The NonStop Symposium has ended, but I can not get over the great time we all had in San Jose – the spirit of the community was equal to the best I have experienced in the past. Scattered around the exhibition hall were some thirty plus exhibitors, by my count, a far cry from the two NonStop vendors hard up against the very farthest exhibition wall that we saw at HPTF.
Talking with vendors in San Jose it was apparent that the event was very successful for them – the ComForte stand, located right at the main entrance to the exhibition hall, was lively, and well visited! I was able to catch up with a lot of old friends now part of comForte and the positive expectations for the remainder of the year was a much discussed topic.
There were more participants that had been expected and it will probably be reflected in many more positive comments made in other online forums. Anytime event planners develop a program for 500 participants that can attract a final audience of 600 plus, the impact is immediately visible. Indeed, Monday’s General Session had to be delayed almost thirty minutes as registration hustled to process all those trying to get in.
The senior management of the NonStop Enterprise Division (NED) that were present for the very full general sessions and the break out tracks that followed, were impressed and came away with an understanding of how well the community supports these kind of product-centered events. I have long thought that, as part of the bigger HP, the mission of NED would become more focused on software, as hardware continues to commoditize. In a briefing with one member of the NonStop senior management, the potential future of NED as a software-only organization was spelt out in no uncertain manner.
Perhaps it’s then no surprise for any of us to read on Friday how HP announced the appointments of Leo Apotheker as their new CEO and of Ray Lane, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as their Chairman. Apotheker was a co-CEO of SAP and Lane was a co-CEO of Oracle and this gives HP every appearance of becoming a software business. Combined with the numerous papers produced by The Standish Group on the eventual appearance of The Megaplex, a pre-packaged hybrid computer running any mix of NonStop, Liux, Unix, and potentially Windows,– it certainly begins to look as this move by HP to more of a software focus is the case.
NED management was impressed with the turn out and was actively engaged with the community. But it also threw open the planning for next year’s event given that there would be no repeat of this year’s NonStop Symposium. Instead, the format would return to the big tent events we routinely see with HPTF. However, Winston Prather, NED’s boss, was impressed enough to recognize the value that comes from the visible energy a vibrant community generates, and he views its retention a key consideration for future HPF-like events – now being called Discover 2011!
I hope the HP team is successful on this account, as the NonStop Symposium was a great success, and I look forward to many more to come as HP works with the Connect organization to ensure the retention of such a vibrant user community! After all, the week was very special for me and came as a surprise to many of us who really warmed to the occasion.