The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. The Concrete Jungle. Where Harry Met Sally. Whatever title you give it, New York City was recently inundated with a steady stream of sponsors, exhibitors and attendees alike, all looking to merge the almighty Cloud with Big Data at the 3rd annual Cloud Expo conference and exhibition (12th International).
As more and more companies have changed their thinking from ‘what is the cloud?’ to ‘how do I get there?’, conferences like Cloud Expo are becoming more popular as vendors scramble to present a clear Cloud solution that can leave a major impact on the way enterprises carry out their business in the future.
Gartner predicted that the Cloud Computing market would be a $150 billion industry by this year with 60% of server workloads being virtualized by 2014. And while statistics can start to paint a picture, it’s more likely you can look within your own company to see how the Cloud conversation has developed over the years and how decisions are being made around cloud computing all the time. Whether you’re looking to simplify your entire IT process by lightening their load and leaving them to focus on innovation rather than maintenance or if you’re looking for a stronger ROI as a result of reduced cost, the Cloud is making a difference.
That difference was apparent at New York City’s Javits Center on June 10th-13th as the leading Cloud industry influencers and organizations gathered under one roof to discuss Infrastructure as a Service. Several sub-events were also available including a Cloud Computing Bootcamp and sponsored discussions and parties by various vendors.
The Keynotes and Sessions were headlined by hand-picked experts who were able to share their experience and expertise to further attendees Cloud knowledge. Fpweb.net’s CEO Rob LaMear was among them, presenting “CEO Insider: Overcoming Cloud Barriers.” His session explained the conversation between CEOs, CTOs and IT to get to the Cloud and achieve the agility and cost savings that helps them compete in a global landscape. LaMear used audience participation to label the C-levels and IT and demonstrate their battle to overcome three barriers to the Cloud: Security, Reliability and Performance.
For my part, I was posted at Fpweb.net’s booth for the duration of the conference informing attendees about our Private Cloud solution for Hosted SharePoint. This was my first, non-SharePoint related conference so it was interesting to see the different sides and businesses of the Cloud outside of the Microsoft stack.
New York didn’t disappoint in providing an entertaining backdrop for a technology conference and between the Welcome Reception which featured free food and drink and three days of expo hours, we had quite a range of questions at the booth.
Most people were interested in the idea that we specialize in one thing: Microsoft SharePoint. Our business is built around developing experts with the experience to tackle anything a client can throw at us. With Private Cloud solutions, we were able to explain how they never lose any control over their environment and keep full administrative access to their servers. The only difference from an on-premises deployment is that they no longer have to deal with maintenance or support and can focus on business at hand rather than clean up messes caused by inexperience. SharePoint aside, these benefits are what make the Private Cloud so appealing.
The Cloud Expo also offered a vast selection of industries for businesses to network with and develop partnerships. We received many requests to take a closer look at different products that vendors were offering. Not something I’m used to at a conference. I’m used to doing the selling…
I walked around and was interested to find the different networking and work areas available as well as a Cloud Expo Game Zone for loosening up a bit. I was tempted more than once to unleash my foosball skills but managed to hold back. As I passed through the expo hall filled with booths of every shape and size, every vendor I passed carried a smile and a solution. Swag-wise there was some notable merchandise – the best being a Nerf gun (perfect for a tech conference) and a caricature artist (a great way to keep people at your booth for an extended period of time).
The weather wasn’t ideal but once I was able to obtain an umbrella (the prices go up when it’s raining), I joined my team in finding some of the best food NYC had to offer. I did a bit of the tourist thing by visiting Grand Central Station, Times Square and other notable stops. Couldn’t resist visiting Citi Field to see my St. Louis Cardinals take on the New York Mets. Wasn’t pleased with the result but we took the series so I’m over it. Note: Nachos are not as good as Busch Stadium’s.
All in all, it was a great conference filled with great conversations that will hopefully build into great relationships. Thank you to the entire faculty, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for making the Cloud Expo 2013 New York a success. See you at the next one!
My Cloud Expo 2013 New York Picture Gallery: