Back in Arizona after attending Om Malik’s inaugural Structure 08 conference.
The conference had extremely high attendance (The attendance I am sure was boosted even further due to the Velocity conference and the inaugural CloudCamp San Francisco taking place in the Bay area the same week) and I ran into Dan Farber and Steve Gillmor in the press area so it also had a bit of star power.
This conference had good marketing free content for the most part and the only session that seemed out of context to me was the panel on Harnessing Explosive Growth. Structure 08 was focused on Cloud Computing for the Enterprise so it was a bit much to have to sit and listen to yet more consumer orientated stories from the likes of Facebook and Meebo. It was also a bit jarring to hear that companies like Ebay and Facebook have no plans to put SLA’s in place to guarantee uptime for their users. When I worked for an ASP 10 years ago, SLA’s were standard and were required of us from all of our Enterprise customers…thus again proving that Enterprises and consumer facing companies like Facebook are in a different world.
The best keynotes in my opinion were from Greg Papadopoulos; Sun’s CTO and Zach Nelson; Netsuites CEO. Greg’s mention that Sun supports Open Services amongst On Demand vendors lead to a few groans in the audience but I think he is right on in saying that the On Demand market wont grow substantially until customers are sure their data wont be held hostage by vendors. And Zach Nelson laid out a great overview of the elusive Middle Market…a huge potential customer base for On Demand vendors that SAP learned recently with Business ByDesign; is hard to design solution for and sell into.
Gigaom Omni Media has become a true new media company along the likes of Tech Crunch and Read Write Web and Om has a full time staff of writers and editors. Thus instead of me giving an overview of the remaining sessions please read Liz Gannes live coverage of the conference here and check out photos here.