For two days in March, the UK Lifesize team set up camp at the Excel Centre in London to attend Cloud Expo Europe. Being one of the biggest shows of its kind, we had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people, gave countless demos and even managed to learn a few things along the way.
1. Cloud is for everyone.
Once upon a time, cloud was seen as a high-risk solution viable only for tech companies, start-ups and the more agile SMEs. Traditional industries, including finance and legal focused companies, steered away from cloud because of their security concerns. But as technology becomes more dynamic and reliable, more and more legacy systems are being replaced with cutting-edge, secure cloud services. This year, Cloud Expo even hosted a specific finance and legal forum, sharing best practices across some of the heavier-regulated industries.
In addition, traditional and more established organizations are not being left behind. As a member of The National Theatre, I was particularly interested to hear from their director of IT, Jon Cheyne, who explained that 99% of the National Theatre’s IT infrastructure is now cloud based. He explained the importance of this — as a majority of the theatre’s staff are remote workers, they can’t rely on old, on-premises ways of working.
2. Blockchain, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and ICOs are here to stay.
There was no shortage of discussion around cryptocurrencies at this year’s expo — with the most-asked question being “Will the Bitcoin bubble burst?” Shying away from the best-known example, there was also discussion about the innovation that these new payment methods are bringing to the cloud industry. For example, is raising money via initial coin offerings (ICOs) a viable new way of crowd funding?
We also talked to the founders of Cudo Ventures, who were using their presence at Cloud Expo to launch their business. Aimed at helping organizations put their redundant IT power to use, they plan to mine cryptocurrencies with the option to donate proceeds to good causes.
Whatever your thoughts on the space, it’s still generating a lot of conversation!
3. There are people still paying a premium to use lesser quality cloud alternatives.
One of the benefits of being at an expo is that it gives us chance to dispel a lot of video conferencing myths. We were able to show how easy Lifesize is to use and demonstrate the excellent call quality — even over trade show Internet bandwidth!
But what’s also amazing is the number of people we speak to who are still using old web conferencing services — you know, the ones where you enter a dial string longer than your credit card number and then pay a premium for the privilege of using it. Cloud makes global video conferencing easy, cost-effective and highly resilient — on a global level. We feel we did our bit to educate a number of organizations as to just how flexible cloud video conferencing can be!
We’ll see you next year at Cloud Expo Europe!