HP Discover Promises Insights, Information, and Networking, as Business and IT Stand at a Technology Crossroads
HP Discover Promises Insights, Information, and Networking,as Business and IT Stand at a Technology CrossroadsTranscript of a sponsored BrieﬁngsDirect podcast on the upcoming HP Discover 2012 event inLas Vegas.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: HPDana Gardner: Hi. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BrieﬁngsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the upcoming HP Discover 2012 and why this June event in Las Vegas is both an exclamation point on the current enterprise IT climate of change, as well as a neon signpost for HP strategy and direction. Well look at why IT is at a crossroads, and how the very nature of IT is beingredeﬁned as a result of such large and global trends at the accelerating speed of business, cloudcomputing, security needs, mobile, energy-conservation demands, and especially the new role ofIT as a service. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]Such trends are pushing those tasked with supporting their businesses, as never before, to meetand collaborate with their peers and colleagues and really evaluate how IT and business cometogether. Well show how HP Discover 2012 provides an unparalleled opportunity for HP users to absorb the insights of the HP ecosystem and to learn more about their ﬁelds and technologies from their peers and associates. Well further examine how this event marks an important time for HP, as it solidiﬁes its responses to these trends, provides new levels of education and more insight into its new product services, vision, and leadership. Lastly, well explore how attendees at such events can best beneﬁt while there by identifying some best practices and describing some of the meetings, funevents, and collaboration opportunities.With me now to help better understand HP Discover and its beneﬁts is Nina Buik. She is theChief Marketing Ofﬁcer at Connect Worldwide, the largest user community of HP Business
Technology customers with more than 55,000 members worldwide. Nina is also a noted blogger,author, and a longtime observer of all things HP.Nina, welcome to BrieﬁngsDirect.Nina Buik: Thank you. Good to be here, Dana.Gardner: Were glad youre here as well. Now Ive been at a few of these events, and youvebeen at a few of these events. Almost every time we’ll hear the idea that things are different andchanging, but I honestly believe that this is really an exceptional time for IT. The amount ofchange, the pressure, the insistence from businesses on getting new and better results from ITmake it an unprecedented time. I hope you share that, and maybe you can explain it better than Ican.A crossroadsBuik: Absolutely, Dana. You I have been in this industry for quite some time and have seen lots of changes, but I think were at a crossroads right now, going into a new era of computing with cloud computing, bring your own device (BYOD), the challenges with security, and a laser focus on gaining better business outcomes through technology. This is why its so important this year to come to events like HP Discover to get answers. Weve talked about networking with peers in order to be able to understand how theyre achieving some of these goals, but also you want to look within the datacenter. You’ve got fewer and fewer people supporting IT.IT has become very sophisticated, requiring fewer hands to touch the system. Therefore folksneed to get out and hear messaging from their partner, HP, and HP’s partners to see how they canachieve these goals.Gardner: One of the interesting things, when we talk about the effect on individuals who aremanaging and implementing IT, is that theyre being required to be both specialists andgeneralists. The days of being niche oriented are over. You need to be very deep, but you alsoneed to understand the business implications and how you play a role in the organizationculturally.So its an important time for people to look within themselves and ask, "How can I improve mysituation in order to help IT be better for my company?"Buik: Youre absolutely right. You bring up an important point, because I think that the trend alsois that folks who were in more of a management or a systems management role are being askedto be strategic as well.
