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President's Blog - Richard Bishop
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A Message from Vivit's President

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Monday, June 29, 2015

This year I was once again fortunate to attend the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas. As a Vivit Board member, I’m invited to these conferences for meetings with HP executives as well as meetings with the rest of the Vivit Board the two days immediately before each conference.

I was pleased to be able to attend this year after successful re-election to the board, and I was delighted, when during the pre-conference meeting, my fellow board members voted to elect me president of the Vivit Board.

Vivit
Each HP Discover conference is a great opportunity for all Vivit members, not just Board members or Local User Group leaders, to meet HP executives and product managers. It can often be difficult to find the right person to talk to in an organization as large as HP, but at conferences such as this, you’re never far from the person with the answer to your question, whether this is an HP specialist or fellow conference attendee.

At each conference, Vivit likes to hold a dinner to thank the leaders who put so much time and effort into organizing local events and webinars and leading our various Special Interest Groups. These dinners are a great opportunity for successful Vivit leaders to share ideas on how to arrange successful meetings and keep the Local User Groups active.

Conference themes
This year, there were two key themes to the conference.

There were the usual announcements describing HP’s latest innovations and research such as "The Machine”, their work on "the Internet of Things” and the integration of "Big Data” into many of their software products like Operational Analytics, IT Security, and Application Development and Management (ADM)

HP also described in detail how the transition to two separate business units (HP Enterprise Group and HP Inc.) would take place.

The best bits
Meeting people
For me, the compelling reason for attending HP Discover is without a doubt the opportunity to meet fellow HP Software professionals in a way that is only possible when HP brings its "best and brightest” to a single location.

As well as round-table discussions, technical presentations, and keynote speeches, I find that I learn a huge amount from talking to HP product specialists at their demo booths. This is where I get the opportunity to see all the latest product versions in one place and understand the best way of implementing HP software solutions for my customers.

The keynotes
This year’s keynote sessions were particularly informative. In the first keynote, rather than relying on the traditional "this is our new product X”-style presentation," HP told stories about how it helped to transform its customers' businesses using a mixture of hardware, software, and professional services. This demonstrates how, rather than the traditional "cost centre” that it always was in the past, IT is crucial for the success of any business.

There were some new software announcements, including Grommet, HP’s open source UX framework, as well as LeanFT which was described well in Jo Colantonio’s blog.

The first keynote led nicely into the second keynote where Meg Whitman and her executive team described in more detail how HP will separate into two business units. Some of the statistics that they shared were remarkable: 5,000 people are working on the split and John Hinshaw described how they were migrating 2,800 applications, 75,000 APIs, and 50,000 servers across 6 data centres. During the transition, HP is taking the opportunity to move as many applications as possible to the cloud. Over 1,700 premise-to-cloud migrations are taking place as part of the separation.


The worst bits
There’s very little that I don’t like about the HP Discover conference, although two things come to mind. Firstly, Las Vegas and the conference facilities are vast. I feel like I walk miles at the conference. Secondly, Las Vegas is an awful long way from home. I always find that the 8-hour time difference is difficult to overcome and find jet lag a problem for the first few days. I shouldn’t complain though; the people from R&D in Israel have to put up with a 10-hour time difference.

The good news from my perspective is that the next conference will be in London in December. Next time I won’t be able to moan about the time difference, so I’ll try to be sympathetic to my fellow board members when they fall asleep at dinner.

More information

If you feel you missed out by not attending HP Discover, many of the keynote and track sessions were recorded and are available online. As well as this, Vivit will be hosting numerous webinars as well as local user meetings to help disseminate information about the conference. The links below will be useful if you want to learn more.

HP Discover KeyNote and Breakout sessions from 2015.
Vivit Community Calendar

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