Even in a world filled with voice messages, text messages, instant messages, webinars, podcasts, webcasts, videocasts and all manner of gadgetry designed to make communication more efficient, there’s still no substitute for a spirited live Q&A session or an animated conversation with friends and colleagues over dinner. Maybe that helps explain why—after more than 20 years—more than 5,000 people continue to descend enthusiastically on the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City every March for Novell BrainShare.
Or maybe this annual pilgrimage has more to do with the fact that during its long, rich history, BrainShare has built a reputation as one of the world’s premiere technology conferences. And for Novell customers and partners, it offers something no other event can. This reputation starts with the core essentials that define any good conference: dynamic general sessions, informative technical breakout sessions, engaging hands-on technology labs, a strong partner presence and plenty of great parties and concerts.
But somehow, BrainShare has become more than the sum of these tangible parts. It has developed its own distinctive culture, a unique personality that has grown and evolved organically over two decades. It provides a distinctive environment for learning, sharing and networking that directly reflects the quality of the people who participate. And every year, BrainShare somehow manages to embrace the best elements of its rich heritage, add plenty of interesting new twists and send thousands of attendees back home with fond memories and new tools and ideas for improving their businesses.
BrainShare 2008 is no exception. If you’ve attended BrainShare before, you’ll find all the familiar things you love most about the conference along with plenty of new activities to keep things fresh and interesting. And if you’re thinking about attending BrainShare for the first time, be prepared for the unique blend of great information, face-to-face networking, fun parties and a distinctive culture BrainShare has perfected during the past 20 years.
> BrainShare: The 2008 Edition
At BrainShare 2008, you’ll notice many intriguing changes and improvements. It starts before the conference even begins—with a new and improved Web site that will make it easier for you to register for breakout sessions, plan your stay and prepare yourself for an amazing week in Salt Lake City. This includes a new interactive tool, called BrainShareConnect, that brings information, social networking and online community features together like never before.
BrainShare 2008 Basics
Conference Dates: March 16-21, 2008
- Location: Salt Lake City Convention Center
- Early Bird Registration ($1,695): November 1, 2007 through February 15, 2008
- Full-Price Registration ($1,895): February 16 through March 21, 2008
- Visit novell.com/brainshare to register now
After you register, you’ll be able to interact and connect with other attendees, Novell partners and conference content based on mutual interests and similar profiles. This expanded ability to find and connect with like-minded people and relevant information will broaden and enrich every aspect of your BrainShare experience. And of course, after you register, you can use your new BrainShare e-mail account to communicate with other attendees and receive the latest conference news.
BrainShare 2008 is also offering some new incentives to encourage you to sign up early. If you register before February 15, 2008, you’ll receive a $200 Early Bird discount. And if you register before December 31, 2007, you’ll receive an exclusive all-weather jacket to go with that discount. Registration opened on November 1, so make sure you sign up early to take advantage of all these new prizes and savings.
After you arrive in Salt Lake City, you’ll notice that all of our top sessions tie into the four new Novell business units: Open Platform Solutions, Identity & Security Management Solutions, Workgroup Solutions and Systems & Resource Management Solutions. This is much more than a simple cosmetic change. By placing breakout session content in the context of Novell’s new organizational structure, you’ll get a better sense for how products and solutions fit into the company’s larger business strategy.
The 2008 edition of BrainShare is also putting an interesting new twist on the traditional “Meet the Experts” event on Thursday night, March 20th. This year, Novell’s “Distinguished Engineers” will join us as special guests. This will give you a unique opportunity to mingle and interact with the highest-level scientists and engineers at Novell. These are the people directly responsible for the design and direction of Novell products, and you’ll have the chance to share your thoughts and ideas, ask questions, and gain new insights into how Novell can help your organization now and in the future. Get to know them now at novell.com/company/bios/des.html.
Finally, Novell is making it even easier to get great food at BrainShare—with an all-new Snack Shack located right in the middle of the PartnerNet Showcase. Just follow the smell of mouthwatering snacks as you check out all the great solutions from Novell partners—and then pick up some food for your next breakout session.
