Interop '05 Opens Its Doors

The IT industry's annual networking jamboree kicks off this week, but how many CIOs will brave the bootcamp?

May 2, 2005

2 Min Read
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LAS VEGAS -- Interop -- The IT industry may be undergoing a period of uncertainty, but the organizers of this years Interop event here are hoping their annual networking jamboree will buck the trend.

The conference circuit has taken something of a battering recently. Last year the plug was pulled on fall’s Comdex and CeBIT America events, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) canceled its popular SunNetwork event (see No Tears for Comdex and Sun Shelves Network Conference).

In stark contrast, Interop is growing, according to the event’s vice president and general manager, Lenny Heymann. “Last year we had 16,000 attendees, and we’re expecting 10 percent growth over that number,” he says. The number of vendors exhibiting is also on the rise, up to 375 from around 340 last year.

”Things are really picking up. We’re seeing lots of growth in voice-over-IP, collaboration, mobility, and security,” Heymann adds.

The conference is also going back to its roots this year, reverting to its original name, Interop, for the first time since 1994 (see Networld+Interop Becomes Interop). Heymann says the name change underlines the event’s renewed emphasis on interoperability.But attendees can expect more than just a hall full of exhibitors and Sin City excess this week. ”There’s a lot of free education,” Heymann says. This includes programs on data management and regulatory compliance, two issues that are fast becoming the bane of data center managers’ lives (see Sort Out Your Sox and Gartner: Sarbanes Struggle Continues).

For more hearty souls, Interop is also running a two-day CIO “bootcamp” which will tackle a range of management and technology issues. “It’s targeted at the aspirational IT person with their eyes set on the CIO’s job,” says Steve Wiley, Interop’s director of content. “It’s also targeted at current CIOs to give them the skills to do the job.”

Interop has also changed venues, after the end of its term at the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center. The 2005 event will be taking place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which means that IT managers (and journalists) will be that little bit closer to the attractions and distractions of the strip.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) CEO John Chambers will be treating attendees to more of his homespun data center wisdom during his keynote address tomorrow morning (see Chambers: Virtualization Is Here). Other luminaries due to take the podium during the conference include Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) CEO Scott Kriens and AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) CTO Hossein Eslambolchi.

Watch for more news here from Interop during the course of the week.— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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