Delegates arrived in droves to EMC's annual Forum 2012, nearly filling the almost-1000 seat Sydney Convention Centre auditorium this morning. The morning keynote was emceed by futurist Tim Longhurst, and featured the likes of EMC global CTO Chuck Hollis, Cisco APAC VP Les Williamson, and VMware APJ general manager Andrew Dutton.
The annual Forum has been running for nine years,and gives EMC's channel and customers the opportunity to hear from EMC's vendor partners on the future of IT.
The theme of the conference, 'Transform', was highlighted through Dutton's comments that IT as it used to be done is dead.
"The ability to stop doing things that are clearly not serving the business seems to be so hard for IT. Good companies are saying throw it out, virtualise it," he said. "Old IT can't exist anymore, it's inappropriate for the huge amounts of data we're seeing coming through, and when you add the Internet of Things to that, it's only going to get bigger."
Futurist Longhurst got the whole audience standing with a 'digital test'- making all delegates stand up and vote yes or no to a serious of statements on how digital they are, including "when I wake up, I first check my email and then kiss my partner".
Standing delegates were quickly whittled down with such options as "I've been on the internet to find a date" and the following "I broke up with that date on Facebook".
Newly-appointed EMC Australia boss Alister Dias made his first appearance since being appointed in the role this month. Dias replaced former A/NZ managing director David Webster who was elevated to president of Asia-Pacific.
Longhurst told the crowd the IT industry had an "image problem" and it needed to find a way to get out of backroom cabling and into the boardroom. Cisco's Les Williamson echoed Longhurst's comments, saying it's more important than ever for IT companies to be multi-faceted.
"We [Cisco] pride ourselves on that, but we've had to expand. A lot more of our conversations are around business architecture, not just the underlying technology. That's really starting to take hold."
The hall was packed with EMC customers, vendor partners and channel members alike. Delegates took a break to check out partner stands before attending sessions by the likes of Telstra, VMware, Dimension Data, Infront Systems, Thomas Duryea, Ingram Micro and Brocade.
The line was long for Westcon's coffee stand.
VCE partner Cisco was tightly woven into the event. The VCE alliance, consisting of Cisco, EMC and VMware, jointly offers the Vblock 'converged infrastructure' platform, including server, data storage and networking equipment for virtualised data centres. It earlier this month appointed Westcon as its distributor across the Asia Pacific.
One of several EMC stands. The concept of transformation was evident throughout.
Thomas Duryea held a session on virtual private data centres using VMware and EMC tech.