Last week, we co-hosted The Cloud Factory, a conference that brought together over 550 of the brightest executives, entrepreneurs and investors in cloud computing technology from all across North America. The conference was hosted at the Banff Centre, a beautiful arts and leader innovation campus located on the side of a mountain in the rockies resort town of Banff, Alberta, Canada. We couldn’t have asked for a better location (or view) to discuss cloud computing, big data and enterprise tech! The conference featured some heavy-hitting speakers that did not disappoint:
- Jim Whitehurst, CEO of RedHat;
- James Barrese, CTO of PayPal;
- Marc Frons, CIO of the New York Times;
- Jeff Lawson, CIO of Twilio;
- Michelle Dennedy, Chief Privacy Officer of McAfee;
- Among many others!
James Barrese, the CTO of PayPal and our closing keynote on day one, shared his view on the future of mobile payments from PayPal’s perspective:
“We clearly see that future and we want to make that real, so you have one wallet in the cloud, and it’s available on all the operating systems and all the devices and all the form factors, and in stores.”
Our attendees rated Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio’s presentation “We Are Software People” as one of the best. His perspective on how software is eating the world?
“You don’t get brownie points for using servers. You get brownie points for serving users.”
The founder of Hadoop, Doug Cutting, shared his perspective on the future of big data:
“Within facts about the present, there are clues about the future. More and more data will move out of silo systems and into central systems that provide a variety of tools running on a variety of datasets … essentially an ‘enterprise data hub.”
The closing keynote, Marc Frons, CIO of the New York times shared how their 150 year old newspaper company started to think like a tech startup. Why is the newspaper company so innovative these days? He shared that,
“we build most of our stuff, we don’t buy our core business software. This keeps our people innovating and is a key differentiator.”
Rahul Sood, a General Manager at Microsoft Ventures and startup founder mentioned that,
“In the last 90 months, there’s been a billion-dollar company created every month … the startups of today are the enterprises of tomorrow. If we help them build, help them scale, they’ll be long-term customers of Microsoft.”
Gartner VP, Edward Smythe-Wilson discussed the evolution of the digital human and how technology is changing the fundamentals of our human nature.
“If you take processes, interactions, and transactions … that we all do every day in the real world: How do these become more digitalized?” He believes that, “our transactions, our processes, our interactions get more automated, more informed, more targeted.”
The Cloud Startup Showdown featured 18 startup companies from across Canada. They pitched their hearts out to mixed panels of VCs from Canada and Silicon Valley. In the end, Rubikloud ended up taking home the ‘Canada’s Most Disruptive Startup’ award and FarmAtHand, a startup originally launched in Saskatchewan and now part of Vancouver’s GrowLabs, won “Canada’s Next Unicorn.” Both startups dominated the audience favourite polls!
To follow all the words of wisdom our speakers shared this week, check out the Twitter stream at #thecloudfactory. In conclusion, Boast Capital would like to say thank you to all of those who attended, sponsored, and supported The Cloud Factory. The conference couldn’t have been a success without all of your support! We hope you all made a number of valuable connections, are able to apply some key learnings to increase your bottom line, and had a great time.
Check out some of these great articles that were written during The Cloud Factory conference. They feature the speakers we mentioned above:
- Hadoop founder says future of big data looks like, well, Hadoop
- PayPal CTO on payments, the ‘Uber experience,’ and paying with wearable devices (interview)
- Microsoft Ventures GM: ‘There will not be a WhatsApp-style acquisition again’
- 20 billion agents: Tech is evolving the digital human
- Rackspace CTO On Price Cuts And The Commoditization Of The Cloud
This article was originally posted on the Calgary Herald on April 14, 2014
Photo credit: Pinstripe Photography