> Something for Everyone
We promise you won’t get bored at BrainShare 2008. From high-powered general sessions and compelling breakouts to the PartnerNet Showcase and the Novell Technology Lab, BrainShare 2008 offers content and activities for everyone. Here’s only some of what you can expect:
There’s a special kind of energy that comes from packing more than 5,000 people into one room and presenting them with dynamic speakers, cutting edge demos and entertaining video segments. BrainShare general sessions are the best place to learn what Novell has planned for the coming year, gain fresh insights into Novell’s strategic direction and industry trends and get a first look at the very latest Novell technology. NOTE: This year, the closing Friday keynote (together with the grand prize giveaways) will take place from 1:00-2:45 p.m.—instead of starting at the traditional 9:00 a.m. This will give you the chance to catch a few final breakout sessions in the morning, grab a bite to eat, and then close the conference with a great keynote featuring some of the new technology we’re cooking up in our development labs. Please make sure you schedule your travel to accommodate this later starting time.
BrainShare 2008 will feature more than 200 technical breakout sessions and tutorials. Check the “More Sessions, Better Content” section of this article for session highlights and details and get ready to pack your brain full of useful information. (See BrainShare Breakout Highlights for more details.)
Novell solutions certainly don’t work in a vacuum, and BrainShare is the best place to see how hardware and software from other technology companies works with and complements Novell technologies. This year, BrainShare will showcase joint solutions from Novell and some of the biggest, most recognized names in the industry. The Novell PartnerNet Showcase makes it easy to see Novell partner solutions in action. The traditional Tuesday night Partner party gives you the opportunity to interact with partners in a fun, informal setting. And of course, the all-new Novell Snack Shack gives you one more great reason to stop by and investigate.
BrainShare Gets Its Groove On
After all the sessions, workshops and meetings close down for the day, BrainShare shifts into party mode—with great activities planned for every evening. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect after hours at BrainShare 2008:
Sunday: Welcome Reception
Kick BrainShare 2008 off on the right note by attending this casual opening event. You’ll find plenty of good food, free drinks and great company in a fun, relaxing atmosphere.
Monday: Night on the Town
Take advantage of this free night to watch a Utah Jazz basketball game, do some shopping, explore downtown Salt Lake City or stop by one (or more) of the many smaller sponsor parties taking place. But you’ll have to find out all the details about those parties from them.
Tuesday: Party with the Partners
Join us as we convert the PartnerNet Showcase hall into a giant party—complete with food, drinks, partner-sponsored presentations and activities, and plenty of great conversation.
Wednesday: BrainShare Concert
BrainShare moves to the Energy Solutions Arena (formerly known as the Delta Center) for an exclusive concert featuring a popular comedian and the post-grunge rock quintet Collective Soul. So get ready to laugh until your eyes water, rock out and probably even sing along. (We defy any mere mortal to resist joining in on the chorus of “Shine.”)
Thursday: Meet the Experts
This final and ever-popular BrainShare bash gives you a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with top Novell scientists, engineers and product experts in a fun, intimate setting. For the first time in 2008, this gathering will feature Novell’s Distinguished Engineers. Join, so don’t miss the chance to join this elite group and other experts from Novell technologies who are on hand for panel discussions and in-depth one-on-one conversations.
Novell Hot Spot
The Novell Hot Spot provides a comfortable refuge in the middle of BrainShare where you can go to relax between sessions while you grab a cup of coffee, shop for Novell merchandise, take advantage of free wireless Internet access and even play a quick game of pool.
At BrainShare, there’s no such thing as a quiet evening in—unless you really really want it. Nights are filled with fun after-hours events and activities that provide the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and socialize. (See BrainShare Gets Its Groove On for details.)
