Big data, enterprise mobility and software-defined networking lead the themes for conference sessions and exhibits at Interop Las Vegas 2013.
Now in its 28th year, Interop Las Vegas kicks off on May 6. Judging by the agenda, the speakers, the size of the exhibition space and the trending enterprise topics for this year's event, it will be a show not to miss.
During its long history, Interop has weathered numerous IT industry transitions and revolutions. According to Interop general manager Jennifer Jessup, "the fact that Interop has survived this long and stayed this strong is in large part a tribute to its unique selling proposition to attendees, exhibitors and sponsors." As big-tent IT shows in the U.S. go, Interop (which is produced by the Business Technology Events group at UBM Tech, the parent company to InformationWeek) stands alone. At this vendor-neutral event, attendees can easily compare solutions across a variety of approaches, plus gain important insight and education from conference speakers and workshop leaders.
Not surprisingly, those same categories will be well represented on the show floor where Jessup says more than 350 companies (including Cisco, Juniper, Dell, Avaya, HP, Oracle, Microsoft and Huawei) will be exhibiting their wares. The exhibits let attendees catch up with their existing IT suppliers, plus explore innovative alternatives that take different approaches to old problems. Whether in the cloud or on premises, these solutions often promise to dramatically lower the total cost of ownership while improving certain efficiencies.
True to Interop's heritage, the majority of these technologies are based on industry standards, paving the way for eased (but not necessarily easy) substitution. That is, of course, the double-edged sword of standards-based interoperability. Solutions providers can reach a wider market by supporting standards. But, in supporting those standards, there's also the increased risk that a new startup with a better and more TCO-friendly solution can swoop in and steal the business.
Such interoperability has been a key theme of Interop since its inception nearly three decades ago. That's why the show enables attendees to not only shop solutions that comply with standards while competing on implementation, but also view that interoperability in action. One of the highlights of Interop is the InteropNet, a fully operational network made up of the newest gear and solutions supporting the latest standards, all working together. At the heart of the InteropNet is a network operations center (NOC). According to Jessup, a free tour of the InteropNet and the NOC (led by the engineers who run it) is a great opportunity for attendees to get some fresh ideas for their own networks.
New to this year's show and related to the sessions on BYOD, Interop's producers have partnered with Future Media Concepts to offer a training curriculum that focuses on OSX and iOS in the enterprise. Via the Mac & IOS IT Conference, FMC's world-class, Apple-certified instructors will offer training on managing, supporting and integrating Macs, iPads and iPhones into business environments.
Finally, alongside Interop, InformationWeek will produce the InformationWeek CIO Summit. The summit will feature San Francisco Giants CIO (and InformationWeek Chief of the Year for 2012) Bill Schlough; Union Pacific senior VP and CIO Lynden Tennison; ADP CIO Michael Capone; Allstate executive VP of technology and operations Suren Gupta; and Intermountain Healthcare's CTO Frederick Holston and director of innovation Todd Dunn. The technology executives will be addressing the summit theme, "Innovate Or Go Home: The CIO's Critical Role In Driving Growth, Opportunity and Breakthrough Ideas."
According to InformationWeek editor-in-chief Rob Preston, the summit is a great opportunity for CIOs and IT professionals to learn how to drive, fund, measure and profit from a culture of innovation -- from IT leaders who've done it.
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