What’s your spring like, flowers and rain showers? Mine is a criss-cross journey between Orlando and Vegas as I partially attend the 8 weeks of the American Carnival. Similar to its Brazilian counterpart in little, the American Carnival of IT is a series of software and IT companies holding their major shows starting in early April to June. Two of the biggest events are coming over the next two weeks: SAP’s SAPPHIRENOW and EMC’s EMC World. Luckily… they are not in the same place (complete sarcasm). Sunday I head to Orlando, then travel to EMC World in Vegas for the following week. Its maddening excitement as I prepare to present and participate in at least 80 or so meetings that will define many of the plans we will use to execute over the next 12 months. The goal is simple: risk something, leverage another, and try not to pick up any poundage from the food.
What’s interesting this year is it’s been about 18 months since we saw Oracle get into the hardware business, SAP get into the in-memory business, and EMC proclaim is dominance in “Cloud Meets Big Data”. Though Oracle has had a rocky time of it as they engaged the majority of their partners in warfare, they did kick off a crossover buying binge that is changing the market. Look at HP’s acquisition of Autonomy and Vertica, look at SAP’s recent investments in Violin Memory, VMware’s investment in Cetas, IBM’s purchase of SPSS, EMC’s acquisition of Pivotal Labs.
Also let’s add into the soup pot SAP’s frontal assault on the traditional DB vendors (an eye towards Oracle) with their in-Memory database architecture, HANA. Who would have considered putting something as large as SAP on an in-memory database a few years back? Now customers have spent, I would speculate, 100’s millions investing in initial phase deployments. Finally look at the scrappy EMC. Rewarded and punished by its impenetrable brand as the “pioneering storage giant”, has actually cracked the market’s stale perception of this firebrand turning it into a Cloud and Big Data company. Major R&D investment, acquisitions and a bit of quality marketing have worked to transform EMC into a major player at the crossroads of these two movements.
You ask: “Is he off topic?” maybe, but my reason is to explain where my interest lies as I pack my bag for Sapphire. Like the point in the Hunger Games where they all pop up into the field and have a few seconds to consider their first action, how they will live or die, we are on the cusp of an epic “cage match”. There are no long term partners anymore; no one can see that far. Today it’s about who helps you for the next few steps, who wins with you as a partner contemporarily. No one is going to respect the existing swim lanes going forward. Do you run for the margins or dive for the swords.
With that said there are some significant allegiances that seem to have a strong foreseeable future. Companies like Intel, Cisco, EMC, VMware and SAP have a shared advantage in a new world of big apps sitting on Clouds running on x86 platforms. These come together to provide better price, better performance, better flexibility and I am sure there will be more announcements across these brands about their interaction and investment.
If you’ve ever used a boogie board you know about double waves, when one wave consumes the other and creates a massive ride to the sand. Well we are really dealing with a double wave as we speak. The first wave is the Cloud. We’re started, but we’re not nearly done with the Cloud. We’re just now seeing the beginning of the main streaming of these technologies as many companies start to go into production with their Cloud platforms. However, many have prioritized a second wave of activity to create the business justification or at least the compelling event for cloud. From my perspective, those priorities are coming from either an effort to reach the end user or to process large amounts of data, often created by the end user (aka Mobility and Big Data Analytics). Customers want to build roadmaps that improve the business and use cloud as a transference mechanism.
My old boss always said its messy when you make laws or sausage. We’re “moshing” cloud, VDI, mobile apps, social media, sensor nets, machine Learning, ERP, ecommerce into use cases for the business so we can better know our customers, better know our profit, or better know ourselves. I believe this means companies are exploiting the convergence of IT vendors, and customer are increasing their use of the global systems integrators to cut a path through this gnarly vine covered jungle.
That is what I’m looking for at SAPPHIRE, and EMC World. Where the use case meets the solution, and who are the vendors who are offering it up.
If you are interested in EMC being part of your developing mosh pit. Please come by to see us in Orlando or Vegas. At EMC World you can imagine we have a presence… So, I’ll leave that topic to the many blogs that are already covering it. Let me spend a few lines on Sapphire. EMC is an Onyx partner this year and we will have many activities to choose from.
Here’s a sample list:
- Big Data: Controlling Unstructured Data in the SAP Landscape, Andy Sitison & John Cooper, Monday 14th 3:00p at Partner Center Theater (I’m introducing John who is our Chief Technologist based in Texas)
- Virtualize SAP with EMC & VMware, Eric Walter, EMC – Monday @ 3PP, Tuesday @ Noon, and Wednesday @ 11AM, VMware Booth #1293
- High Availability & Persistence for SAP HANA, Stefan Voss, EM, Monday @ 4pm, Tuesday @ 4pm, Wednesday @ 11am, Cisco Booth # 1185
- Transforming SAP Apps with VCE’s VblockTM Infrastructure Platform. Monday, May 14th at 2:00pm-2:45pm, Partner Center Theater
- Transform SAP by Replatforming to an Intel Architecture with EMC, Tuesday, May 15th at 2:00pm-2:45pm, Partner Center Theater
- EMC, SAP & VMware: Collaboration in the cloud for customer success, Cloud Theater (Time TBD)
- Join us for the Vblock™ Platform Party, Monday at 4pm, Tuesday at 4pm and Wednesday at 3pm
- Be sure to speak with our experts at our workstations and demos to be eligible to win the Mini Cooper
- Share your ideas at “THE CUBE” with Dave Vellante & John Furrier. (that team does a great job)
- Come by the booth for a list of all the activities and micros forums.
Obrigado, I’m off to practice my Samba now…