Seven Great Business Reasons to Attend BrainShare 2008
- Create Freedom of Choice
Explore the benefits and advantages of Linux—the fastest growing operating system in the industry. You’ll learn how you can use Linux to free your business from proprietary solutions and expensive vendor "lock-in," take advantage of less expensive hardware platforms, increase system uptime and optimize your investments in people and IT resources.
- Save Money
Learn how Novell solutions can help you consolidate your network, optimize your infrastructure and lower costs now and over the long term.
- Discover New Technologies and Solutions
Join active discussions about the hottest new Novell technology and services. You’ll hear about what’s coming next directly from top Novell executives and the company’s leading engineers and developers.
- Sharpen Your Skills
Take advantage of dozens of hands-on training sessions, workshops and labs to improve your skills and work toward valuable certification credentials.
- Network with Peers and Build Relationships
Exchange ideas and information with other IT professionals and industry leaders, participate in like-minded discussions, visit with key Novell partners and take advantage of BrainShare’s warm, relaxed collaborative environment.
- Secure Your Enterprise
Learn how identity and security management solutions from Novell can help you comply with regulations, form more productive relationships with your customers and partners and secure your critical business information.
- Double Your Money
Sign up early to attend the ATT courses (Advanced Technical Training) offered at BrainShare. These are intensive hands-on courses Novell runs throughout the world. The normal cost of attending these courses will double your money at BrainShare because admission to these is included in your regular BrainShare registration fee.
> The Technical Conference that Makes Good Business Sense
BrainShare has always made good business sense. This year, the list of convincing business reasons for attending BrainShare is longer than ever before. At BrainShare 2008, you’ll have even more opportunities to exchange ideas with other IT professionals and industry leaders, take advantage of hands-on, collaborative training opportunities and participate in discussions that bring people with similar industries or job responsibilities together to share experiences and information. In addition to the regular hands-on breakout sessions, you can also take advantage of the intensive hands-on training offered in the ATT courses, the cost of which is included in your normal BrainShare registration fee. BrainShare offers you important opportunities to sharpen your skills, with an impressive variety of hands-on training, in-depth technical workshops and certification courses.
> An Unbeatable Value
BrainShare is informative, fun and a great place to network. It also represents one of the best conference values you’ll find anywhere. For the Early Bird registration price of US$1,695, you gain full access to more than 200 breakout sessions, an impressive technology lab and a large exhibit hall packed full of solutions from Novell partners. You also get a full breakfast and lunch every day, plenty of great food in the evenings, amazing entertainment and much more. Monday night is host to several PartnerNet parties, but these are not sponsored by Novell, so check with them for more details.
> Register Today
All the pieces are in place to make 2008 the best BrainShare ever. Your Early $200 Bird discount and new jacket are waiting, so visit novell.com/brainshare and register today.
BrainShare Breakout Highlights:
More Sessions. Better Content.
Informative technical breakout sessions have always been a defining feature of BrainShare, and 2008 is no exception. With more than 200 sessions, you’ll have more in-depth, relevant content to choose from than ever before. Here are a few of the top sessions from each business unit you may want to check out:
> Open Platform Solutions
SUSE Linux Enterprise Roadmaps: Explore the latest roadmap for SUSE Linux Enterprise-based products, including upcoming Service Packs and the new features and functions planned for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.
Virtualization Sessions: This year, BrainShare is offering more virtualization content than ever before. Attend these sessions to learn how SUSE Linux Enterprise 10’s fully integrated and supported version of Xen hypervisor—together with paravirtualized drivers in the new SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack—can unlock the power of virtualization in your organization.
Choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z as an Enterprise Virtualization Platform: Find out how SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z, running on IBM System z servers, can act as a low-cost server consolidation platform and help you solve critical data center problems.
Linux-Windows Interoperability: Learn how Novell and Microsoft are bridging the worlds of proprietary and open source technology by delivering interoperability in the areas of virtualization, directory and identity, systems management, document format and more.
A winning combination: SAP and SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell: Explore the benefits of running SAP on SUSE Linux Enterprise and learn exactly why SAP recommends SUSE Linux as the preferred platform for businesses that want to run SAP on Linux.
