Hashtag Team: What’s trending in a busy week of tech conferences

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This week, B2B News Network recaps highlights from an unusually busy week in tech conferences and conventions. From the annual SAP-sponsored SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando to Microsoft’s Ignite to the Internet of Things-centric LiveWorx and more, we zero in on highlights from this week’s bumper crop of industry-leading events.

As always, we tip our hat to Nexalogy for helping us sift through the many social media posts this week to find the hottest tweets surrounding these conferences.

SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW/ASUG conference in Orlando, Florida, billed as “the ultimate opportunity to maximize your SAP investment and find solutions to your most pressing business challenges,” focused heavily on the global enterprise software leader’s new “run simple” mantra. It’s known as a roadmap for B2B transformation in simplifying the way companies do business in an increasingly complex and technologically dependent world.

SAPPHIRE NOW featured a performance by award-winning artist and actress Jennifer Lopez, as well as keynote addresses by industry thought leaders including Concur CEO and SAP global managing board member Steve Singh, who shared insights on why real progress means re-imagining how businesses should operate—in a nutshell, simplicity is the key to driving maximum usability.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Ignite, described as “the most comprehensive Microsoft technology event,” served as a showcase for the computing giant’s latest and greatest innovations. Ignite invited participants to re-imagine IT as “innovation and transformation,” and to that end, the company unveiled what it called a new range of products and services to assist Internet technology professionals as they lead their respective companies in the new era of enterprise computing.

Live at the MS Ignite keynote address on May 4, 2015
Live at the MS Ignite keynote address on May 4, 2015

On display were the next generation of Windows management, Microsoft Office, hybrid cloud structure and SQL server. But no major IT conference would be complete without the obligatory celebrity appearance: in this case award-winning rapper Common waxed poetic about innovation.

Halfway across the county in Boston, industry pioneers gathered at the annual LiveWorx conference, where the Internet of Things (IoT) was the core focus. Industry leaders, with standouts such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, shared their real-world IoT success stories and groundbreaking demonstrations of the latest IoT technology.

Harvard Business School alum and Bishop William Lawrence University Professor Michael E. Porter delivered one of the conference’s standout keynote addresses, asserting the need for productivity growth as a driver of overall economic expansion, which in turn acts as a stimulus for job creation and wage growth.

A deeper examination of the Internet of Things, ThingWorx, part of LiveWorx, offered keen insight into IoT ecosystems, particularly how ThingWorx, the first software platform designed to build and run the applications of a connected world, reduces time, cost, and risk associated with creating innovative IoT applications. Justin Ho and his team won first place, as judged by Wozniak himself, in an IoT hackathon:

we took first place! judged by #Wozniak himself #liveworx #thingworx #IoT #apple #hackathon #mit

A photo posted by Justin Ho (@mrchess) on

In New York, TechCrunch Disrupt featured a diverse range of speakers and presentations, including a fireside chat with controversial New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose vision for a progressive transformation of New York and the United States stresses the importance of connectivity for the most vulnerable segments of the population. Other luminaries participating in fireside chats included former HP CEO and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who appealed to voters from both sides of the political aisle by asserting that she wants citizens to use tech to vote for more than just the next “American Idol.”

Fiorina also raised eyebrows and ire by claiming that 85-95 percent of all online activity is “superficial and useless”:

But a TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY 2015 event wouldn’t be complete without a winning startup being given the award so many companies vied for this week. The winner of NY Disrupt was Liquidity, which builds a high-quality bacteria-filtration water bottle, ideal for Third World countries:

Finally, Collision, which describes itself as “a grand conclave of tech’s high priests,” convened in sunny Las Vegas, a conference that’s a self-described “meeting place for people who are both building the companies of tomorrow and managing the companies of today.”

Among the conference’s speakers, security was one of the most recurrent themes, with KPMG national tax leader Francois Chadwick stressing that “startups need to think about security to protect their IP and customers.”

Did you catch last week’s Hashtag Team column by Sarah Dawley? Check it out here.

Main photo via TechCrunch on Flickr

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.
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