Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Discover event, which was slated for week of June 20 in Las Vegas, is being transformed into a virtual event in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“To ensure the health and safety of our team members, customers and partners, HPE will convert HPE Discover 2020 into a virtual event,” said HPE in a prepared statement provided to CRN. “We will introduce the HPE Discover 2020 Digital Experience, scheduled to start June 22.”
HPE said the virtual event will feature an “immersive, interactive platform” with live and on-demand content “tailored to target” timely topics and trends for both customers and partners.
“We know our customers and partners are adapting to a new environment, and we’re adapting, too -- designing a unique, engaging experience that will empower them with knowledge and insights to look ahead, evolve and emerge from this period even stronger,” said HPE.
Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 101 on the CRN 2019 SP500, applauded HPE for moving to a virtual event.
“You just can’t do these type of mega technology events,” said Venero. “Look at Louisiana which allowed Mardi Gras to take place and is now seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus deaths. You just can’t put people together in these big conferences right now. Without social distancing you are going to kill people. We need to take this step by step and day by day before we get to the point where we can hold events that are not going to put people at risk.”
Jed Ayres, the CEO of IGEL, which has seen a huge uptick in work at home solutions for its Linux based end point management software, said moving to virtual events is the new normal.
“This is part of the new normal that Covid 19 brings along with it,” he said. “Until we can get comfortable that humans can come in contact with each other in large groups then we are not going to be able to hold these kind of tech conferences.”
Ayres said events like Discover 2020 are some of the largest gatherings with tens of thousands of people coming together. “You are in a room with 20,000 people at some of these conferences, shaking hands with hundreds of people,” he said. “You are exposed to people in a sustained way for three or four days. You are in elevators and restaurants.”
Before the large tech conferences resume, there has to be certainty that such gatherings will not result in coronavirus outbreaks that lead to loss of life, said Ayres.
“Until we have much better understanding of how we can protect ourselves in these large environments the only thing we can do is cancel these events and move to them to a virtual platform,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing a sweeping new work-at-home culture around the globe with far-reaching global technology implications, including a stepped-up demand for solutions like virtual desktop infrastructure and Desktop as a Service, said Ayres.