SUSE Linux Enterprise and the Novell Partner Ecosystem: Find out how more than 5,000 partners and more than 2,100 certified SUSE Linux Enterprise products can enhance and improve the critical business applications you run on SUSE Linux Enterprise.
Migrating from Windows to the Linux Desktop: Learn how businesses are deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop today, review the latest product advances and discuss practical migration strategies.
> System and Resource Management
Top 5 Strategic Benefits of ZENworks Configuration Management in an ITIL World: ITIL has become the de facto international management standard for IT departments. Find out how ZENworks Configuration Management can help your organization meet ITIL standards quickly and inexpensively.
Advanced reporting in ZENworks Asset Management: Learn how ZENworks Asset Management’s advanced reporting capabilities can help you improve visibility and manage the lifecycle of all your IT assets more effectively.
ZENworks Configuration Management Design and Best Practices: If you’re planning to implement ZENworks Configuration Management, don’t miss this chance to discuss best practices and design tips with leading Novell experts.
Software Asset Management Best Practices: Designing and deploying an effective, comprehensive asset management solution can be a complex undertaking. Attend this session to find out how you can use ZENworks Asset Management to bring your organization in line with best practices.
Endpoint Security Management—What you don’t know will cost you: Find out how ZENworks Endpoint Security Management can help you simplify endpoint security by unifying “point” security products under a single management console.
> Identity and Security Management
Identity and Security Management Best Practices—A Consultant’s story: Listen to an experienced consultant describe his real-world experiences with identity and security management best practices.
How to Solve Security and Access Needs with Novell’s Identity Fabric: Explore new ideas for using Novell’s extensive family of identityrelated solutions to strengthen your security posture and resolve your access management challenges.
Achieve Compliance with Automated Risk Management: Find out how you can combine Novell security and identity management products to automate risk management across your organization. Using Active Directory as the Foundation for Security and Access Control: Learn how Microsoft Active Directory and Novell security and access management solutions can work together to provide comprehensive security and access management solutions.
Compliance Best Practices and Lessons Learned: Explore the firsthand experiences of front-line experts as they have worked to bring their organizations into compliance with security and access management standards and regulations.
ROI Study—Identity, Access and Security Management: Learn about the real, concrete ROI numbers that support the business case for comprehensive identity, access and security management solutions.
Provide Security and Flexibility with Novell Identity Manager Provisioning and Role Modules: Find out how Novell Identity Manager’s unique provisioning and role-based management capabilities can add security and flexibility to your IT infrastructure.
Virtual Reality—Running NetWare Virtualized on Open Enterprise Server 2: Find out how the virtualization capabilities of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 can help you take advantage of the ever-expanding hardware support for Linux, while preserving your NetWaredependent applications and skill sets.
“Micro”(soft) Management—Domain Services for Windows: Attend this session to explore how customers are deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, see the latest product advances and learn how you can take your first steps toward migration today.
Novell Teaming + Conferencing Technical Deep Dive: Enterprise social networking and Web 2.0 technologies are changing the way users collaborate. Attend this session to learn more about the technical capabilities of open collaboration solutions such as Novell Teaming and Novell Teaming + Conferencing.
Bonsai—Performance and Productivity: You’ve heard a lot about the upcoming release of GroupWise, code named Bonsai. Attend this session to take a tour of the new GroupWise Windows, WebAccess, Linux and Mac clients and explore the latest GroupWise features.
Productivity and Profit for Your Small Business: Find out how the Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition combines the benefits of Linux and open source with a business support ecosystem to make small businesses more productive at a price point up to 80 percent less than competing alternatives.
The Best of Both Worlds: Integrating GroupWise with Novell Teaming + Conferencing: Learn how Novell is integrating the individual productivity features in GroupWise with the team productivity capabilities of Teaming + Conferencing to add innovative new team workspace, social networking and real-time collaboration capabilities.