It’s the start of the autumn show season when the industry lines up its customers to show them the new products that will make their businesses more efficient and maybe make the operation of the IT department a little easier. Nothing new in the timing of this cycle of events, but I feel this year is going to be a turning point for the industry and its customers. Maybe my personal excitement and enthusiasm is unwarranted, but with VM World just ended and Oracle Open World just about to begin I feel there is enough in just these two events to justify my view. In each substantive shift in the computer industry there has been a player who is the key creator of interest in the new capability, and becomes synonymous with the technology even though others have equally good products. Other players in the industry realise this and bring out new products to align and integrate, this in turn drives a bigger range of capabilities that makes the original player’s first mover advantage even greater. Cisco did it for networks as an example, and right now it looks as if VMware have achieved the same status in respect of …… Well that’s my point about VM World, it’s a seminal event as they move from virtualisation to being a fully functional leader in all the major aspects of cloud technology. And boy have they got the numbers and the support to put the wind in their sails (maybe I should say ‘sales’). Check the statistics; 190,000 customers, 200 exhibitors, 170 breakout sessions, and a slew of new products. On one side there are the new products from VMware that provide a full scale move into building and operating a full scale cloud environment, and on the other are the products from players like EMC and CA that align and integrate their own products to extend the overall functionality. The line up of sponsors for the event alone says it all, please excuse me for listing so many, but it absolutely makes my point about this being a seminal event. In the same order as on the VM World list; Cisco, Dell, EMC, NetApp, HP, Intel, CSC, IBM, Novell, Symantec, BMC, CA Technologies, are the well known names, but then there are many new names as the start-ups power in with serious new ideas. All built on the strength of Vmware’s success in creating the market for virtualisation. I can only recommend that you go to the website and sign in and start by watching the keynote video entitled ‘An Evolutionary Path to a Revolutionary Approach to IT’. The first few minutes are a pretty funny clip comparing the cloud to pizza, then there is the normal marketing chat to launch the event, but after that comes a superb presentation by Paul Maritz. Stay with it and watch this, it’s very good! Then work your way thorough other gems on the site in the areas that interest and influence you in particular. For example, if you thought that you had ‘finished’ with adopting virtualisation for your servers then this will show you that you have only just started to get your arms around the possibilities for your enterprise! I believe that Oracle Open World will be every bit as thought provoking but in perhaps a different way. Oracle has been cooking Fusion for some years, and helped by owning the entire technology stack recently, they have all of the neccesary parts to enable it to happen up to and into the application itself. Oracle Fusion Apps provides new capabilities as ‘services’ that sit alongside the existing Oracle Apps and the extensions to Oracle Fusion Middleware support and integrate both. In addition resources are allocated from internal, external, outsourced and hybrid sources. This much I can say as these facts have been released into the market on blogs or other external documents. Well if you missed out on VM World, maybe you have time to follow Oracle Open World. I, and many of my Capgemini colleagues, will be there with various presentations on how to get the best from Fusion in all its forms, so please drop by and say hello! The Capgemini marketing department has me down for signing copies of Enterprise Cloud Computing, my latest book co-authored with Peter Fingar and Jon Pyke at the happy hour on Tuesday evening. We’ve got some great colleagues there too. To really understand how to ‘architect’ in this new world ask for Leon Smiers, and try to grab a copy of his book ‘Common Reference Architecture – the CORA approach’, or ask for Ron Tolido to understand his methodology for using application maintenance to evolve into the new world.