Same same, but different.
The biggest changes compared to previous years have their advantages and disadvantages: While HPE Discover was Europe-centric, HPE Discover More focuses on the German-speaking areas. On the one hand, we of course missed our European colleagues and customers, but on the other, the event was much more compact. While you thought you knew each of the 3,000 participants as the event kicked off, you really did by the end.
Home sweet home.
The Bechtle Lounge was hard to miss and acted as a central meeting point for our customers and colleagues, being the ideal location for relaxing and networking between the various breakout and demo sessions—and experts on all topics were on hand to answer any questions. I had no idea beforehand that Käfer also produced muesli bars, but I can tell you that they are delicious.
Everyone was eagerly awaiting Antonio Neri’s keynote. It was particularly interesting what wasn’t mentioned—5% bigger storage, 3% faster servers and the 8% warmer access points. While normally a central component of every vendor presentation, they had no place this time as there was no need to convince anyone of HPE’s excellent hardware portfolio. Instead, the focus was on Everything-as-a-Service. And I mean everything. The multi-cloud dashboard, GreenLake Central, which was launched at Discover More, is a crucial step along the path to ‘Everything’ and was the hot topic of the day.
Transformation: but how?
This is the most urgent question in these days of radical change. How can it be managed? The answer came from someone who is successfully transforming an SME’s traditional IT: Bechtle CIO Harald Weickert. In 2019, the sign of an excellent presentation is how often attendees get out their smartphones to photograph slides.
Based on this, his presentation was probably one of the best of the day. The fact that there was no standing ovation was doubtless down to the fact that it was standing room only in the packed hall. We sadly had to say no to all requests to borrow Harald, but we are happy to share his expertise with our customers.
And now for something completely different.
After a hard day of networking and discussions, it was high time for some refreshments. This year, HPE had moved Oktoberfest to December in the Löwenbräu brewery. At first we were surprised. Oktoberfest? Really? How creative. But it turned out to be lot of fun and a good opportunity for many of our participants to dress up in dirndls and lederhosen. And just like during the original Oktoberfest, everyone enjoyed their meal in the huge Bechtle box up in the gallery.
It’s all about data.
After many years in his position as COO, Michael Guschlbauer is without doubt one of the faces of Bechtle with HPE’s German head even announcing him on stage as Michael Bechtle! He provided an SME perspective to the panel discussion “Data and what to do with it”. At the end of the day, it’s all about results.
The highlight of the event was once again provided by Dr Lim Goh. It’s always intriguing to see which new application uses he has for artificial intelligence and what we can learn from them. This year, one of the lessons was that it pays to prepare for the future use of AI and leads to monetisable data. If, over Christmas, anyone asks you to explain artificial intelligence or blockchain, I can recommend checking out one of Dr Goh’s videos.
What will we take away with us? The knowledge that we are setting a new course. Will Europe win the digitalisation race? Does the future belong to the fastest among us? Are the companies of the future edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven and what does that mean exactly? It was a lot of fun to discuss these subjects and there is a strong desire to continue the dialogue at HPE Discover More in Munich next year. One thing is certain: as a Platinum Partner and HPE Discover More Gold Sponsor, Bechtle will definitely be there.