EMC World 2008 – First Thoughts

Well I’ve been roaming around EMC World for the past two days as an “Independent”.  Unfortunately Lee is finding himself tethered to a booth but tells me he’s having a great time talking tech with everybody and playing with the BMOC mascots. 


The conference in general has been good and I’m learning some new things that I plan to add as posts of their own.  Expect an update on EMC’s OEM strategy for the CEVA series.  But I thought I’d give an overview of the conference in general.  My comments will come from a CM&A perspective rather than ECM in general.  Pie’s been doing a great job commenting on the individual sessions, so I won’t focus there.


First off the facilities are much better than Orlando.  Thanks to pedometer provided by Cisco, I know that I’ve traveled 1.7 miles since leaving the hotel and lunch on Wednesday.  Luckily only half a mile of that has been at the conference facility unlike last year.  I spent 1.2 miles and $20 on video poker, walking from the casino I was staying at to the conference casino but that’s Vegas baby.  Unfortunately we’re back in Disney World next year.


Overall the session I’ve attended have been good.  It’s been a little hard to decide which sessions to attend as this is the first time the speaker was removed from the schedule and instead listed in back with the abstract.  I think it’s important to know who’s talking.  In fact walking around the conference, I hear people saying did you hear Ed, Craig, or Victor’s (the first that come to mind not my definitive list) not the topic.


But for me EMC World is a networking event.  EMC did a great job bringing in the right people this year and they’ve all been very visible an approachable.  It was also great to see Howard Shao in attendance and as enthusiastic as ever about his product.  And I really have to say Crown Partners and Burntsand really know how to throw a party.


What was really nice was EMC added an Ask the Experts area, a section of the main hall with walls with whiteboards which gave the experts a place to write rather than the usual napkin.  A thought for next year, what about having someone with a digital camera take a picture of the whiteboard and send it to us afterwards.


But I was disappointed too.  I’m not sure when we’ll see the final attendance numbers and what form they will take but walking around I get the feeling that the storage people are seriously outnumbering the CM&A folks.  I really don’t understand why EMC does everything under one roof here and has a CM&A conference only in Europe.  They way I see it, if there are EMC storage customers in Europe, why no EMC World Europe?  Either that or spin off CM&A here in the Americas. 


Why the spin off?  Just as last year it’s really hard to know who’s who.  Of course last year I commented on this as a vendor and the problem was resolved by putting little flags on attendee badges.  But this time I was an attendee.  I was looking for CM&A vendors to see what’s new and except for those I knew by name, I had to spend a few minutes listening to the pitch.  Not an easy task if you wanted to attend the session as there both were going on at the same time.


The other thing I noticed was that 25% of the booth space was EMC’s and some of those weren’t even targeted at customers.  They were targeted at the partners and HELLO, the partners are their manning their booths.  So booths on the Velocity program or the OEM platform were mostly empty.  In the old days Documentum had a Worldwide Meeting that was for employees and partners.  It gave partners an opportunity to learn too and interact with Documentum staff.  Now the partner needs to choose between focusing their limited time on customers or EMC staff.  After standing all day it’s hard to do either.  As partners we need a better path to knowledge.


I also wanted to comment on the key notes, unfortunately I didn’t get here until noon Tuesday so I missed them.  Then again hearing the comments from some of those in attendance, I didn’t miss much.   But I was disappointed to see that neither Balji or Whitney were asked to speak.  I think this is the first time in nine years that Whitney has not had the opportunity to show her passion on the product line to the larger audience.


Oh and by the way for those that stopped by and said they were fans, thanks again.  It’s very humbling to meet the people that are reading my ramblings.  I hope to continue to meet your expectations.

2 thoughts on “EMC World 2008 – First Thoughts

  1. Thanks for the analysis. I haven’t had time to do much of it. I can’t disagree with anything you say and will probebly echo a lot of it later.

    Did want you to know that Whitney did the demos during Mark Lewis’s keynote, so we got to see her passion. Unfortunately, the dynamic between Mark and Whitney wasn’t great. Some say Mark didn’t look at the top of his game, so that may have been why.

    – Pie

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