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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!

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