February 24, 2016 | Written by: Matt Paschal
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Everything about Las Vegas is big. I thought the IBM site in Rochester, Minnesota (where I work) was expansive, but I now think the whole city of Rochester would fit inside the Mandalay Bay Resort or the MGM Grand Hotel. The whole atmosphere of the strip and IBM InterConnect inspires me to #OutthinkLimits!
Off to a great start
Richard Holmes from Westpac Group opened the conference by explaining why they chose IBM Cloud technology to enhance their digital transformation.
William Alessi from Alpha Modus electrified the crowd with his market prediction technology built on IBM Bluemix and Watson. Using these platforms, Alpha Modus developed and deployed its technology in a fraction of the time it would take to build the traditional way.
Matthias Rebellius, CEO of Siemens AG, took the stage to show how his company is using the IBM Watson IoT platform and cognitive computing to make buildings smarter. He announced that Siemens will be using IBM Cloud and IBM IoT solutions to help buildings save energy.
The main message from Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President of IBM Cloud, was loud and clear: “IBM is all in with hybrid cloud.” Whether it’s public, private or any combination of the two, IBM helps its clients extract value from their data.
Carl Eschenbach, VMWare’s COO, announced an exciting partnership between IBM and VMWare. Customers will now be able to seamlessly extend their workloads into the cloud and work specifically with SoftLayer, an IBM company.
My time here so far has been packed! Here are some session highlights:
The OpenPOWER Foundation – Revolutionizing Data-Centric Transformation
Calista Redmond, Director, IBM OpenPOWER Global Alliances and President, OpenPOWER Foundation, showed a lot of passion for the OpenPower Foundation and the work IBM is doing to facilitate IBM POWER technology in the marketplace. In just a short period, the OpenPOWER Foundation has grown to over 150 members. This open ecosystem is the future of system innovation!
Hybrid Cloud in the Cognitive Era with IBM Power Systems and OpenPOWER
Doug Balog, General Manager for Power Systems at IBM took the stage to demonstrate how IBM Power Systems are built for cognitive computing. Data integration and analytics are more important than ever. Edico Genome CEO Pieter Van Rooyen passionately delivered on expectations with his company’s accelerator for genomic sequencing. I spoke with Pieter afterwards and had an excellent discussion on his FPGA technology. It was good to talk tech with another techie.
Checking out the Expo booths
About 2 minutes into walking through the Expo Hall I saw a man with a Mayo Clinic badge. It turns out he is from Rochester, Minnesota too. We had a good conversation about IBM Systems running at Mayo just down the road from the IBM site in Rochester.
It was great to see fellow Rochester, Minnesota IBMer Tim Rowe from IBMi. We reminisced a little about those softball games from years ago. Tim did a great job describing how clients are choosing IBMi to run their businesses.
I also enjoyed talking with Jose Guille from IBM Tape in Tucson. We had a great conversation about Arizona Wildcat basketball (up to #9 now in the polls).
I also stopped by the booth to let them know how much I love their technology available on Bluemix. We discussed my messaging app for law enforcement, which seemed like a great application to the Twilio rep.
InterConnect 2016 is a great experience. Not only do you get to learn about awesome IBM, partner and client technologies, you also get to meet a lot of interesting people. Whether we were talking about techie stuff or just getting excited about the upcoming NCAA basketball tourney, I learned something new and had fun doing it.