Cloud Computing

Rant: Conference Nonsense Hell

Conferences: an opportunity to network, learn, and re-energise corporate strategy, develop game-changing insights and keep up with the zeitgeist, aren’t they? Well, up to a point, Lord Copper, they are, but to catch the tiger you have to get through a lot of jungle…

6.30am: If I can be out of the house by 6.50 I can get the train that will take me into Richmond and from there get the Tube to Earls Court and from there get the tube to Kensington Olympia where the Future of Cloud Today 3.0 Expo is taking place. Should be a great, educational day!

7am: Kids have nicked the copper cabling so there’s an issue at the junction but if I get the next train after this cancelled one I’ll still be able to get there in time to see the plenary keynote address by Darius D. Ditzenheimer, 16-year-old CEO of Stubbly, the app that’s part game, part social network, part eCommerce destination. Google might be buying it for $250m, according to Techcrunch!

7.30: Well who knew that Earls Court no longer runs a service to Olympia? But that’s OK because if I get to West Brompton I can take the overland to Olympia and still be there in time because I have a Fast Track VIP ticket.

8.30: The Fast Track is moving slower than the normal queue but eventually I’m in with my sponsored lanyard. I won’t get a seat now but I can stand if the cameraman doesn’t mind me next to him. Great speech by ‘The Ditz’, as he prefers to be known. Apparently I need to “embrace change” and “get with the new regime” of highly virtualised abstraction layers with cloud as both fulcrum and hub. Software is dead, hardware is dead, and unless I’m my own wireless social media network node I’m finished because “CIO equals Career Is Over”. Wow, strong words but he’s right and I’d tweet it to the world using the supplied #foct hashtag but there seem to be big problems with cellular reception. And Wi-Fi, but apparently if I visit RockLink Communications’ (‘Solid as a rock and not as slimy’) booth they will give me a pass to use their Wi-Fi. Thanks, RockLink!

9: Passing out, I need coffee and thanks to the good people at VirtualGuff, Java-based containers for the 22nd century, I can get a free beaker and keep the vacuum flask. Plus, I stand to win a magnum of champagne simply by entering my contact details. Score!

10: Hungry! But AxisFlaxis, makers of CRM appliances for the private cloud, have cloud-shaped puff pastries. Hmm, they taste a bit fatty but they’re free!

11: For elevenses I’m eating bran biscuits and drinking my third cup of coffee of the day while discussing legacy integration with JCN. Motto: We’ve been around 200 years and we’re bigger than anybody else. They sold us the legacy so who better to know what to do with it?!

12.30: Flagging, what with all these heavy bags of product spec literature, a fluffy hedgehog for the little one and half a dozen memory keys, but I’ve met Dave Smith from the Frimley office and he’s said he’ll take me for lunch.

1.30: Well, I hadn’t realised lunch meant four pints of Perfinger super-strength lager. And the Moon on the Mountain pub was very busy what with people from the Future of the Cloud Today and the other Marketingapuloozah conference seemingly conducting meetings over a drink!

2.30: Ouch, that girl advertising FlinchNow online video streaming services wearing the vinyl dress that doesn’t leave much to the imagination really shouldn’t be rollerblading in a busy conference! At least the girls dressed as cheerleaders, the girls dressed as Thunderbirds and the girls dressed as, well… at least they go about with their information on foot. Thank goodness for First Aid saying I probably don’t need stitches for the cut in my knee and after a few paper towels my suit trousers don’t look too bad!

3.30: Meetings now in double figures. Coffee breath everywhere. Playing mini golf on the Bugle Networks stand with Smudger and eating sponsored Smints.

4.30: Fledgling Hosting Services’ seminar on ‘Why Fledgling is your answer to hosting services’ in the VAR stream of the conference (‘Cloud = Opportunity’) was a bit self-serving, I must say!

5pm: Apparently, in the cloud era, the ‘I’ in CIO should mean ‘Insight’ and not ‘Information’. Cloud isn’t a threat to our domains but a chance to move closer to the business and become change agents. I’d never thought of it like that!

5.30: Drinks on the Fartus Software stand were nice but it was shame Smudger spilt his lager on me. I do believe he is a little tiddly. Still, a nice chap from Fartus came over and offered me half-price consulting for two weeks!

6.30: On the Olympia platform waiting for the overland back to West Brompton. It’s been memorable. See you at Future of the Cloud Today 4.0 next year!


Martin Veitch, Editorial Director, IDG Connect


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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