By Tom Shell, Account Executive
I’d like to share my thoughts on a fantastic event this past week. Appirio was asked to sponsor the Going Google Roadshow in San Francisco that took place on April 17th. What a great joint effort it was between our Marketing team and Google to go above and beyond on the planning and execution of this very important event. With a capacity of only 187 at the truly spectacular Google office, we managed to register over 400 customers and prospects. We had around 200 actually show up for the event, which nearly caused a catastrophe as seating was sparse and we were very concerned about the Fire Marshal showing up unexpectedly.
I can’t thank the Appirio team enough for all of the hard work, professionalism and patience. The event was truly great and Appirio shined. Our culture of bringing a strong work ethic and personal pride to all that we do was on display. I was honored to be asked to serve as the Master of Ceremonies and must admit that it was a HOOT! David Salyers, industry and Appirio veteran, did a magnificent job of preparing the customer panel with Netflix, Trulia, Design within Reach and Salesforce all represented. His masterful orchestration of the questions and ensuing discussion provided insight and intelligent observations that are sure to inform how these prospects will think about the cloud and Google.
I found out shortly before the event that the entire show was to be recorded by Google for training purposes. While somewhat horrified that my mug would be captured for posterity’s sake, it was exhilarating that Appirio’s performance across the board would become an example that would help inform and guide others.
What was truly exciting about this event was Appirio’s ability to raise the bar and create context for the power of cloud platforms that was “bigger” than just desktop productivity or a simple message about Google Apps or even how to embrace the cloud. The questions and conversations were focused on the big issues related to the changing business climate, empowering users and customers, and “moving the needle” in terms of business performance. One example: no less than five of the first six conversations that I had following the formal agenda were focused on how to redefine the approach that IT takes to solving problems or even which problems to solve. I shared an example of how one customer early in the effort to investigate the Google Cloud Platform had discovered that the scale and power of the platform would allow for the digestion and analysis of data in hours or days that would have previously been too costly to contemplate. I could see the “lights coming on” as these customer and prospects were now expanding the scope of even the questions they could ask and analyze for the business.
I was especially gratified to see attendees continually seeking out Appirians over the course of the evening to understand how this journey to the cloud could begin. I have no doubt that we will see great returns from this event, not only for Appirio, but also for our quest to let this power technology work for us instead of getting in our way.
I am reminded of a famous quote from one of my favorite authors: Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke’s Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” What a wonderful day that will be!
I can’t wait to participate in an event like this again!