Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day Three (final) at Midsize Enterprise Summit

The third and final day has come to a close as I write this. This years event is wrapping up about a 1/2 day earlier than it used to, that is OK as it enables us all to travel home for some rest :-).

Day Three

The third and final day had many of the same dimensions as the previous day; large all attendee keynote sessions, private boardroom sessions to hear from vendors, and a sprinkling of trade show time to see those that may not have been in your boardroom or to see those who peaked your interest to learn more about their offerings.

The day began with a General session lead by Ellen Kitzis, Gartner who spoke to the audience about "IT Strategy for the Midsize Business". Like other mornings, my late night blogging left me little time for sleep but I did indulge in this case and missed most of her presentation. The key concepts she shared revolved around answering the following key issues:

1. Why do enterprises ned an integrated IT and business planning process?

2. How do you succeed at developing an integrated strategy?

3. What best practises can help you avoid the pitfalls of planning?

The next event was a product presentation by ca. internet security, or Computer Associates as we used to know them. George Kafkarkou from ca presented their product road map including some of the latest innovations.

Back to the Boardroom

Our next few hours were spent in a boardroom listening to vendors share their insights and we heard from;

Commvault - presenting their Simpana backup solution. The vendor walked away with an event award later in the evening for their efforts. This slick product impressed this blogger for many reasons including:

- Data Dedup built in, no extra licensing required
- They are already integrated to the emerging storage cloud architectures (Amazon S3, EMC Almos, Windows Azure to name a few)
- Java based even restore files from your blackberry
- Single level store for all data stores down to low levels such as a single email with an attachment in exchange or domino
- Remote management service that is inexpensive to allow for out tasking the backup role or for support during sickness or absence of your key staff

HP - a major sponsor of this event and also a multi award winner with their partner Intel. It is clear to me that HP has thought of this mid market category a lot and they are executing that strategy in a strong way based upon this event. Unfortunately for this blogger there still appears to be some holes as the execution at an event like this is stellar but I know first hand that follow through at the regional level fails. This is the last time I have offered HP an open door to talk with a firm like mine, lets see if they follow through.

Toshiba Corporation - I don't know why they are here. They have products that fit the mid market, but the under delivered their message and the potential of being here. Not once did any of their representatives ask if anyone was a client. It was clear after the fact that many of us use Toshiba laptops. The most interesting tidbit I acquired from this exchange was the fact they have acquired approximately 80% Fujitsu the hard drive manufacture. I know Fujitsu first hand as not only do we use their drives, we also use their imaging scanning products as well.

We took a break as lunch time was upon us and after lunch we had an amazing speaker, Steve Rosenthal from GAP International. Steve spoke about "Shifting the Mindset of IT to cause a Transformation in the Business". I will do a detailed blog posting later this week on Steve's presentation but he began by asking 3 questions I will leave you with to consider until I post the rest of his story.

1. What is the specific value you provide to your organization?

2. If I could provide greater value to my business, Industry, country, Society what would that be?

3. What barriers are in your way?

Watch for my posting on Steve's presentation.

By this time I am as water logged with information as a submerged log. There were 3 tracks to pick from for the next sessions, They covered topics in virtualization (desktop and data center), and technology in retail. They were presented by Carl Claunch & Charles Smulders from Gartner, and Brian Kilcourse from RSR Research. I didn't cover any of them. I continued to network with other peers.

Back to the Boardroom

The balance of the afternoon was spent with 2 more vendor sessions in the boardroom. Here is who we heard from:

A security solution that helps you manage many aspects of your networking world. Topics of interest they focused on in their presentation included Bandwidth management right down the traffic type. They also handle the live monitoring and reporting.

A vendor based out of Spain with offices if South America and the USA. Their focus in life is also in the security and networking world, but they go way beyond that. I can generalize that they cover 3 main area's with their product:

- IT Operations
- Security and Compliance
- Business Service Management (application Business Services) - watching your business process is what I call it.

This is vendor to watch in future.

The Final Countdown
The last remaining piece of the event was to have a big Party, and they did. The Gala wind up with awards for vendors, great dinner conversation, and funny man Juston McKinney

A good time had by all as we wrap up another year at the MES event. If you want to learn more about the MES events, check out this link

Thanks for listening . . .

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