Theyre having to expand their knowledge of systems, instead of just focusing on the networkand the integration of how storage ﬁts into this, how parts of our ecosystem work together and,talking about goals, how do we achieve these goals by integrating all of these aspects?Gardner: HP Discover is at the Venetian Hotel and Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. It isthe week of June 4 and goes for 4-5 days. For those folks who might not be familiar, Discover isreally the culmination and the integration of a number of other conferences that had been a partof HP and its other companies that came from the acquisition trend that led to the modern HPover the years.So this isnt really a small event. I think its something like 10,000 attendees. This is really themother of all events for HP. Isnt that right, Nina?Buik: Absolutely. Ive been attending this event every year since its started in Orlando. If yourecall, Katrina forced the event to move to Orlando from New Orleans, and Ive seen it growevery year. Its been so exciting not only to see the changes in technology, but to bring in othercommunities.Important additionAs you know, the event brought in the software community. Software Universe merged withHP Technology Forum & Expo to become HP Discover. That was really an important addition tothis event, because you really cant have one without the other. They need to be together, and itsvery exciting to see the results of that. Last year was incredible with 10,000 people together, andreally, it helps the attendees get the most out of their investments.Gardner: You bring up an interesting point about the technology, the software, and everythingcoming together. All of those people involved with these aspects of IT will be under the sameroof. This is another reason I think we’re at an really exceptional time in IT.Innovation in the past sort of came on a spot basis. We may have had an ability to do networkingfaster. We may have had an opportunity for new standards to be brought to interoperability. Orperhaps there were accelerating beneﬁts around best practices for development, deployment test,and performance management.But when you look at trends like big data, cloud computing, hybrid computing, convergedinfrastructure, and modernizing applications these are trends that have cut across all aspects ofIT that needs to be done with a comprehensive strategic approach. Its not just bolting somethingon anymore.One of the things people underestimate about HP is that there are really just a very feworganizations that can be brought to bear at that strategic level, where it’s not incumbent thanupon the end-user organization to pull these threads together. You’ve got a partner in a companythat also has its ﬁngers in the right places.
Do you share that view that were at a unique time, where being comprehensive is actually anasset to being able to change IT holistically.Buik: You hit on something key. Partnerships and alliances are so critical right now. A lot ofcompanies in the small-to-medium size business (SMB) space typically dont have thatopportunity to sit down with a company like HP to discuss all of these concerns and how to tiethem all in together. At HP Discover they can do that.There are so many opportunities where you can sit down side by side with engineers and getquestions answered. So you have that expertise at your ﬁngertips. Youre able to bring that backto your organization, make those plans, and achieve the goals that youre looking for.But in terms of partnership, relationships are built on trust. When you have that trust relationship,theres accountability on both sides to communicate well, to focus on the goals, and look at HP asa trusted partner.I use Pella as an example. You and I have spoken about Pella before. Pella is a great example ofhow an effective strategic alliance relationship with a key partner can absolutely yield betterbusiness outcomes. Theyre in the housing industry. I think theyre the number one or twowindows and doors company in the world and they maintained their proﬁtable status through theworst housing crisis we’ve ever faced.Strong partnershipThey’ve done that through proper utilization of their information technology, so that they don’tover order and they don’t over staff. It’s been remarkable to see how they’ve done this through astrong partnership with HP and theyre getting ready to implement a hybrid cloud as well.Gardner: We’ll revisit some of the users and ways that companies are beneﬁting a little bit later,but I’d like to hear some more about Connect Worldwide. You’ve also had a variety of differentthreads that have come together over the years and now youre large and global with 55,000members. Tell me a little bit about the history of Connect and why this is such a big deal for youtoo?Buik: This is near and dear to my heart, Dana. I’ve been involved with the HP user communitiesgoing back almost 20 years, as a former member of the community and a member of the board ofdirectors. The communities decided to come together in 2008. You had the NonStop community,the traditional HP-Interex community, as well as Encompass come together to form one largeHP enterprise user community, and we became Connect.The things that we’ve accomplished together and the way that we focus on help the users becomesuccessful with the technologies they use. Our goal is to help a member get the most out of theirbusiness technology investments. We do that through providing opportunities to inﬂuence HPand HP’s partners, or advocacy, and education and awareness. Were making the members aware
