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Website reveals HP Discover 2012 sessions

HP and the user group Connect announced the opening of registrations for the world's largest annual Hewlett-Packard conference and expo. HP Discover 2012 is scheduled for the first week of June in Las Vegas. The meeting revolves around all things enterprise and HP, so it can be a mecca for migration training and information, and some instruction.

DiscoverSearchResultsConnect and HP have improved a customer's ability to scout the schedule for the three days of talks and training. A search engine helps to discover sessions that are organized by tracks, subtracks, customer challenges addressed -- even type of presenter. That last search element yields a surprise today.

"At HP Discover we will have sessions presented by people with a variety of different backgrounds: Analysts, Customers/Clients, HP Employees, Partners and Sponsors," the website explains.

A total of five sessions are listed as being presented by customers or clients. Three talks on using and supporting cloud computing, plus one each on "an effective IT support contract" to minimize downtime, as well as IT energy management. Even back in the days six conferences ago in 2005, the content of the conference as well as attendance wore a heavy HP coat. The vendor is giving its partners even fewer chances for partners to engage customers in talks, too. A total of four pop up in today's Discover search engine. No talks are scheduled from analysts or sponsors.

I'd never again suggest that HP has too large a presence at a conference now called HP Discover. And some of the best technical sessions I've ever seen at an IT conference have been delivered by HP engineers right out of the labs. Mark Bixby is the first software engineer who comes to mind, giving a presentation on how to make great use of Perl on the HP 3000. (Yup, that's a PowerPoint slide link.)

But Bixby arrived in HP's labs after years of administering a customer site in a California college system. You don't need customer experience to deliver a meaningful and instructive session. But it helps to know what it's like to sit in the audience, wondering what you can take back to the jobsite to show value for the travel expenses.

In my experience sitting alongside those managers, the in-person bonus of hearing any talk live is the interaction that happens at the end. Questions and answers are much harder to share over a webpage. There are 165 HP sessions on the HP Discover schedule of 2012. A session like BB2125, "We know how much your applications cost to run. Do you?" -- that's got a sort of teach-y tone to it. Maybe the questions at the end will deliver some less-practiced but fully-useful answers.

You might want to schedule a healthy slice of time for the vendor expo area to create an interactive experience at HP Discover. There are some interesting gems among what the HP organizers describe as an 800-session conference. The abstract for "BYOD (Bring your own Device) – how to meet demands for streamlined client virtualization implementation" reads

In this session you will learn the trends in client virtualization, the architectures to consider, new solutions and services that you can leverage to reduce the complexity of planning, architecting and supporting client virtualization. We will cover organizational and technical considerations as well as best practices to reduce the time from architecture to deployment by 50 percent or more.

The conference has an official feel to its registration today. Policies on refunds are explicit so there's no confusion. But I don't recall language that reminds a manager HP can cancel a registration to a conference, even if it's had HP in the name of the show.

No HP Discover 2012 registration cancellations will be processed after 15 May, 2012. User Group memberships are not refundable. HP reserves the right to cancel an attendee's registration, conference price paid will be fully refunded.

It's $1,795 to attend HP Discover 2012 as an individual, but the Connect user group rate is $1,495. The price includes "all general sessions, breakout sessions, hands-on labs,certification testing, HP Discover Zone, track keynotes, one-to-one meetings with HP experts, demos, scheduled meals, conference receptions, and evening entertainment." Registration is active online today.