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FME International User Conference 2014 – Don’s Reflections on 20 Years

The FME International User Conference 2014 is now over.   It was great to catch up with so many and celebrate all things FME and Safe. While we opened with...

The FME International User Conference 2014 is now over.   It was great to catch up with so many and celebrate all things FME and Safe. While we opened with a look at the past 20 years, it is truly the future that is the most exciting.


Dale and I love and have always loved technology – all kinds of technology. And so our careers were destined to be technology focused.  It is not technology however that was the reason we started Safe, and it is not the reason that we are more excited than ever about what we are doing.

Over 20 years you learn what “drives” you.  What drives us is not technology.  We get excited about technology but it is not what drives us.

Making a Difference

We are driven to make a difference.  To improve the lives of people.  Even better, we get to make a difference through our passion for technology.  From the start we wanted to create a place that created “Happy Customers” rather than one that tried to “Make Customers Happy”.  We wanted to create a company that would be a place where we would want to work.  A place for our “team” where we could work side-by-side solving tough problems for our “Happy Customers”.  We don’t refer to the people who work at Safe as “staff”, but rather as a “team”.

Team Safe

It was great watching you in action at the conference.  Thank you!  You are all so great and so dedicated. It was enjoyable getting to know you all a little better.   You rose to the occasion and tackled any job that surfaced, including being raided by attendees from another conference!

We only wish we could get to know all of you even better!  You are a such a creative group!  You amaze us and are an inspiration to us both!!


It was great spending the week connecting with all of you.  You have been with us from the start and we will never forget you as we move into the future.  Indeed, we are excited about building stronger partnerships as we move forward.  You are more than partners.  You are friends and we will work to make our friendship grow deeper.


Don and Dale "looking back" on 20 years at the FME International User Conference 2014.
Don and Dale “looking back” on 20 years at the FME UC.

The conference and all we do at Safe is all about you.  Our relationship with you is everything. Throughout the years you have stood by us as we have worked to help you. We haven’t always got it right or been able to help you but we have always tried!  We will continue to try and continue to help you.

It is you who take our beloved FME instrument and make music.  This was your conference.

It was great to connect in person with many of you for the first time and reconnect with others who have been long-time friends of Safe and FME.  We look forward to continuing the conversations and working with you.

XML – A Last Word?

What other conference can you have so much fun with XML?   I think for that reason alone we should all Love XML. Yet another reason for me to love XML!

Looking Ahead

I thought we’d all leave the conference exhausted, but have found it quite the opposite.  Dale and I have left full of energy and even more excited about the next 20 years!  The exciting part of our collective journey is truly ahead.

Thanks so much to all of you for attending!  Please keep in touch, and keep challenging us.   We definitely won’t wait 5 years before the next conference!   Go Safely.

[For more, see recaps on Day 1Day 2, and Day 3 of the FME UC, and Dale’s post on a week of celebration.]

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