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Q&A: An Exclusive Inside Look at Commvault GO 2016

Commvault GO QA

Commvault GO 2016 is fast approaching, kicking off from October 3-5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.  This will be Commvault's inaugural event; so to find out more, I spoke with Bill Wohl, the company's Chief Communications Officer, ahead of the show to get the details and better understand what Commvault has planned.

VMblog:  Let's start off with a bit more details about the upcoming show.  Commvault GO is your inaugural event.  Can you give us the who, what and where so people know what's coming and when?

Bill Wohl:  Commvault GO is our inaugural customer conference being held October 3-5, in Orlando, FL and is the only show in our industry entirely dedicated to protecting and activating data whether it resides in the cloud, the data center, hybrid environments, or on mobile. The event will bring together leading industry analysts, customers, experts and notable personalities and give attendees the opportunity to participate in 45 breakout sessions and hands on labs, while hearing from keynote speakers like Gartner's Dave Russell, technology evangelist Robert Scoble, Microsoft's Steve Guggenheimer and Mythbusters' Adam Savage.

VMblog:  Out of curiosity, why now?  What made Commvault GO possible this year as opposed to last year, etc?

Wohl:  We thought the timing felt right on a few different levels.  For one, we feel this an important time in the industry especially for customers, who are facing unprecedented challenges with rapidly changing technology, tightening resource requirements, and ever-expanding volumes of data. This show will provide them an opportunity to learn first-hand how Commvault is solving these challenges with best practices from today's top influencers and Commvault experts on how they can transform their IT operations into a modern data management strategy that empowers them to derive the most value and business insight out of their data.

Secondarily, we just completed our successful transformation of our business that repositioned the company for the future and returned it to momentum and growth. This transformation included changing the way we look at sales, go-to-market strategies, pricing and packaging as well as technology innovation. 

Plus, we are celebrating our 20 year anniversary and want to share that excitement with our customers, some of whom have been with us since day one. 

VMblog:  What are you most excited about in preparing for your inaugural event?

Wohl:  I think it goes back to customers and hearing how enthusiastic they are in wanting to share and exchange ideas and best practices with other while also learning from Commvault experts on how they can modernize IT strategies and solve complex data management problems.

VMblog:  How many breakout sessions do you have?  And are there any that truly stand out above the rest that people should take note of and try to schedule?

Wohl:  There's plenty of insightful learning sessions for everyone. When we created the agenda, we wanted to make sure we weren't missing anyone and that it would appeal to a wide range of different titles, levels and personas - from the IT and storage admin all the way to the CIO and CEO. The conference will feature 6 session tracks on New Commvault Technology, Cloud Technology, Storage and Infrastructure, Information Governance and Backup & Recovery Leadership and 45 breakout sessions.

So many interesting tracks but the ones we're seeing a lot of excitement for include "Beyond Backup and Recovery: Commvault Software Road Map," "One Hour Cloud Migrations: A Step-by-Step Guide," "5 Ways to be Strategic with your Data," "Protecting and Securing Endpoint Data," "Why You Still Need Backup....and Beyond" and "Four Hours to Strategic IT - the Digital Transformation Workshop."

VMblog:  Corporate budgets are still tight in 2016.  What are some of the reasons companies' should open up the purse strings and send their employees to this event?

Wohl:  I think customers understand that the costs for attending our show are quite minimal when compared to the potential savings to your company that come from learning about new and innovative ways to better manage, protect and optimize your data for business value, leverage the power of the cloud and have a smart and reliable disaster recovery strategy in place that mitigates legal risk and assures business continuity. Furthermore, from a cost perspective, Commvault is providing a deeply-discounted certification training during the conference, giving users the opportunity to sharpen their skill sets and learn directly from Commvault experts and partners and earn professional certifications.

VMblog:  Commvault has established a fantastic partner ecosystem that is still growing.  How many sponsors will be at the event? 

Wohl:  Our partner ecosystem is truly impressive and our sponsors at Commvault GO represent the who's who of today's technology leaders including CDW, Cisco, Microsoft, Forsythe, NaviSite, Nutanix, SHI, Arrow, Pure Storage, VeriSTOR, aquari, meridian IT, SIRIUS, AVNET, Arrosoft, NetApp, OnX Managed Services, UbiSTOR, PRESIDIO and Red Hat to name a few.

VMblog:  Can you talk about the key benefits as to why those exhibitors have chosen to sponsor Commvault GO?

Wohl:  Commvault GO offers sponsors unique brand exposure and one-on-one connections with a high-value audience composed of Commvault key customers and prospects, strategic partners and other influential attendees. These sponsors can demonstrate their solutions to users who are in the market for new technologies, gain insider access to our customers, partners and executives and position their organizations alongside other innovators and thought leaders.

VMblog:  Are there any new trends in the industry that people should be aware of or should keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for anytime during the show?

Wohl:  Yes of course. To name a few, obviously optimizing the move to the cloud is still a major subject of interest with customers transitioning from traditional to modern hyper and converged infrastructures and the cloud for critical business workloads. The increasing demand for open standards and open data management architectures is another ongoing dialogue we are having with enterprises who want universal access to data under management in its standard captured format, avoiding storage lock-in. Another trend we are seeing is the demand for enterprises to easily want to consume new technology to evolve from traditional environments, close functionality gaps, eliminate the headaches of point solution integration, and meet increasing demands for security and compliance, anywhere computing, and the explosive growth of data. So lot's to talk about for sure.

VMblog: Trade shows aren't necessarily all work and learning.  What do you have planned for fun to keep attendees charged and ready to go? 

Wohl:  There will be plenty of opportunities and places for attendees to recharge and kick back. They can visit our MSFT pavilion where gamers and watchers will play games on larger than life screens. We will also have gourmet food trucks and eating areas inside the show floor to give attendees a chance to eat great food, relax and network with peers. And not to be outdone, we're throwing a hell of a crazy ‘steam-punk' / carnival party with arcades, a ball pit, Rock Band, food trucks, and much more.

VMblog:  What does a successful Commvault GO event mean to you guys?  What are the few takeaways that once the show is over, if those things happen, you'll consider the event a huge success for Commvault, its ecosystem partners and its attendees.

Wohl:  At the end of the day, we want this to be an incredible learning experience for our customers and partners that puts them in a better position to succeed and thrive with their data management needs. We want to strengthen these relationships and grow with these organizations and if this conference helps us accomplish this goal, that would be a success.

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Bill Wohl Commvault

Published Monday, September 19, 2016 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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