3rd Annual SaaS and Cloud Computing Conference at UNCC.

On Wednesday, April 27th 2011, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte held its third annual Software as a Service and Cloud Computing Conference.  Having also attended the first two conferences I was interested in seeing how the event has evolved.  The sessions offered a broad array of experts sharing knowledge and experience with an audience comprised primarily of IT professionals with a number of eager students soaking up the wisdom.

A twin session kicked off the conference led by Katelyn McCarthy, a Google evangelist, who took the audience through Google's latest initiatives including the exciting plans for the imminent release of the Chrome Notebook which will run the Chrome operating system and Chrome browser and provide access to Gmail and Google Docs in the cloud for $30/month.  With its small lightweight form factor and no moving parts as well as not requiring applications to be installed on it, it has a lot of appeal.  Think about it...You don't have to worry about installing and maintaining new versions of apps and continually adding security updates.  The applications and your data is securely managed and backed up in the cloud.   Whenever there is a new release of an app, it simply appears when you hit the refresh button or navigate to a new page.  There are no security updates to worry about and apply to your local machine.  To share a document you simply grant access to it for the appropriate individual.  The device is bound to impact PC and Microsoft Office sales.  

The second half of the session was delivered by Russ Young with LTech, a Google partner and Google Docs integration services provider.  Russ works with companies who are migrating from Microsoft Office and Exchange to Google Docs in the cloud.  Both presenters used the Chrome notebook to deliver the slides for their presentations from the cloud, but Russ actually prefers the Google Slate tablet to the notebook because of its smaller form factor and touch screen control - great for all the traveling he does.

The session left little doubt that our business documents are headed for the cloud.  The simplicity of that environment plus the economics are simply overwhelming.

To learn about cloud-based business document management visit Digital Designs' website at  www.ddilink.com.

Until next time,

John Queen