Despite the slightly fuzzy head after a brilliant Synergy Party at Opium last night, I thoroughly enjoyed the Super Session with our CTO’s this morning.  It covered collaboration, cloud and mobility.

Bernd Christiansen, VP and CTO, kicked off the session by focussing on collaboration.  He explained how collaborating is not just changing how we work but also the roles people have.  For example, many job roles today didn’t exist as little as 5 years ago.  Looking at our Innovation Award winners we see a great example in Mike Dituro’s title – global head of productivity and collaboration.

Bernd’s explained that the shift to ubiquitous collaboration, not unified communication, marks the drive towards a more people centric, support mobility, social, integrated and simple approach.

As people work and play from anywhere, the GoToMeeting app allows us to collaborate on the road.  Bernd highlighted how new types of social business networks must interface with apps you already use such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

The advent of mobile computing was only emphasised with Bernd some facts about Mixi, a consumer facing social network in Japan.  In 2006 83% accessed the site through desktops but today, 84% do so by mobile!

Sheng Liang, CTO, cloud platforms and founder of Cloud.com took over the session and highlighted how one of the biggest challenges for cloud is developing applications that can be scalable.

Enterprise applications are difficult to scope, complex and require costly disaster recovery.  Within the cloud, availability zones are loosely coupled by design.  Architect and design is vital to take advantage of the cloud.

Bechtel, Innovation Award winners, was one of the early customers of cloud.com. Bechtel compared how they were running their infrastructure to Google, Twitter, Amazon and found theirs was 10x more expensive and it wasn’t supporting the right level of agility to power the business.  As a result, they embraced Cloud.com’s vision.  Shifting from a traditional enterprise approach to the ‘cloudification’ of its infrastructure.

Sheng believes we are breaking the barriers of cloud transition in the following ways:

  • Apps are being adapted to suit the cloud
  • Security and privacy concerns with the public cloud have been a driver for private cloud adoption
  • Software vendors continue to adapt licensing models
  • Process and organisations changes are embracing cloud to make IT and internal operations better

Finally, Martin Duursma, VP Citrix labs and CTO office chair, finished off the session with mobility.

Work the way you want from any location, anytime, on any device is driving change within the mobile industry.  Vertical integrated stacks from key players are enabling more control over the user experience.  Apple has the hardware, apps, back end but make their money on the hardware piece mainly.  Amazon – announced Kindle 5, competitive pricing because they monetise at the back end with what is bought online.

Martin sees the main five vertical stacks by RIM, Apple, Microsoft, Android, Amazon – and, of course, Citrix Receiver works across all of them!

Also, XenApp 6.5 Mobility Pack has launched with an improved native mobile user experience to harness new capabilities of smartphones and tablets within enterprise apps.

Overall, I thought the Super Session was a good follow up to Mark’s keynote yesterday.