Not surprisingly, Melbourne is an interesting city -- there's a unique visual and cultural style here that's quite appealing. My wife is a tennis fan, so every time I come down this way I get reminded that I owe her a trip to the Australian Open -- the "opener" for the pro tennis tour.
Publicly, I'm here to keynote at the EMC Inform events, and do a few press interviews. Privately, I'm here to talk to people, and update my impressions of what's going on in the Aussie IT world.
When I landed here, it was Monday morning. Somewhere over the Pacific, I had lost my Sunday.
I sent a tweet to that effect, and got the wry response: "welcome to the future". Actually, that's sort of accurate. IT adoption trends happen just a bit faster in Australia than most other places. Virtualization happened hard and fast here, for example.
I think that Australia (and New Zealand) have a unique combination of factors that lead to this early and fast adoption of new concepts: highly educated workforce, geographical isolation, a strongly competitive ethos and more. Put differently, they just get on with it.
Where Is Cloud?
There are more than a few private clouds up and running here. It's not a new concept; indeed, it's one that a handful of people seem to understand pretty well. As a result, it's sort of moved from the "exotic new concept" category to the "yeah, we're just getting on with it".
Not suprisingly, "just getting on with it" means that -- yes -- the Vblock phenomenon is here in force as well. The IT environments here tend to be a bit more modest than other parts of the world, so Vblocks can look very large indeed in that context. That being said, it's going pretty well for the VCE folks.
Service Providers, Too
The Australian market was one of the first developed IT markets to adopt the notion of external service providers. That market is in full bloom here, with multiple offers today, and more coming to market soon.
As a result, IT organizations have to seriously consider both their internal and external options -- there's plenty of attractive service providers who can do the heavy lifting for you.
I was fortunate enough to chat with folks from Telstra at length -- they've got a growing suite of external IT services in the market, and are challenged somewhat with meeting all the customer demand. I consider that a high-class problem to have. I get the chance to meet with more of their leadership team later on in Sydney.
They were curious, though. What were other similar service providers doing around the globe? What was working, and where were people having challenges? Fortunately, I had a decent perspective I could bring on those topics.
And, Yes, Big Data
When I was doing my keynote / press activities and brought up big data, there was the predictable questions that happen every time you bring up a relatively fresh concept.
The picture changed a bit when I had lunch with a handful of IT leaders at an executive event. We got into big data, and -- yes -- there it was. More than one company was actively investing in extending their analytical proficiency as a matter of core business strategy, and several more were looking closely at it.
Big data is everywhere -- including the Australian IT market.
Oh, The Press!
You need to really spend some time here to get a full handle on the Aussie sense of humor. That can be reflected in some of the more informal press you'll read from here.
As an example, check out this outrageous article that resulted from the most innocuous of interviews. Really, folks, that's not how the conversation went :) But it is a fun read ...
More To Do
The best part of this trip is catching the enthusiasm. The Australian economy seems to be doing better than average, IT investments appear to be moving in a positive direction, and the EMC ecosystem here is clearly moving ahead at full speed.
The EMC people are excited, as are all of our partners -- my conversations at EMC Inform convinced me of that. Better yet, there's a tangible enthusiasm in the air from our customers and prospects.
Why? I think it's because they see a clear opportunity to just get on with it ... and embrace the future of IT.