Interop Las Vegas: It's a Jungle Out Here

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

April 30, 2008

Datamation's James Maguire offers an update from the floor of the Interop show in Las Vegas where the gamblers have come to gamble and the IT vendors have come to sell. Who faces longer odds?

James Maguire I just arrived at the Interop trade show in Las Vegas and the event is huge. Interop Las Vegas has a clear message: the technology industry is alive and well. Economic downturn? What economic downturn?

This trade show is the crown jewel of the nearly one trillion-dollar information technology business. Everybody is here. Every tiny gadget maker, every big-bucks software titan, every last mobile firm, every start-up hoping to get noticed. Some 20,000 attendees, 500 exhibitors, and probably a dozen IT staffers who will gamble away the deed to their house. (“Honey, I’ve got some bad news…”)

The event is mis-named, in a sense. It’s called “Interop,” short for interoperability, suggesting that these vendors want to play well with others. Well, kind of. In the hyper-competitive tech market, each vendor strives to “interop” with certain players while tossing a stiff elbow in the eye of others. Does VMware really want to be interoperable with Xensource? That’s like saying the New York Giants hope to partner with the New England Patriots.

The sight of all these vendors with booths side by side in the Mandalay Bay convention center highlights what a merciless business this is. There are too many players here for everyone to survive. And besides, technology devours itself like some constantly ravenous creature.

The in-house client-server world, which consumed the mainframe, is now being rapidly nibbled by Software as a Service (or at least that’s what SaaS vendors tell us, and SaaS is huge at Interop this year). The emerging technology of virtualization is a threat to the hardware vendors whose customers use it to get more from their existing servers.

Outsourcing services (also big at Interop) is encroaching on U.S. based software companies – except there really aren’t any more true “U.S. based” software companies. Yes, there are firms with U.S. headquarters, but if they don’t sell into global markets and hire the best talent worldwide – and fast – their lifespan is limited. The IT market is an eat-or-be-eaten jungle. Either keep up or you’ll be somebody’s lunch.

For the rest of this story, click here. Story courtesy of Datamation.



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