IBM Pulse Conference Impressions

IBM’s conference on cloud is taking place this week in Las Vegas at the MGM Convention Center. There are two core parts to the conference; The main Pulse general conference and the Dev@Pulse conference which is specifically targeting developers. The two conferences are…and feel…completely separate from one another.

IBM Pulse Core
The main IBM Pulse conference is IBM’s rebranding of their past Tivoli conference into a cloud conference. Pulse 2014 is branded as ‘The Premier Cloud Conference’. I’m not sure I would go that far, but it’s much more than that. IBM is bringing much more of their software portfolio to bear. Having attended, keynoted and presented at a number of cloud conferences around the globe, this one takes on quite a different vibe. It’s far more subdued and less energetic than its cloud rivals. That could stem from IBM past culture creeping forward. But there are many trying to shed the IBM of old for a fresh and modern perspective. Just talking with folks around the room, it’s clear that the individuals want to turn the corner, but it’s hard to turn a battleship in a bathtub. Changing culture is hard.

The presentations have been a mix of lukewarm depth and buzzword bingo. While the right things are being stated and the cloud-centric focus is decent, it is unclear the impact IBM has for its customers. This seems to be a pretty significant gap for IBM to fill in the coming months. One area IBM needs to address is how to attract new developers and customers. Looking around the room, 1/2 of the gentlemen are in suits while the other 1/2 are simply jacket-less. You rarely see the jeans, tee shirt or hoodie walking the floor. This speaks more to IBM’s current user base that the new millennials that are the real x-factor in cloud development today.

And speaking of developers, IBM’s Dev@Pulse developer conference is happening in tandem with IBM Pulse. More on Dev@Pulse and IBM Pulse perspectives coming soon!

Tim Crawford is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Information Technology Officers (#4), Top 100 Most Social CIOs (#7), Top 20 People Most Retweeted by IT Leaders (#5) and Top 100 Cloud Experts and Influencers. Tim is a strategic CIO & advisor that works with large global enterprise organizations across a number of industries including financial services, healthcare, major airlines and high-tech. Tim’s work differentiates and catapults organizations in transformative ways through the use of technology as a strategic lever. Tim takes a provocative, but pragmatic approach to the intersection of business and technology. Tim is an internationally renowned CIO thought leader including Digital Transformation, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Tim has served as CIO and other senior IT roles with global organizations such as Konica Minolta/ All Covered, Stanford University, Knight-Ridder, Philips Electronics and National Semiconductor. Tim is also the host of the CIO In The Know (CIOitk) podcast. CIOitk is a weekly podcast that interviews CIOs on the top issues facing CIOs today. Tim holds an MBA in International Business with Honors from Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Golden Gate University.