Although I recently announced my intentions to resign as CEO when a new chief executive is named and on board, my schedule has not let up – in fact things are as busy as ever. Recently, I’ve had the great fortune of participating in several events that embody Innovation and Thought Leadership. They often say “things happen in 3s” - horse racing's ‘triple crown’ and the Musketeers come to mind. In this case however, 4 is the magic number.
First, more than 300 federal agencies, partners and luminaries gathered in Washington D.C. for Brocade’s inaugural Federal Forum. I and several of Brocade’s leading experts joined speakers from across the government and industry to discuss solutions to pressing technology issues: data center consolidation and security. From network transformation and the cloud mandate, to evolving acquisition models and best practices in IT, innovative customer solutions were at the heart of every conversation. We’ve had great feedback on the event from customers and partners and are already planning on how we set the bar even higher for next year. I visit Washington D.C. several times a year yet I have to confess that this time the focus on results and action was even more inspiring than my most recent trip.
Then, I had the privilege of offering a keynote address to 110 CEOs at the Global Technology Distribution Council’s U.S. Vendor Summit . Representing a diverse consortium of companies that annually drive hundreds of billions of dollars in IT products and services to the marketplace, the GTDC Summit explored innovative trends to maximize growth in an uncertain world including Tech Distribution’s Role in the Cloud. I talked about the $30B ‘pot of gold’ waiting for those players who had Ethernet Fabrics and SDN strategies. I also pointed out how with people in the world today owning more smart phones than toothbrushes, the network has to evolve just to keep up with technology trends. At the summit, Brocade was honored to receive a ‘Rising Star Award’ for the 3rd time in a row.
And it doesn’t stop there. Today the Silicon Valley Leadership Group hosted Game Changers 2013. Proving that innovation and thought leadership are crucial elements in building vibrant economies and communities, the event explored key topics including the changing needs and boundaries of Silicon Valley and investing for social good. I had the opportunity to talk with former U.S. Energy Secretary, U.S. Ambassador and Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson about another key theme - Energy. Increasing efficiencies is necessary, but we need a real game changer to balance energy demand and innovation. While many of last year’s game changing milestones are still pertinent today, leaders such as eBay CEO John Donahoe, Venture Capitalist John Doerr, Sen. Barbara Boxer and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor shared their perspectives in the Game Changer 2013 book released at the event.
These examples of innovation and thought leadership – words often overused but accurate in this case – represent a relentless pursuit of technological advancement that is necessary to succeed in today’s business climate. Be it migrating Federal agencies to the cloud or driving social investment and entrepreneurship, the technology industry is a foundational element of both. And Brocade is building upon that foundation. I welcome your comments!