It’s summer in Seattle which means the trade show season is in full swing. We've recently attended a few events with insights on the following topics: OpenStack computing, the telecom industry, and IT leadership.

In an effort to share our key learnings, below is a quick rundown of what we learned at these events.

ITW – Chicago, IL

International Telecom Week (ITW) is the annual meeting point for the global telecommunications community.

Event summary – This is conference/expo is for anyone looking to connect with vendors or network with industry professionals in the telecom industry. The expo hall has over 120 exhibitors speaking to their products and services offered. There are conference sessions with high level telecom executives speaking to market trends, as well as various regional round-table discussions for those interested.

Key takeaways -

  • If you are looking to network with large telecom vendors, this is the place to be.
  • Attendees will get a good feel for who the major players are in telecom
  • If interested attendees can set up meetings to connect with vendors on a more intimate level.

OpenStack Conference – Vancouver, BC

Event summary – This is a conference for developers, users, and administrators of OpenStack Cloud Software. It’s a great event to attend for those companies looking to get started with OpenStack. They offer keynote speakers, hands-on labs, and an ecosystem marketplace.

Key takeaways –

  • Cumulus Linux was seen as a universal network OS underlay for many end users, like Adobe.
  • “White box” is becoming Cisco’s largest competitor – the industry is changing where customers will have a choice at every layer of the stack.
  • The open networking model continues to grow.
  • OpenStack and Cumulus Networks have grown from infancy to now deliver mature, enterprise-grade software and multiple options that make open networking a reality.


Seattle Technology Leadership Summit - Seattle

Hosted by Society for Information Management (SIM)

Event summary – The focus of the event was to share insights from senior-level IT executives on the topics of security, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and thought leadership.  

Key takeaways –

  • Hybrid solutions in one form or another will continue to gain market share.
  • Enterprise applications need to be developed with a high level of availability and fault tolerance in the cloud.
  • Be cautious about getting locked in to a particular cloud provider’s platform – can be dangerous long term.
  • Security is a huge concern of all C-levels – moving towards a “zero trust” approach to network security.
  • New malware is being developed much faster than security teams can work to protect against new threats.
  • Prevention and intelligence is key to an effective security plan – spend your money here.
  • Big Data is old news, however some new technologies around data are being talked about - “Dataware”, a framework for the blend of data, software, math formulas, and predictive analytics that help to turn information into profitability for data savvy companies.
  • The development of new monitoring technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to cause a “data explosion” and businesses need to be prepared to adapt their IT solutions.
  • The IT department and C-levels need to work as a cohesive unit to serve the needs of the business as a whole. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

More to come on all of these topics in future blog posts. Subscribe to our blog for IT industry news and updates on a monthly basis.