Last week, atmail team members Jason Brown (Solutions Architect), Jackson Spender (Account Manager) and Dan Viney (Director, Innovation) travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada, to attend the September WorldHostingDays (WHD) United States conference.
WorldHostingDays is a global event series for the cloud services and internet infrastructure industries, that started in 2003 and now spans the United States, Germany, Singapore, Russia, India and China.
Jason Brown reports…
“WHD provides a space for leaders in the hosting industry to showcase their technology and ideas. It provides those needing cloud and hosted services a chance to gather the information they need to make conscious decisions in a more concentrated environment, where they can get questions answered and come back after their answers have sparked more questions.
For atmail, it is a opportunity to connect with our users and partners, and as a global company, it allows us to connect with team members we might normally only see on Skype. We get to sit down face to face as a team and listen to our users and/or partners, as well as help them to understand and implement the best solution possible for their needs. It also affords us the chance to learn from each other and gather a deeper understanding of where we all fit and how we can all help each other maximise our potential.
All of this knowledge gathered together in one place for two full days of learning and networking, is what makes these events a success for us and it is why we attend.
There were a number of themes this year at the WorldHostingDays USA conference in Las Vegas. End users, business owners looking for services to deploy and business owners looking to distribute services from around the globe, gathered together to connect and collaborate in this oasis of bright lights and non stop action in the middle of the Nevada desert.
There were major discussions of equality in the workplace and how companies in the long run will save money by embracing a diverse environment. This is the same “stickiness” we strive for in our customer base and our website optimisation just as easily translates to the people we charge with these tasks and how they decide they want to carry out their day to day duties within the company.
The role of the IT person in your company may be changing and it may not even be an IT person at all. Who has the best organizational skills? Who takes the best pictures? This might be the person the company decides to rework their web presence. With so many new tools out there today that allow anyone that can click through a few menus in an online application and drag a few pictures onto the page to create a website that looks up to the task, how do providers in the industry change their market strategies? How do you market something to someone that is an unknown? What do we need to look for in how we communicate with the new group of people that are coming into the industry as employees and entrepreneurs alike that have spent their entire lives communicating with each other nearly exclusively online? How and where do we break away from fuzzy lines of communicating in memes? With friends? With work colleagues? These are some of the questions being asked in the industry and prompted some pretty interesting discussions outside of the break out sessions, in the hallways and at the tables over lunch.
Why do we use the same icons as the image for security in different systems when they mean different things within these systems? The padlock in your browsers search bar means you are communicating on a secured channel (HTTPS), a broken or unlocked padlock means you are communicating in plain text and not secure (HTTP). While this same padlock symbol in your email client means the connection to the system is secure, the unlocked or broken lock can mean that the connection to your email system is not secure, or it could mean that you’ve received an email from someone who’s email system isn’t able to communicate to your email system in a secure manner. The over arching intent of this may be solid, if it’s locked, it’s safe, if it’s not, it may not be safe. Regardless of the intent, it’s these kinds of discussions that make attending something like the WHD USA conference so important. If we as an industry are not out there actively communicating with each other to help bring these issues to light and into the conversation, how would they have a chance of getting resolved if that is in fact the desired outcome?”
All credit goes to Jason Brown for these awesome black and white images from Vegas…
Jackson Spender at yourmail booth, WHD Vegas, photo by atmail’s Jason Brown
Goodbye Las Vegas! by atmail’s Jason Brown