Steve Papa said it takes having a different viewpoint and the persistence to turn a bad idea into a good idea. Andy Ory said it takes choosing the right market and problem to solve in the first place. Ash Ashutosh said that fast is the new big.
The translation from these successful serial entrepreneurs: building an enterprise-tech startup is hard work, but there has never been more opportunity than now.
At Xconomy’s Enterprise Tech Strikes Back conference this week, we heard from a star-studded lineup of founders and executives in areas such as data storage and management, cybersecurity, networking, telecom, and cloud. Those are traditional-sounding fields that are getting a makeover as emerging startups challenge big vendors like Oracle, IBM, HP, and (of course) EMC-Dell.
Huge thanks to our hosts, the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology; our gold sponsor, Cantina; and our silver sponsors, EMC and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Thanks also to Keith Spiro Photography for the pictures above.
Here are five takeaways from the conference:
1. Boston has major strengths in enterprise tech—but needs to do more. Actifio’s Ashutosh said the East Coast accounts for some 40 percent of all enterprise IT. Plexxi’s Rich Napolitano, a longtime EMC executive, said “we need a better ecosystem here”—meaning more collaboration and mentorship in the enterprise-tech community.
2. The IT market is up for grabs. Whether you’re talking about primary data storage, backup, cloud networking, or wireless networks, no traditional vendor is safe. There’s just too much pressure from lower-cost, flexible architectures, and too many options for big companies when it comes to their infrastructure needs. “This is that weird moment where nobody owns it,” ClearSky Data’s Ellen Rubin said.