Now the dust has settled and im back in good old Blighty, although still slightly jet lagged I thought I would share my experience of HPE Discover 2022 Las Vegas, the highlights and lowlights of HPE's premier partner and customer annual event, the first physical Discover event post Covid.
This years event was held in the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, and wow what a place it is, the Hotel is amazing in a very outlandish and brash American way, I have to say it is very viva Las Vegas. The Venetian has it all, fantastic bars, restaurants, shops, casinos, a nightclub & the brilliant grand canal with venetian gondolas.
The conference centre is huge, and when I say huge I mean mega huge, I did hear a stat about the amount of football pitches you could fit in the main expo hall but im sorry I forgot it !!! Anyway it was very impressive.
Day one was focused on the partner eco system, we heard great news about new exciting partner program structure, we also had time to talk to the HPE team & vendors in the expo hall before customers arrived, I had a really interesting chat about the use of AI & automation in manufacturing, a subject that is hot right now for Simoda.
Day two and I had the pleasure of Antonio Neri's key note speech, I must admit having sat through many keynotes over the years I do find the HPE President & CEO a pleasure to listen to, the calm authoritative way he speaks with passion really makes you not want to miss a word.
Antonio talked about HPE GreenLake & XaaS (Everything as a Service) and it felt comforting for Simoda because we have been a champion of GreenLake for sometime and regularly talk to customers about delivering business outcomes as a service. During the speak he also spoke to a few guests including Daniel Grider the VP of Technology for the US DIY giant Home Depot, Nicole LaPointe Jameson the CEO of esports business Evil Geniuses & Dr Gina Tourassi, the director of computational sciences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Day three and the highlight of the day was a customer talk I attended with Shadi Almassizadeh the Vice president of Motion picture architecture for Disney & Mark Wayt a client platform architect modern workplace for HPE. The feature of the talk was how covid drove change in their business model and how they use VDI across the enterprise to deliver a modern workflow and how they now truly understand what latency is acceptable for each role within the team. As we are talking to several customers about VDI this was a great insight into how a complex organisation such as Disney have used HPE to help them achieve success.
As a closing party goes Janet Jackson, just about hits all the right notes, for a 56 year old woman she cant half move, I was knackered just watching, it was surprising how many of the numbers she performed I actually knew, it was a great end to a fantastic event.
Of course the event as a whole was great, but I really loved the messaging the HPE are brining to the market place, it really fits with the Simoda ethos and strategical direction. The venue was amazing, the food was to die for, I love a good burger and wow the Americans are the kings of burgers. HPE took the UK attendees to Top Golf to whack a few balls around, I did manage to hit a centre ring and get maximum points although I didn’t click my turn so the points went onto someone else's score (typical)
I also had a little spare time where a friend advised me to go to a place called Area15 which was about 10 mins in a taxi from the hotel.
The place was brilliant, an eclectic mix of interactive art experiences in an air conditioned warehouse that had the feel of a super club in Ibiza. After checking out the vibrant Wink World I went shooting zombies in a virtual reality world, something that was out of my comfort zone, I am not a gamer. I have to say it was a fantastic experience, although I wasn’t very good at it I loved every minute and it was very realistic and scary.
Anyone that knows me will know I am a bit of a space nerd, so while at Area15 I just had to do the Illuminarium space journey experience. A huge room filled with loads of Panasonic projectors (yes I did take notice) which projected onto the walls and floors various parts of space, the main highlight was landing on the moon, every part of the journey through space was accompanied by great music including Frank Sinatra, The Police & The Verve.
The heat was ridiculous, around 106 / 107 degrees everyday however gambling was a definite low, I didn’t do bad playing BlackJack but everything else I was simply awful, betting on the roulette wheel was a particular low light, losing money every spin while the woman stood next to me amassed what must have been nearly $10k in chips. I did win something, my haul came on the slot machines, one press at $10 and the machine went crazy, I genuinely thought I had won the $440k jackpot but the machine printed out my winning voucher and it wasn’t the jackpot. I am keeping it as a reminder not to play games you don’t understand.
In summary it was a fantastic event, I met some great people and experienced a small part of what is the craziest place on earth. Would I do it again ?
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