The Time for Choice Approaches

October 31, 2008 Appirio

Narinder Singh

Next week will be an important one in deciding our collective future. The impact of our choices next week on businesses will be fundamental. The Economist described that “the current economic malaise will increase the pressure on companies to become more efficient. More has to be done with less…it will also profoundly change the way people work“.

The election? No– Dreamforce, of course! The run up of announcements from Amazon, Rackspace, and now Microsoft; as well as the recent explosion of press and analyst coverage (including a 14 page article in the print version of the Economist ) have more than whet the appetite for the main event. Dreamforce, a celebration of success of the on-demand model and a foreshadowing of the future of SaaS, PaaS, Cloud Computing, is arguably the premier industry event (and the Foo Fighters are playing).

They say that the necessity is the mother of invention. So with an economy in turmoil and technology more important to businesses than ever, the prerequisites have been met. There is growing sense across leaders in the industry that traditional enterprise software is the new mainframe – a legacy that must be overcome or minimally partitioned off. In Microsoft’s own announcements, Ray Ozzie passionately described, “Its (cloud computing) a transformation of our strategy.” He then went on to acknowledge that the fire of innovation was driven by others: “I’d like to tip my hat to Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Across the industry, all of us will stand on their shoulders.”

Whether they can become true agents of change, or if Microsoft Azure will suffer the same fate as SAP and Oracle’s lackluster cloud computing strategies remains to be seen. Regardless of which outcome you predict (we think Chevron or BP just as likely to lead the green revolution) the fact is that even Microsoft is admitting the game has completely changed.

So now we come to Dreamforce – it’s like the season premier for a new age in the industry (think Lost meets 24 plus American Idol) . Salesforce.com has been the pioneer in this space for the last nine years. What will they do next? We’ll just say that it will be a combination of high impact innovations – the importance of which will be most appreciated by those already on the journey to the cloud. We also expect a few ripples in time to provide a glimpse of the future. Its fitting that Malcom Gladwell, the author of “Tipping Point” is one of the keynote speakers. Because we are experiencing one right now.

For those who will be there, and those that can’t, we have the guide to helping you get the most out of these important moments in the history of enterprise computing – Appirio’s own Dreamforce Central. Get the insiders view of whats happening on the ground at the conference – live blogs and insider commentary, twitters , instant pictures from the floor , a crazy server art exhibit , the private event for industry luminaries and much more. Whether you are in San Francisco and want the “backstage pass” or you’re remote and looking to get more than just the announcements, this will be your Hitchhikers Guide to Dreamforce .

If you are coming, come see us in one of 20+ sessions Appirio and our customers are presenting in and come by our booth (#487). Mention that the blog brought you there and get ready for your own special gift….

—What’s the image above all about? Find out now!—

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