of not only what’s going on within HP, but educating them on products and solutions that HP hasavailable for them.Most importantly, we provide opportunities for like-minded users to get together and share bestpractices. They can learn from each other, and it’s magical when it comes together. It truly is. Sowe look forward to having a record number of members attend HP Discover this year.Gardner: Why do you suppose that’s the case, Nina? Why do you have so many Connect usersﬂocking to Discover this year?Buik: There are a number of reasons. Number one, were introducing new special-interest groupmeetings at HP Discover this year. Were launching a cloud special interest group (SIG). We havea Superdome SIG and a variety of other SIGs. But aside from community, I think this is the righttime.Were at crossroads in technology, and people within the community know that, at communityevents, theyre going to be able to discuss with other folks how theyre using a particulartechnology. For example, if theyre interested in cloud computing, what’s a better place to cometogether to learn how other companies are using these technologies as well as understand whatHP is offering. So they bring these two together and theyre able to make some strategicdecisions that they can bring back to their organizations.Gardner: I should point out as full disclosure that Im a blogger on the Connect site and reallyappreciate the opportunity to participate. It’s been three or more years that we’ve been doingthat.I envy the fact that you’ve got 55,000 people that you can tap into. As a researcher, myself, it’sprobably an unparalleled opportunity to reach the HP ecosystem and ﬁnd out what’s going on.Have you’ve been doing any polling recently? What have you been able to tell us about what thezeitgeist, the mentality, is among your users?Peer networkingBuik: We can talk about a few polls that we’ve done recently. Just before the registration forDiscover launched, we wanted to understand why our members wanted to attend Discover. Thenumber one reason was peer networking, followed closely by education.That ties right back into what we were just talking about, being able to talk to other members andjust other attendees about their experiences working with HP and using various HP technologies.What is the saying, "Self praise is no recommendation?" You really learn more from others.Then again, tie that right into speaking with the HP engineers and other professionals about whatHP has to offer, and between the two, you can make great decisions. In terms of education, thereare over 700 sessions in the session catalog. Theres everything from cloud to security. There isjust so much being offered.
Another interesting poll that we did on the top technology trends for 2012, a lot of folks arelooking at platform migration, the Oracle announcement. So we know there are members whoare looking at platform migration, and that could be a huge endeavor, depending on the companysize, the size of the systems, or the number of systems involved.So what better place to go to, to learn from others who perhaps have experienced that, than at anevent like HP Discover?Gardner: You know, how dependent we are now on social media, with tweets, blogs, Facebookalerts, and walls of friends and associates scrolling by us. But there really isn’t a better place todo that than in person. If youre a big fan of social media then youd think that you’d also be a bigfan of social interactions that can be far richer and extemporaneous.You are going to have interactions, as I often do at these events, that you don’t expect. We meetpeople that you don’t have on your list. It’s a way of broadening those concentric circles that weall seem to depend on more-and-more.Buik: Absolutely, and you can extend the conversation beyond 140 characters.Gardner: Tell me, before we move on to some of the particulars, what’s going to happen atDiscover. Certiﬁcation is also a big deal now. Getting back to that issue about career and how toposition yourself at these crossroads for your personal future, isn’t there sort of a big opportunityaround certiﬁcation here at these events?Buik: There is. The ExpertONE community is offering ﬁve free certiﬁcations with yourregistration. Each one of those certiﬁcations cost anywhere between $150 and $200. So that’s ahuge deal. But more than that, through the years, the importance and signiﬁcance of certiﬁcationshas changed.Now, more than ever, IT professionals are looking at certiﬁcation as a means to separatethemselves from the competition for particular job opportunities, or even within an organization,to show that they can kind of move up within an organization.Flooded marketThere are just so many people now looking for work. It’s a very ﬂooded market. I recentlyspoke with the CIO who said, I post one opportunity and my human resource manager brings me1,500 résumés. The only way I can differentiate, to weed out the ﬁrst round, is throughcertiﬁcation. So it’s really important.Gardner: Discover, of course, provides an unprecedented opportunity for HP itself. They havethe opportunity of getting 10,000 people under one tent. They have their main stage
