Notes from Germany: HP Discover brightens Frankfurt’s skies
by Bart Copeland

Bart Copeland, December 7, 2012

It was cold, windy, snowy, and rainy in Frankfurt, Germany this week, but it was a warm, comfortable, and energizing tech environment at the Messe Frankfurt where I attended the HP Discover 2012 Conference. This year’s event was a big draw. The world-class conference centre became an incredibly lively place, a HP hub for HP customers and partners, with over 9,500 attendees, seven keynote presentations, and 360 breakout sessions. I felt invigorated the entire time I was there. The big news for ActiveState was the announcement that the new HP Cloud Application PaaS will be powered by Stackato, ActiveState’s groundbreaking enterprise private PaaS. But to me, this week was really about the human factor. The HP employees made the event all the more valuable.

People: HP’s Lifeblood

HP’s strength lies in its people. Through business meetings and social get-togethers, I got to know many HP employees from different groups, and they seem to be all cut out of the same first class fabric. Rain or shine, HP employees are passionate, driven, dedicated, persevering, and customer-centric. They genuinely want HP to succeed both as a consumer and an enterprise company. HP CEO Meg Whitman summed it up very well when she said, “it is hard to kill the founder DNA within HP.” She was referring to HP Customer Service. HP employees’ dedication is highly matched by HP customers’ loyalty.  Customers believe in HP. I clearly heard on a number of occasions that HP customers want the company to win and overcome its current challenges.

Built from the Cloud Up

An emerging trend I noticed at the event (and have noticed at other events) is that cloud users (particularly enterprises) want vendors to develop solutions that can be used seamlessly across both public and private clouds, and be prepared for a truly seamless experience. That’s a trend ActiveState is mindful of as we build and evolve Stackato.

A side bar to “built from the Cloud Up:” I found it very interesting to hear from Microsoft’s Urs Renggli. He said that Microsoft is now leading technologically in the virtualization market with Hyper-V, even though it remains to be seen whether this technical gain takes hold from a market share perspective, where vSphere, Xen/XenServer, and KVM maintain dominance.

Swiss-made Cloud

Cornel Arnet, ICT Architect, talked about Swisscom, Switzerland's leading telecommunications company. He described Swisscom’s approach to hybrid delivery that combines public and private clouds, and he used the term “Swissness," meaning that the company is interested in working with others in Switzerland or collaborators within their firewall for private clouds and then public cloud for situations where Swissness is not required. Cornel indicated this is a mammoth, multi-year undertaking for Swisscom. Swisscom began the shift to a complete hybrid environment in 2010, and is not expected to complete it until 2016. Cornel concluded that this transformation carries a number of key challenges. Specifically, while Swisscom is making its move to the cloud, the company also needs to address its customers’ legacy systems.

Dreaming with DreamWorks

Dreamworks’ is one of HP’s most influential reference customers, and the movie studio continues to push the digital media envelope with HP technology. At Discover, I learned that 20 percent of DreamWorks’ computer rendering is handled by HP Cloud compute resources, with the remaining being dealt through DreamWorks’ private cloud. CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg talked compellingly about being a HP customer, and I thoroughly enjoyed his inspiring pitch on how cool and innovative DreamWorks is as an organization.

It was a great conference for HP, for ActiveState, and certainly for me. I am pleased to have met all those Megaminds in Frankfurt this year.

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Tags: HP
Category: events, stackato
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Bart Copeland is our CEO and president. He's passionate about ensuring that everyone at ActiveState has a lot of fun while solving complex problems with applications that provide real benefit to our customers. He holds an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia.