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Commvault GO 2017 Wrap Up - A Digital Transformation Event


Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Commvault's second annual customer conference, Commvault GO 2017.  This year, the company avoided a hurricane repeat by moving the venue from Orlando to the beautiful Gaylord National Harbor Hotel & Convention Center near Washington, D.C.  

At the conclusion of Commvault's event last year, I asked them what they could possibly do to raise the bar after creating such a successful inaugural event.  I'm happy to report, the Commvault team did just that with Commvault GO 2017.  This year, they doubled the audience size, tripled the content and expanded its global presence.  The more than 2,000 attendees had the opportunity to attend an impressive 95 breakout sessions, 30 mini-theater presentations and 25 structured lab talks during the event.  On top of that, attendees could schedule time with actual product experts to deep dive and gain a better understanding on almost any topic.  Attendees also had the chance to participate in discounted training and certification at the conference, giving them the opportunity to sharpen their skill sets and earn professional certifications.

Day one kicked off with an inspirational keynote from Robert Swan, Officer of the British Empire, who shared his remarkable adventures as the only person to have walked to both the North Pole and the South Pole.  Swan brought things together by explaining the importance of data in his experiences.  He talked about how data played a key role in his own remarkable undertakings, and he provided attendees with insight on how they can leverage their own data to unlock new opportunities and strive for competitive advantages.

commvaultgo2017 swan

Swan also announced to audience members that he would soon be embarking on his 2041 Climate Force Challenge, which starts November 15th, 2017 and ends January 11th, 2018.  The 2041 Foundation is an organization he founded that's dedicated to the preservation of the Antarctic.  To keep from further harming the environment, the expedition is using only sustainable, renewable energy.  During his talk, Swan shared his story and passion for protecting the Antarctic, calling it "the only place in the world we all own."  

During the keynote, Commvault CMO Chris Powell came onstage to announce Commvault is becoming the official data partner for the 2041 Climate Force Challenge and the expedition.  Commvault will provide managed services in the cloud for the next three years.  And Powell will himself be joining Swan for the last 60 miles of the expedition and will plant a Commvault flag at the South Pole.  With this partnership, Commvault joins other leading global brands including Shell, Toyota, W-Foundation, Patagonia, and more to broadcast outreach campaigns that will help drive change in the way the world uses energy.

Commvault CEO Bob Hammer, then took the stage and talked about a fundamental shift from Information Technology to Data Technology.  Hammer shared his vision for what will come next in managing, analyzing and protecting data, and he explained how IT leaders must prepare for this next wave of innovation and business imperatives.  His keynote presentation focused on the event's overall theme: Powerful Simplicity.

commvaultgo2017 hammer 

Hammer spoke on how powerful simplicity is enabling enterprises to achieve remarkable things with a particular focus on data analytics, an area the backup company continues to push further and further into. According to Hammer, the move from an infrastructure-centric to a data-centric strategy requires a more holistic approach toward data management and a data-driven investment strategy that drives innovation and competitive differentiation.  As part of that, he highlighted the company's new partnership with Cisco, the Commvault Data Platform and Commvault's newest offering, a scale-out data protection solution called Commvault HyperScale Technology.  Cisco is the company's first hardware partner that will take the hyperscale software to market as ScaleProtect with Cisco UCS.  

The day's keynote session concluded with a customer round table discussion moderated by Gartner Group research director Robert Rhame.  The panel included Jon Walton, CIO of the County of San Mateo, Paul Petty, head of IT infrastructure for Laing O'Rourke, and Mark Trenerry, cloud infrastructure manager for Queensland Investment Corporation, each sharing their insights into how their enterprises are achieving remarkable things with data.

On day two of the event, attendees were provided an equally educational and impressive series of keynote sessions. 

To kick things off, Commvault COO Al Bunte shared practical approaches to help customers find a better way to address priority technology investments and outlined multiple ways companies can drive new levels of IT efficiency. 

commvaultgo2017 bunte 

He reminded the audience that remarkable feats don't just happen; you need a plan and strategy to achieve success for managing a complex environment that includes on-premises, cloud, endpoint, mobile, SaaS applications, managed services and wide variety of other applications and infrastructure.

"The traditional way enterprises have approached data management results in economics, risk and capabilities that are not acceptable for enterprises engaged in digital transformation," said Bunte.  "There is a better way - but it requires enterprises to rethink how they address complexity, and instead embrace a unified, holistic data-centric approach that yields the powerful simplicity required to implement a practical plan for managing today's complex data environments."

Commvault also introduced its first application under its new analytics strategy, a data privacy option designed to help address the challenge of meeting the requirements of Europe's upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The software will detect personally identifiable information on covered file systems and endpoint devices, map where that information is located, create automated workflows to address customer requests around what a company knows about them, or to be forgotten from the records if needed, and to produce audit trails of the management of such data.  Commvault also plans to help enterprises meet the requirements of other data governance and compliance issues, both those already in place and those yet to come.

commvaultgo2017 sully 

To cap things off, Commvault brought out the world renown Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger to share his story of the "Miracle on the Hudson" with a stirring presentation.  Sullenberg explained how he used data to frame his decisions during the emergency landing and how his experience can translate into a life lesson for everyone.  And speaking of data, he told audience members that today more than ever, we need to heed science and facts.  "We have an obligation to be scientifically literate," Sullenberg said.  "In other words, you can't use data if you don't understand it.  We have an obligation to be good citizens, which means that if we must make important decisions, we need to be capable of independent critical thought."

As one might expect, it was a truly remarkable and inspirational story.

What trade show event would be complete without an official party?  Last year's carnival themed "GO Play! Extravaganza" was a hit.  But this year's out door block party really grabbed the attention of attendees.  National Harbor's Fleet Street was transformed into an unforgettable night of entertainment and live music, fantastic food & drink, and ended with a fireworks display.  

commvaultgo2017 party

The Commvault team involved with putting on this event should be proud, and I can't wait to see what they have planned for 2018.  It was already announced during the show party that Commvault would be bringing Commvault Go back for the third year in a row -- and this time, to Nashville!

See you there!

Check out more photos from Commvault Go 2017.


Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:31 PM by David Marshall
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