Friday, August 24, 2007

Events - Real and Virtual?

In my last blog entry, I asked for feedback on your experience at the recent HP Technical Forum and Expo (HPTF&E) and I have to say I was pretty pleased to see a couple of comments.

Margo Holen observed that the option to view the greater HP - to see a more complete picture - was a big benefit. This was reinforced for me when one long-standing supporter of ITUG came up to me and said "now I can bring my management! I may even be able to convince our CIO to come - there's now enough content to make it worthwhile for them to come!"

Wil Marhsman's observations interested me as well - going forward, it may not be just bricks and mortar style venues - and that with newer technology, I fully expect to see a growth in essentially virtual events and gatherings. As we all become familiar with new ways to communicate and embrace new products and methodologies, we will see many more options open up where we can get first-hand info from our peers as they roll-out new applications and solutions.

Las Vegas may have it's critics. It's a pretty daunting place for many of us. On the other hand, it is one venue where you can put together any kind of event no matter the size - so, I guess I have to say that it's not an issue for me. As long as I get there a day ahead of an event so I can familiarize myself with the layout.

I have been on the road for most of this week visiting Chicago and the Bay. I was visiting Cupertino to meet with various folks on the NonStop campus in Vallco Parkway. So it's only appropriate that the first picture I use on this blog site is of an early Tandem Computer - a NonStop II I believe. This picture was forwarded to me by a past-Chairman of ITUG and I am very appreciative of him digging this out for me. While in one meeting, in what I still call Building 3, I happened to look out the window, and there was the swimming pool. It's still there, and visible on the bottom was Tandem - complete with the Tandem Chevron - although, today it's blue and not red. Changing the color was something I never did fully understand - but at least this icon wasn't torn up by either Compaq or HP. It's still very visible.

As I looked down on the pool, and on the surrounding grounds, I recalled many Friday beerbusts - those gatherings where ideas were shared. For sure, Jimmy was a pioneer in this area - and the beerbusts are now part of the Tandem folk-lore. I don't believe that they are held anymore - or have they, I suspect for many years. But user events continue to roll on - and for many of us, they are pretty much an extension or outgrowth of the community that first started to develop within those first three buildings.

I only raise this as I begin to look ahead - I sense we are becoming part of a bigger HP, as Margo noted in her comment. We will see new server configurations over the next year or so that will embrace more than NonStop. So knowing more about the whole is going to be very important. In closing - we are now part of a bigger community. The servers of the future will include operating systems other than just NonStop. Is this a bad thing? Is it something we should pull back from. I have to say - I don't think so. Rather, I am pretty excited by the potential of all of this. Rather than asking whether we are diluting the NonStop message as we introduce other technologies alongside it - but rather shouldn't we now be looking at how we capitalize on it?

Our events of the future may take many forms - we will have routine, face-to-face ones, at places like Las Vegas. But we will most likely embrace whole new models including various electronic and virtual formats and I would be very interested to hear back from the community. Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

Jimbo said...

I too found the recent Tech Forum experience in LV a little overwhelming. But I have to say there was a palpable energy that has been missing from recent ITUGs. I love San Jose, but this was exciting. And you very much got the feeling where HP puts value - in NonStop!!