presentations. It’s really the premiere coming-out party for HP, when it has new vision, when ithas strategies that it wants to solidify, and when it comes to introducing and afﬁrming leadership.As I understand it, these main-stage events are going to have an emphasis on converged cloud,application transformation, enterprise security, and information optimization, that big-data partthat’s so important for organizations now. Of course, that includes the non-structured informationtoo.Were going to hear from Meg Whitman, HP’s President and CEO. I think it’s her ﬁrst bigappearance in North America. She did, of course, present in Vienna at the fall Discover. Is this abig deal for Meg, in particular, do you think, Nina?Buik: I think so. I did hear her speak in Vienna, as her ﬁrst opportunity to address HP customers.She did absolutely what she should do, as explained in her vision for the company. Now it’s timeto turn the corner and talk about technology, where were going with technology, and how HP hascommitted to supporting the customer through these changes.This is even more important than that ﬁrst opportunity to say, "Here’s who I am. Here’s a littlebit about me." She has established herself, and now it’s time to focus on the technology and onhow HP is committed and dedicated to helping HP business technology customers achievesuccess in this new environment.Gardner: And she is going to be joined on stage by such HP leaders as Dave Donatelli, theExecutive Vice President and General Manager of the Enterprise Group; Todd Bradley, theExecutive Vice President of Printing and Personal Systems Group; Bill Veghte, the ChiefStrategy Ofﬁcer and Executive Vice President of HP Software; Mike Lynch, the Executive VicePresident for Information Management; and John Visentin, Executive Vice President forEnterprise Services.I also understand that Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of Dreamworks Animation, is going to be onstage. Of course, Dreamworks has been in tight collaboration with HP in the production of itsanimation and 3D products. So that should be very interesting.You mentioned earlier that we’ve got something like 700-800 business and technical sessions.There is the Discover Zone of the exhibits area, where more than 350,000 square feet space willbe devoted to IT solutions from the ecosystem, where you can ﬁnd the partners and the folks thatare part and parcel of the total-solution approach.There is the summit, a one-day partner summit on Monday, June 4, and an invitation-only CIOsummit as well. Now, tell me about Connect. You’ve got some of your own events, I think thereis a community night?Opportunity to network
Buik: Absolutely. Connect will be part of the Community Lounge in the Discover Zone. It’sright next to the bloggers’ lounge. So it’s an opportunity for Connect members and folks whodon’t know about Connect to come to learn more, as well as take a load off their feet. No one istrying to sell anything. Were just trying to make sure everybody is comfortable, happy, and hasan opportunity to meet and network with others.Typically, a lot of folks come to the Community Lounge and use it somewhat as an informationalarea. Where can they learn more about x, y, z, or where might there be a particular topic? Thegreat thing is that so many people are attending, we can actually make those connections rightthere. So it’s really a neat place to be.Also, on Wednesday evening, were hosting a community appreciation night with Vivit which isthe HP software community. That’s going to be at Gilley’s, across the street from the Venetian atTreasure Island. Wednesday evening, were going to host a tweet up from 7:00 to 8:00 followedby a Going for the Gold community appreciation night. So there’s going to be a lot of fun, as wekind of celebrate the ancient Greek games, but western style with a twist. So we’ve got a lot offun things coming.As we talked about social media earlier, were really tying in social media as part of this event toextend the buzz around the world.Gardner: It’s in Vegas. So there are always interesting things going on there, and HP takesadvantage of that venue.So Im looking forward to this. There are a lot of fun things, a lot of interesting things for yourpersonal career, for your company, and then of course, learning more about where HP is headingin the coming year or two.Any other presentations that jump out at you? I know there are over 700 to choose from, butmaybe you could tell us some best practices, when you’ve got this ocean to boil at an event thisbig, but you have limited time and availability for taking advantage of that. How do you triage?How do you ﬁnd the best and tailor what to do to get the most bang for your buck and your time?Buik: Dana, my advice to folks who are attending an event as big as HP Discover is to deﬁnewhat your goals are for the event. I want to learn more about XYZ or my goal is to come backwith a plan for how were going to implement a hybrid cloud or a private cloud? Or my goalcould be that I ﬁnd myself in between jobs. I know folks who are doing this. Theyve boughttheir registration and theyre going there to network, because they’ve worked in the HP space forso many years.But have a plan. Then, go look at the session scheduler and ﬁnd the sessions that match yourplan. You can do a keyword search. You can do a search by track. Identify the sessions that willmeet your needs or help you meet those objectives.
