What I Learned at Dell World 2013

Ellen J. Hawes Durbin, Product Marketing Manager

Last week I attended Dell World 2013, an annual conference dedicated to mastering the changing IT landscape. Dell World helps customers engage with the technology innovations and trends reshaping businesses today.  As I got seated for the opening keynote and got my iPhone ready (I thought about calling my teammate back in the office and having him stream the keynote live), the person next to me asked “Are you using LifeSize ClearSea?!” Taken a little aback (I wasn’t aware she was watching me) I said, “Yes I am! I work for LifeSize.” She went on to explain how she recently purchased LifeSize Bridge, UVC Video Center and UVC ClearSea for use in her classrooms at Birmingham-Southern College and how wonderful the technology is working for them in her school. I love to hear from our customers, but especially love chance happenings of meeting one of our customers unexpectedly and hearing about how they’re putting our technology to use. Very cool way to start my day.

Now on to the conference. Michael Dell highlighted four key themes in his opening keynote: transform, connect, inform and protect. Transform by modernizing the data center with cloud and converged solutions, connect by addressing mobility from the device to the data center to the cloud, inform by unleashing the power of data to drive better outcomes, and protect by securing your data and networks against cyber crime. Those themes were expanded upon throughout the expo hall and sessions. I was happy to hear that LifeSize is positioned perfectly in these themes throughout our product portfolio.

Elon Musk (Photo Courtesy of DellWorld.com)

Next (and the not-so-secret-reason-why-I-came) was the main keynote: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. I am a huge fan of Elon. I remember following his career at PayPal and then moving on to Tesla with the launch of his first car, The Roadster. I dreamed of owning one (I still do, only now it’s the Model S). He is a true visionary in the tech space and I found myself caught up in his philosophies in economics and physics and how he uses those foundations to take his visions and turn them into reality.

Arriving in style by driving into the Austin Convention Center in his Model S (I expected nothing less!) he hopped up on the stage for a casual one-one-one interview. He spoke for 45 minutes on Tesla, and SpaceX , about innovation and risk taking, but the one thing that stuck in my mind after hearing him speak in person was just how humble he truly is. When asked about almost losing it all in 2008 in the face of the collapse of the American auto industry and the economy, he spoke about how without the dedicated and talented team of people he chose to go on this journey with, he would not have made it to where he is today. There is no “I” in “Team” and Mr. Musk made this very clear.

I feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity to attend this event and be inspired by these great tech leaders. Innovation, risk taking and the four themes from Michael Dell’s keynote are all philosophies that we adhere to at LifeSize, and we’ll never stop working towards a better tomorrow.

Full video of keynote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vD613SLzPQk

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