low Powerpoint usage, with sessions from Orange, UIQ, TeleAtlas and Texas Instruments being very involved and entertaining.
Orange being Orange, it’s not all about sitting in a room. The “Meet, Eat and Greet” area was the central point for networking with other attendees. It’s not often that you come to an event wearing shorts, drinking beer, playing pool and chatting to such a diverse yet intriguing bunch of people – all with Fat Boy Slim playing in the background! To be able to exchange ideas with fellow developers, content providers and the relevant people at Orange in such a relaxed yet productive atmosphere is an opportunity not to be missed. Being part of Orange Partner is a definite “must” for a content provider or developer who wants to be successful.
Link – Orange Partner