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Each year at Cloud Connect, we try to look ahead to what the next twelve months hold. To many of us, the future was really the removal of the word “cloud.” Just as “web applications” are now just “applications”, so technologies like “cloud storage” are just “storage.” Similarly, cloud computing will soon just be “computing.”

Does that mean the future of something like Cloud Connect is simply “connect”? Sort of. New technologies are seldom interesting in their own right. Rather, they’re interesting for what they make possible.

Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham describes a startup as an organization designed for rapid growth—and he means rapid. He wants to see a 5-10% increase in users or revenues every week for companies within his accelerator. While he says that startups aren’t necessarily technology, it’s very likely that they are. That’s because technology does two things:

  • It disrupts a market. There’s not much new about Uber driving people around. We’ve had taxis for centuries. But the ubiquity of mobile applications with location awareness is new, and that’s disrupting a big market quickly. So technology can trigger a rapid change in an existing market. Growth.
  • It makes a new market. The online search industry didn’t exist twenty years ago. Today, it’s worth billions. Technology creates entirely new businesses even as it leaves old ones crumbling. 3D printing might usher in an era of manufacturing at the edge, even as it destroys traditional just-in-time logistics.

And this is why clouds are interesting. Not in their own right—they’re rapidly becoming another tool in the IT toolbox, albeit an extremely flexible one. Clouds are interesting because they make computing frictionless. They allow organizations of any size to achieve the kinds of scale and growth Graham demands of the companies he helps launch.

A couple of years ago, we joked that “big data gives clouds something to do.” There’s a lot of truth to this. Big Data itself isn’t new—and it isn’t mounting the peak of a hype curve, despite what Gartner says. Big Data has been around for ages, as anyone from a company like Teradata, IBM, Oracle, or Microsoft will tell you. What’s new about big data is the democratization of analysis. Anyone who runs a Facebook Graph Search today has more power, and more access, than any three-letter-agency in Washington dared dream of a decade ago.

And powerful, democratized analysis is a game-changer for society. It’ll alter how we work and play; how we learn and love; and how we make decisions. All because of cloud computing, which provides the elastic, on-demand undercarriage for vast analysis.

In the Futures and Disruptions track at Cloud Connect this spring, Cascade Insights’ Sean Campbell will lay out four possible futures for cloud computing in the next few years, encouraging IT professionals to hedge their bets. Allan Leinwand, whose career spans executive technology roles at Cisco, Digital Island, Zynga, and Servicenow, predicts where cloud platforms are headed. And serial entrepreneur Margaret Dawson joins Savvis’ Ed Saipetch to speculate on the future of data—and whether it’s headed for anarchy or trust.

It promises to be a fascinating look at where technology is headed, even as clouds themselves quietly blend into the fabric of everyday computing.

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Jason Quesada

Why the rise of cloud computing is fundamentally changing collaboration.

Few technology shifts have taken off as quickly as cloud computing. The cloud is so pervasive today that many of us use it every day without thinking about it: downloading music, accessing e-mail on the go, logging into work environments from our mobile devices. Cloud is also becoming a tool for transformation in the business world as IT leaders look to cloud-based applications as an enabler of better workplace collaboration and productivity. Experts from IBM and IDC will discuss how businesses are using the cloud to:

  • Become a catalyst for unlocking value.
  • Speeding time to revenue and helping to eliminate organizational silos — leading to valuable business benefits.
  • Access clients can reach across geographies, where they may not have an IT footprint.
  • Connect people more seamlessly, eliminating barriers to collaboration.
  • Free up IT to focus on other critical priorities, paving the way for better business outcomes.

Why Should You Attend?

  • Gain insight into how companies are approaching social business.
  • Learn how embracing the spirit of collaboration and community — internally and externally — can deliver unprecedented return for the time invested.
  • Develop a roadmap for increasing collaboration in your organization.
  • Submit questions directly to our panelists for a live Q&A session during the hour
Register for the Webcast Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Time: 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET
Duration: 60 minutes

Sponsored by IBM, presented by Cloud Connect
Sponsored by: IBM


Ted BrufkePanel Moderator: Ted Brufke, US SaaS Leader, IBM Collaboration Solutions

Ted Brufke is the NA SmartCloud Sales Leader for the ICS portfolio and has been leading this effort since the products we introduced in the market place in early 2009. Ted came to IBM in 2005 as part of the PureEdge Software acquisition where his responsibilities included the solution rollout in North and South America. He was also a key part of the launch of IBM Connections in 2007 and served as the IBM Collaboration leader for the Eastern US in 2008. Prior to joining IBM he worked at EDS, Software AG, Tandem Computers and Exodus Communications.

Ted is a graduate of Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert MahowaldRobert Mahowald, Research Vice President, IDC

Robert Mahowald is a Research Vice President at IDC and leads the SaaS & Cloud Services practice as well as co-leads IDC’s Cloud Services: Global Overview program. Mr. Mahowald is well-known as a subject matter expert in the areas of SaaS, IT Cloud services and collaboration, and his research and commentary has appeared in trade journals and publications including The Wall Street Journal, USAToday, The New York Times, and Investor’s Business Daily.

A 12-year industry veteran, Mr. Mahowald previously led research for IDC’s Collaborative Computing practice, in areas such as Unified Communications, Web conferencing and team collaboration. Before joining IDC, Mr. Mahowald was an officer in the US Army, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in his 26 year career of active and reserve service. Mr. Mahowald earned his B.A. from the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, IA., and his M.A. from Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT.

Matt EngstromMatt Engstrom, Sales Leader – SmartCloud for Social Business, Messaging & Collaboration Software, IBM

Matt has been working with Lotus Software since 1997. He worked as a billable consultant in the IBM Business Partner community, doing Domino infrastructure and architecture work, and mail migrations. He moved to IBM/Lotus in 1999 and work in technical sales in the midwest region through 2011. In 2012, Matt moved to Sales Leadership role, and now covers SmartCloud for Social Business sales in the western USA and Canada.
Bryan Hendricks, Director – Enterprise Architecture, VWR International


Steve WylieSteve Wylie, General Manager, Cloud Connect

Conference industry veteran Steve Wylie has been involved with some of the World’s leading business technology conferences for the past 15 years. As the General Manager for UBM TechWeb’s Cloud Connect brand, Steve is the driving force behind the defining cloud event for IT professionals, developers, and leading cloud providers. Steve is a regular columnist on and serves on the Social Networking advisory board at Steve formerly chaired the Enterprise 2.0 Conferences and co-chaired the annual Interop conferences in Las Vegas and New York. Prior to running conferences, Steve managed Interop’s renowned InteropNet, including a multi-vendor test lab geared to evaluate, improve and showcase early implementations of open-standard IT infrastructure technologies. Steve can be found on twitter @swylie650

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Jason Quesada

I recently had the opportunity to speak to Jocelyn DeGance Graham, founder of CloudNOW, a nonprofit executive consortium of the leading women in cloud computing. CloudNOW is hosting their “Legacy Award” program at Cloud Connect Chicago and hosted their first annual “Top 10 Women in Cloud” awards program at Cloud Connect Santa Clara.  Below is a recap of our conversation.

Cloud Connect: When was CloudNow founded?

Jocelyn: We founded CloudNow almost a year ago – August 15 of last year. Continue Reading »


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