OK, so typical office banter after returning from travel:
“How was the show?”
“Oh, you know, same as usual, glad I went…”
Well not this year! At least not for me nor for those who met with Brocade during EMC World. In fact, there was such a difference in Brocade’s overall experience at the event that this year and last might be compared to listening to an AC/DC concert, with last year being through my stereo system with pretty good subwoofers and this year a front row seat with all the energy and ear-shattering you would expect. So it was with EMC World 2010.
Last year it seemed a lot, if not most of the discussions were focused on VCE, the partnership between EMC, Cisco and VMWare. This year, the volume was turned way down on that. As you may have seen in the story named “EMC-Brocade 10 Gigabit Ethernet deal raises questions for Cisco,” EMC announced it would be selling Brocade IP/Ethernet solutions. This not only obviously benefits Brocade, but gives customers the choice they continue to demand, especially in a time when vertically integrated solutions such as Cisco’s UCS are at that point in the hype cycle where people are still saying, “what?”
In fact, if called upon to name a theme for the discussions I had (from the roughly 90 meetings that six of us from Brocade had in three days), it would definitely be “Choice.” That’s what people want, and why they stay with Brocade.
Beyond that even, the event was a blast! I can’t say it would have been fun for the whole family, necessarily, but for guys like me who have clocked quite a few miles, this event seemed to rise above most others. In addition to the fantastic discussions we had with customers and partners, we tacked on a night party at the House of Blues
Jointly drove a very successful Be Next campaign with EMC
And I even made it to a Red Sox game!
By the way, people who enjoy American baseball but question the entertainment value of cricket based on the game’s length and complexity must enjoy watching paint dry and grass grow. No offense, of course, as I know there’s two sides to every story. However, I do understand the value of enjoying hot dogs and a cold one right at your seat vs. breaking for tea near the cricket field – so I guess everything evens out.