Brian McKeiver's Blog

Cloud Power GR 2013 Wrap Up

I’m happy to report that the Cloud Power GR event went off without a hitch this past week. We had a pretty decent turnout, although the unexpected snow storm that morning did not help attendance wise. The event was hosted this past Tuesday at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids MI.

Cloud Power GR 2013 featured six different presentations on a wide variety of technical and non-technical aspects of how cloud computing can help businesses reduce IT cost and increase productivity. The morning started off with the audience hearing about trends and changes to Microsoft’s Cloud platform and service offerings from Paul Schenkel. Paul challenged the audience to think how they could leverage cloud services to meet their infrastructure needs.

The next two sessions were from the team at NVINT, a premier cloud hosting company located here in West Michigan that specializes in Hosted Exchange, Hosted Lync, and Cloud DPM solutions. The first of the two sessions explored at a detailed level what technologies power the cloud and how platforms like Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V can be used to deploy an on premise private cloud if needed. The next session centered around how using Lync can be used to simply communication and collaboration across the world or just with someone in the next room over.


Kentico EMS presentation by BizStream


After a quick break, myself and Adam Reece from my company, BizStream, spoke on how using cloud based applications could transform the way an organization interacts with its customer base, as well as, boost its own employee’s productivity.

In my own presentation I showed how an organization can use Kentico EMS to take its website to the next level. By using Kentico EMS as a platform, organizations can provide a better customer experience to their website visitors via advanced marketing features like content personalization and marketing automation. I ran the audience through how the platform can also score leads and follow the different activities that website visitors take throughout the site to qualify how valuable a website visitor can really be. I finished up by walking through a few case studies that of projects that BizStream has completed with Kentico EMS and got a few “oohs and ahhs” from the crowd.

Adam Reece presented last. He outlined different cloud based solutions that any sized organization can use to save time and money. Adam definitely got the most laughs of the day when he illustrated how often he uses and shares his todo list with his wife via a cloud based todo list application.

The event ended with a few giveaways. We raffled off a Kentico CMS Ultimate license, Xbox 360, and Nexus 7 tablet. The winners were quite pleased.

Thank you to all the great people who helped make the event possible at Microsoft, Kentico, NVINT, and BizStream. I think overall it was a great success. Who knows maybe next year we will have an 80 degree day instead of 20 degrees and snow. You just have to love Michigan weather patterns. If you are reading this I hope to see you next year at the event.