December 3, 2015

Network World

Did I just detect a flicker of personality in the enterprise IT industry?

Long gone are the days of the colorful enterprise networking industry I knew filled with provocative personalities like Cabletron Systems President Bob Levine and 3Com’s Bob Metcalfe. But at this week’s Xconomy Enterprise Tech Strikes Back event held at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology in Boston, I actually detected some real-life individuality and swagger to go along with good business ideas being touted by the industry’s latest batch of young companies.

The message in part seemed to be: Why should the Ubers, Airbnbs, Instagrams and other hot consumer-oriented businesses have all the fun?

Xconomy’s Greg Huang deadpanned about how leadoff speaker Ash Ashutosh of Actifio (see also: “Billions of reasons to listen to these Unicorn founders”), after agreeing to speak at the enterprise-focused event, informed Huang that his presentation would be titled “Infrastructure is Dead.”


During his talk, Ashutosh pointed to big changes in the industry such as EMC’s pending buyout by Dell, and declared that “If you’re building a box, you have a problem.”

Actifio, whose technology virtualizes and manages data for customers, naturally operates in the cloud itself in this time of access to super cheap infrastructure. Ashutosh says Actifio doesn’t even have an IT person among its 400-plus employees.

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