Wednesday, 19 November 2014 05:54

SUSE attempts a keynote with a difference Featured

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Keynotes at major company technology conferences can at times be the most boring part of the event, often turning out to be little more than a back-slapping exercise, where the chiefs preach to the converted.

With SUSE Linux, things turned out a bit different, the company adopting the format of a talk show on Tuesday morning, with the talented and ebullient Michael Miller, the company's global marketing and alliances manager, playing the role of host at SUSECon 2014, the company's third annual conference, being held in Orlando, Florida, this week.

Miller had things down pat, to the routine of throwing his cue cards away a la David Letterman and having a sound effect boom through the room when they hit the ground.

Miller took company president and general manager Nils Brauckmann through the routine with a few questions, and also had the chief of Micro Focus, Kevin Loosemore, the new head of all the old Attachmate assets, up for a brief Q and A. (Pic above shows Brauckmann, Loosemore and Miller on stage)

The material that Miller had to play with was not particularly different in substance from that which would have normally emanated from Brauckmann or Loosemore had they done the keynotes in regulation style. But the new format did enliven things a bit, with there being some expectation that Miller would try to be as adventurous as some American talk show hosts are.

The cross-cultural nature of SUSE was never more in evidence than when Loosemore, Brauckmann and Miller were all on stage, British, German and American accents strongly in evidence. It helped to project the company as an international one as nothing ever has.

Miller also had called on guests from major sponsors HP and SAP and later invited tech people from major SUSE users Hong Kong Jockey Club, Lockheed Martin and TeleSys of Germany, to talk about how Linux has helped their respective businesses.

The only minus point in the whole thing was that Miller went over time. But then it was the first time he was playing Letterman. And there's no harder act to emulate than that of the veteran of the American talk show circuit.

Disclosure: The writer is attending SUSECon in Orlando, Florida, as a guest of SUSE.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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