Look for SIG meetings, if you want to hear from peers. Connect has 12 SIG meetings. Sokeyword search SIG. Thats a great opportunity for you to interact not only with other like-minded professionals, but also with HP folks who are subject matter experts on that particulartopic or SIG.Have a planBut its really important to have a plan. As you just said, Dana, there is something going onevery minute of every day for those four days. So you have to plan carefully.But also take time to socialize. A lot of times at these evening events and member appreciationevents, really good networking occurs, because everybody is not so focused on learning, butopen to having discussions and conversations with others. So I deﬁnitely encourage folks to takeadvantage of the social opportunities, as well as so many educational opportunities that exist.Gardner: I was looking over some of the presentations and a couple jumped out of me. Imgoing to give some times and dates. Theyre subject to change, but Im going to take the riskanyway.One that grabbed my attention was "Winning with HPs Converged Cloud Solutions," 11:15 onTuesday, June 5. Marge Breya, Vice President Worldwide Marketing for HP Software will bepresenting along with Steve Dietch, Vice President, Worldwide Cloud. That should be of interest."Project Odyssey," which is deﬁning the mission-critical computing, 1:30 on Tuesday. MartinFink, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Business Critical Systems will bepresenting and redeﬁning data-center economics with the new ProLiant Gen8 servers, a veryinteresting subject.Mark Potter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Industry-standard Servers andSoftware will be presenting "Enterprise Security," always a top topic, at 5:15 on Tuesday, June 5.Tom Reilly, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Security. So lots of big stuff, notjust the main stage, but some really interesting subjects by some of the top people in the ﬁeld.So I hope we’ve enticed some people’s interest in this. I hope that they consider not only theevent but also being part of Connect tin the community. More information of course is availableonline. You can do a search on HP Discover 2012 and get there very rapidly. There is also a fullpage devoted to HP Discover on the hp.com site.And if you havent registered, there are ways of doing that. Do you have any codes or anygoodies for people that are registering that might take advantage of your organization?
Buik: We absolutely do, Dana. You can learn more about Connect by visiting connect-community.org, but also if you register for HP Discover you can get a $300 discount and beafﬁliated with the community, so that you can get your fast pass into the community party onWednesday evening. The code is UG2012.Gardner: Thats worth $300?Buik: $300.Gardner: Not bad.Buik: Easy money.Gardner: Well good. I look forward to the event. I look forward to seeing you again, Nina. Itsfun to hang out and learn more from the folks around us. Im going to be doing some podcastingas well at Discover, as I have been doing for a few years now. So that should be fun.Youve been listening to a sponsored BrieﬁngsDirect podcast discussion on the upcoming HPDiscover 2012 Conference and why this June event in Las Vegas is both an exclamation point, ifyou will, on the current enterprise IT climate of change, as well as a neon signpost for HPstrategy and direction.Weve seen how this June 4 event marks an important time for HP and it certainly should mark animportant time for the attendees, their careers, their companies, and how theyre going to tacklethis important time in IT and business in general.I would like to extend a thanks to our guest, Nina Buik, Chief Marketing Ofﬁcer at ConnectWorldwide. Thanks Nina.Buik: Thank you, Dana. See you in Vegas.Gardner: Absolutely. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanksagain for listening and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: HPTranscript of a sponsored BrieﬁngsDirect podcast on the upcoming HP Discover 2012 event inLas Vegas. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • Expert Chat with HP on How Better Understanding Security Makes it an Enabler, Rather than Inhibitor, of Cloud Adoption • Expert Chat with HP on How IT Can Enable Cloud While Maintaining Control and Governance
• Expert Chat on How HP Ecosystem Provides Holistic Support for VMware Virtualized IT Environments• Continuous Improvement and Flexibility Are Keys to Successful Data Center Transformation, Say HP Experts• HPs Liz Roche on Why Enterprise Technology Strategy Must Move Beyond the Professional and Consumer Split• Well-Planned Data Center Transformation Effort Delivers IT Efﬁciency Paybacks, Green IT Boost for Valero Energy