- Over 800 customers and partners, 24 break out sessions, a host of interactive stands from many different sponsors, 14 different awards and last but nog least: the sun, shining in the deep blue winter sky. I could call the Dell Technologies Forum in Brussels a grandiose success for less.
First of all, I’d like to express my thanks to the team, working diligently behind the scenes to make the Technology Forum such a success. Both organization and content were once again top notch. I want to extent my gratitude to my colleagues speaking in the break out sessions, providing the audience with important updates and key insights pertaining to IT transformation, digital transformation and workforce transformation. These important subjects will surely play an important role to organizations in coming years.
Personally, I was intrigued by the reference cases presented by our partners. They provided exceptional examples illustrating the state of the market and the challenges companies are facing today. How do they translate theory to practice? How do SMB’s handle digital transformation? And what is the actual added value of a hyperconverged solution to a real customer?
Gregory B. Edwards, Ph.D. and Executive Director Infrastructure Services at NATO Communications and Information Agency, touched similar subjects, al be it on a much grander scale. He elaborated on the importance of technology in a modern military alliance. A cost effective infrastructure and an up-to-date datacenter must make sure field data is available without delay for use and analysis. As you can imagine the IT environment itself needs to be highly secure. I’m proud of our organization for being a part of NATO’s digitalization project together with VMware.
The digital age
Patricia Florissi took us on a journey back in time during here session. According to Florissi, we’re using the same vocabulary to describe today as we did to describe the Renaissance 500 years ago: ‘innovation’, and ‘spreading knowledge’. “The similarity indicates big changes are going on in our time. We’re experiencing the dawn of the digital era”, she believes. Not one to shy away from awe inspiring comparisons, she continued by drawing similarities between the IT-world, and the universe itself.
“The digital universe contains a galaxy with its own solar system: the data system. Data are the sun, there are planets, and there are technology forces keeping everything together, such as AI, machine learning and deep learning. Today, we’re experiencing a storm disturbing the status quo: we need to take processing and analytics to the data, not the other way around.
Futurist and AI specialist Nell Watson presented some interesting numbers illustrating the speed at which our society evolves. 5 exabyte: that’s the grand total of all human data created up until the year 2000. By 2010, the number was doubling every 10 hours. Today, that’s every minute. No human can process or even use those amounts of data, which explains the rise of artificial intelligence. AI is becoming the driving force behind the next industrial revolution. Her story contains one important nuance: it’s paramount we develop human ethics for machines. It takes a village to raise a child, they say. So it takes a global village to raise machines.
Lastly, I want to congratulate the winners of our Dell EMC Partners Awards. Of course, everyone deserved to win. I can therefore only repeat the words of EMC Channel Manager Belgium & Luxembourg Erwin Vanluchene: “We want to show our appreciation to our partners, who work very hard on a daily basis trying and succeeding to put our products out there. They offer solutions to their customers, enabling them to face the challenges of digital transformation. They will be the digital leaders of tomorrow.”