So we just wrapped up WFD6 in the Silicon Valley. Our merry band of delegates met with AIrTight, Aruba, Xirrus, Extreme, and Cloudpath. There’s a lot to talk about here for each vendor, but that’s not what this post is about. We’ll get to the analysis on how each vendor did and react to their announcements, but there are other tales to tell first.
What I Saw On My Way West
Coming from Syracuse, NY to WFD6, I was routed through Philadelphia and Dallas to my final stop in San Jose. Along the way, what I have become accustomed to in my job as Network Architect and supporter of many network things at Syracuse University was re-affirmed out in the big wide world; people love their mobility. In the airports and in-flight, I have never seen so many mobile devices. The occasional laptop, lots of Nexus tablets and iPads, the occasional reader and off-brand tablet, and smartphones. Everybody is toting some device, from kids in diapers to many elderly people. I saw those that were clearly doing business on their devices, those being entertained, and others that just glance at their device frequently because they’ve made it a habit. I saw many, many more devices on this trip than even on recent trips west just last fall.
The Crew. My Homies. These Delegate People.
What an absolute Cast of Characters. It’s a blessing to be able to get together with like-minded professionals that live all over the country (and the world) that you haven’t seen in months or years and take up with them right where you left off. The humor flows, but make no mistake- this group is also pretty damn tech saavy and I’m privileged to have run with them on this outing. We picked “the new guys” well, to boot. If you ever get a chance to interact with Evert, Richard, or German, you’ll be glad you did- true gentlemen that are easy to spend time with, and that you want to stay in touch with.
Us Regular Folk Are Spoiled
It’s easy for us in the US and other developed countries to be so accustomed to fast, reliable connectivity that we forget to even be impressed any more. We often take for granted 20 Mbps cable modem connections to the home and even faster 4G mobile service. But then you get a chance to hear Evert Bopp from Disaster Tech Lab and Germán Capdehourat from Plan Ceibal talk about different worlds where things aren’t nearly so fast or reliable, and it re-grounds you and reminds us of how good we really have it for Internet connectivity. Watch the videos linked from the Wireless Field Day 6 page if you haven’t seen them yet- you’ll be glad you did.
It’s a Small Wireless Community
As a (mostly) outsider to the WLAN industry, I get a bit of a charge every time I come to the Silicon Valley. So many bigtime WLAN and tech companies in a fairly small area, all competing for the same customers, partnerships, and employees. This was my third Wireless Field Day in roughly a year, and I’m a bit taken aback by the number of staff that have moved around to other companies, acquisitions that change the look and feel of our beloved WLAN vendors, and just how many of those vendors are now rubbing elbows in the cloud with the long-time Cloud Incumbents. Don’t blink, things around here change pretty fast.
With all of that off my chest, I can get down to the business of writing up what I heard, saw, and learned from our WFD sponsors. Each has their own stories, but are also just a part of what makes Wireless Field Day pretty incredible. Stay tuned for more about Wireless Field Day 6.