2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
Boot Camp keeps us all connected – and sure was well worth the miles we needed to travel!
We went to San Jose for Boot Camp and were not disappointed; we left convinced (and attendees agreed) that there’s a future for NonStop …
“HPE Discover is HPE’s largest annual trade show where we get to hear about all the latest and greatest new products.” This came across my desk in my Twitter feed and was accompanies by a video – on the writer’s new YouTube channel. Admittedly, the writer is part of 3Par and even though 3PAR is an integral part of the HPE Storage group and a major contributor within the same Enterprise Group where Mission Critical Systems resides, and may not speak for all of HPE, the sentiment is hard to miss. Indeed, a quick check of the HPE web site promoting HPE Discover 2016 being held in London, talks about the need to attend Discover 2016 in London, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) showcase technology event for business and IT professionals.
In last month’s article I wrote of how Pyalla Technologies was coming off a month of participating in RUG events across North America where I was involved in giving both vendor and keynote presentations. I made the observation that RUG events were important for the NonStop community as they are nurturing events and by this I really implied networking events, as nurturing really is a byproduct of networking. RUG events are important too as they are one of the few remaining shows where you can go to meet likeminded souls who today run applications on NonStop systems and where agendas are liberally sprinkled with topics focused solely on NonStop. This month, however, it was the primary event for the entire NonStop community, the NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2016, that held center stage and made our 1250 mile drive from Boulder, CO, to San Jose, CA, worthwhile.
But what is the difference between a trade show like HPE Discover 2016 and a technology show like Boot Camp? Both labels really are misleading the more you look at their objectives. At HPE they really don’t open the event up to “the trade” – the likes of IBM, Oracle and even Microsoft are only on hand when they are providing information on products directly associated with HPE. Likewise, there isn’t all that “boot camp” about NonStop Technical Boot Camp, even as the “technical” is somewhat limited to a few deep dive sessions. It’s mostly business and product roadmap focused and yet, it never disappoints. Last year it was then HPE CTO, Martin Fink, that blew away the crowd with his enthusiastic support of NonStop whereas this year much the same could be said about the presentation “Precision Planet” by Dr. Tim Chou.
However, I think that HPE Discover being a trade show sums up the sentiment of many within the NonStop community. Prevailing wisdom suggests that these major Big Tent marketing events of HPE are a return to the days of industry trade shows – massive in scale, daunting in agendas and essentially a forum for HPE to unveil major projects and where any one product in the HPE product portfolio struggles for attention. In fact, for 2016, no effort was given to shine the spotlight on any HPE products as HPE preferred to talk only about solutions, which is fine but only up to a point. Thank goodness then for Boot Camp but think of Boot Camp as being more like former events put on by the NonStop user community itself. If HPE Discover is a return to more traditional trade shows of the past then yes, Boot Camp is far more like ITUG Summits of old, which is not just fine but indeed, welcome news for all!
The only thing that needs to be addressed now for future Boot Camps is making sure we have a lot more user presentations – user engagement is critical when it comes to growing the popularity of NonStop. NonStop users were present in numbers but I sure would like to hear more from them. How many attendees knew of user presentations organized by OmniPayments, for instance, where one was about a payments solution (switch) on UNIX system being replaced by NonStop and the second was a loyalty card system that was brought onto NonStop. This is growth and this is what needs to be promoted more widely – I just love to hear about wins! Trade shows leave very little room for user presentations as product promotion rules the day. And yet, even as Boot Camp may sound like a back to basics (for NonStop users) it remains the sole venue for most of us to stay connected with what end users are doing with NonStop. And to hear more of that I will happily drive a lot more than 1250 miles – will you?