3 October 2011

“IT’s All In The Clouds” – NetEvents EMEA Summit, Italy, promises less cloud hype and more cloud wisdom

The hype around Cloud computing is “deafening”, according to this Summer’s

”Hype Cycle” report from the Gartner Group. From multinational consulting firms and systems integrators down to freelance consultants, they all claim a suite of cloud related services, and Gartner warns that such ”cloudwashing” risks accelerating the entire industry into a trough of disillusionment.

But it isn’t a simple case of a desperate IT industry struggling to make sales in a reluctant market, the push is equally felt within organisations. According to Gartner Group analyst Rolf Jester: "[CEOs] want to know that somebody knows about it and has thought about it properly and that there is a plan and the plan makes sense". The professional services sector has been swift to respond, with assessments of clients’ business needs and recommended roadmaps for adopting cloud technology, meanwhile vendors have piled in with a lot of highly persuasive material.

Indeed, Ovum research director Steve Hodgkinson says that there are now so many seminars and workshops being laid on that their target audience is feeling saturated: "Most people have got the general case on cloud computing and why it appeals – now they're looking for the reality of how it feels to actually do it...with the undercurrent being: how do you see through all the hype?" He believes users have more to learn from other users and on-the-ground insights. "There's very strong interest in interactive knowledge sharing… People want to sift through all this and talk to their peers about their experience.”

What’s true of the market applies equally to our industry. NetEvents has always discouraged its speakers from delivering off-the-shelf product pitches – and some find it hard to kick the habit – but the fact is that the true value of any NetEvents Summit comes from a real two-way sharing of ideas, and as much listening as speaking.

That’s what sets this week’s NetEvents EMEA Summit apart from the tide of Cloud promotion: it’s a real opportunity for the industry to lay aside the hype and practice listening – to each other and to a world-class lineup of panelists, analysts and IT visionaries.

Starting with James Walker from Tata Communications – the man responsible for the strategy, management and development of Tata’s massive VPN portfolio with over 3,000 Ethernet access nodes in 52 countries, direct MPLS services to 100 countries and managed extended access and network integration offerings in more than 190 countries – we look forward to a wealth of real world facts about the vital role of “The Cloud behind the Cloud”.

For the second day’s guest speaker we selected from The Next Web’s April list of the 25 most influential cloud computing voices Joe Baguley – Chief Cloud Technologist EMEA from virtualization masters VMware. And, among the analysts presenting we have top names including : Michal Halama, Principal Analyst, Business Network IT Services, Current Analysis; Ian Keene, Vice President, Gartner; James Eibisch, Research Director, EMEA Business Network Services, IDC; Camille Mendler, Principal Analyst, Informa; Peter Hall, Principal Analyst, Ovum; Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst, Communication, Collaboration and Convergence, Quocirca; and Daniel Beazer, Senior Research Analyst, EMEA, Tier1 Research. Topics addressed include a challenge on the role of Ethernet, debate sessions on service assurance, network automation and datacenter architecture, and a “Quick Fire” opportunity for innovators to prove they have the means to boost SPs’ profitability and ROI.

Day three ends the conference session firmly positioned in the real world, with a series of short case studies from top service providers, including: Alessandro Canzian, Head of BT Global Telecom Markets (GTM) Italy; Tim Gigg, Head of International Transport Programmes, Vodafone Group; Tate Cantrell, CTO, Verne Global; and Akber Jaffer, Vice President Strategy, Colt Data Centre Services.

Gartner’s Rolf Jester sums up the current global situation by saying: "Visibility and awareness of cloud computing are very high – that doesn't mean that knowledge is very high, but that everybody is talking about it."

This week’s NetEvents EMEA Summit in Italy offers a golden opportunity to set that record straight.

So stay tuned for this week’s event reports from Manek Dubash, Editorial Director, NetEventsTV…

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