How many times have you been at a technology conference, you meet a nice guy or gal, and chat for a bit. When it gets to the point that you’re explaining what y’all do for a living, the other person says: “well, I just do the boring enterprise stuff…”
I’m happy to report that I didn’t hear this line even once at DEMO this last week in Santa Clara. On-stage there was an entire enterprise session that didn’t once apologize for being “boring enterprise technology.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. There was a great deal of pride in the enterprise segment.
To tell you the truth – it was more refreshing than an Enya album. (Not that I have ever listened to Enya…)
What’s more interesting is that the enterprise and small business technologies on stage were probably more exciting than many of the consumer companies that were launching. The enterprise had a good showing this year – and I think it should remind the community in Austin (which is admittedly enterprise-heavy) that we should never develop an inferiority complex just because a CRM vendor’s marketing manager can’t use the buzzwords of our consumer counterparts.
Your ERP does NOT need Foursquare integration for your company to be “sexy.” For the love of all that is good and holy – how did being the “mayor” of a dive bar get to be sexier than landing a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR DEAL?
But DEMO’s enterprise demonstrators didn’t cave to the tendency to make fun of their work. They were proud of what they had built and they had no intentions to apologize for building something that actually had a business model.
A few of my favorites were Profitably, eM Client, PublicStuff and meeting-Expert (which was a unique AlphaPitch company). There was a heavy focus on efficiency and productivity across these demonstrators – and that was particularly nice to see. I think it hits home with end-users in the business. And it’s a reminder that emerging enterprise vendors are well aware of the fact that real, living, breathing human beings use their products every day.
If the strength of the enterprise segment at DEMO is any indication, and if the recent burst of enthusiasm in the space is any indication, then Austin is holding a very nice hand of cards.
Though we already knew that…