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August 14, 2017

Microsoft, Apple, Salesforce, AWS, Oracle – Must see tech conferences to add to your diary

These are the conferences where the big announcements are being made - you can't miss them.

By James Nunns

There’s a theory in the tech industry that everything shuts down in the summer months. Execs go off on holiday, and all projects are mothballed until employees are back form a well-earned break.

That’s not entirely true, given that the tech sector seems to be motoring forward at an unprecedented rate, but the summer is typically a little quieter on the announcement front for most companies.

But now that the summer months are drawing to a close, the sun is setting earlier, and people are looking to grab those last few moments of sunshine before winter sets in, it’s almost time to head back to the office and get to work.

The summer may be nearing an end but that doesn’t mean the tech industry doesn’t have anything to look forward to till Christmas, no, there’s lots to put in the calendar.

That’s right, event season is about to land again. The sparring between vendors, the masses of product announcements, the long-haul flights and everything in-between is almost upon us.

There may only be four months of the year left (where’d the year go?!) but there’s a lot of big tech conferences to be crammed in. Salesforce, Oracle, AWS, Microsoft, and Apple all have their showpiece events in the second half of the year, and there’s plenty of announcements expected.


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Salesforce Dreamforce

Running from the 6th – 9th of November at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco, this is one of the blockbuster events of the year.

Arguably the pioneer of SaaS and one of the biggest cloud companies in the world, Salesforce makes its presence known in San Francisco with a few of its closest friends, over 170,000 of them, and plans to wow them with its latest and greatest innovations.

Last year’s event saw around 15 million online viewers tune in to see the likes of Marc Benioff, Melinda Gates, Billie Jean King,, Tony Robbins, and many more deliver keynote speeches.

Previous years have seen the likes of Hilary Clinton, Al Gore, and Arianna Huffington speak, so it’s likely there’ll be some big names on the schedule this time around.

Last year saw the introduction of Quip, Salesforce Einstein, Lightning Bolt, and numerous updates to its other technology platforms – expect to see a lot more this November.

CBR will be reporting live from the event come November.

AWS re: Invent

AWS re:Invent hasn’t always been the biggest show, but it’s fast outgrowing its Las Vegas home as Amazon Web Services begins to attract even more people to its showpiece event.

Running from the 27th November to the 1st of December at the Venetian hotel and the MGM Grand, the company will be hoping to attract even more than the 37,000 it did last year. For anyone doubting the growing appeal of AWS, the show will now have over 1,000 sessions and it’s now in five different hotels.

Read more: Ten huge tech announcements from AWS re:Invent

Andy Jassy and Werner Vogels will be delivering the keynotes, as expected, but there is little word on who the guest speakers will be, probably because these are usually tied to announcements for AWS.

Last year felt like AWS flexing its muscles with over 20 new products and services announced, attendees and onlookers should expect to see more of the same.

CBR will be on the ground to provide updates on all the announcements.

Oracle OpenWorld

Running from October 1st to the 5th, Oracle OpenWorld is one of the largest tech events of the calendar year.

Over 60,000 people are expected to attend the event and see the likes of Larry Ellison, Mark Hurd, and Safra Catz deliver keynotes.

Held at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco, the company takes over a large chunk of the city so that it can tell thousands of people about its new technology.

Big Red’s love for cloud will likely be the driving force of the conference, so a whole host of announcements in this area should be expected. Whilst cloud tech is slowly moving towards becoming Oracle’s main money source, Big Red will still likely be making some announcements around its hardware and software portfolio.

Also keep an eye out for the Larry Ellison keynote, which is usually one of the most interesting keynotes of the year.

CBR will live from San Francisco so stay tuned for updates from the show.

Apple WWDC

We all know what this Apple event in September is going to deliver – a new iPhone.

The exact dates for the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference are unknown, given that Apple likes to keep things secret, but last year the iPhone 7 was announced on the 7th September, and the iPhone 6s was revealed on the 9th September.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Apple will hold an event at around the same time this year, although there’s been plenty of rumours that the company could delay the launch of its next flagship phone due to difficulties with integrating the Touch ID into the screen.

There’s plenty of rumours that can be found flying around about what the iPhone 8 will bring, you can check them out here.

Microsoft Ignite

Microsoft Ignite, running from the 25th – 29th of September in Orlando Florida is Microsoft’s opportunity to showcase its emerging technologies and deliver its pitch for ruling the tech world.

Satya Nadella is one of the biggest draws in the tech industry, and he’s usually joined by some other big name guests.

The show offers over 700 sessions, insights and a tech roadmap, so there’s plenty about Microsoft’s strategy that will be revealed at the show.

Last year the show took place in Atlanta and the company announced a number of capabilities across Windows, Office, Azure, Dynamics, and Cortana. The company’s got a massive portfolio so it’s no surprise to see a whole heap of announcements being made at pretty much every Microsoft event.

However, given that this is one of Microsoft’s larger events, it’s likely that some big announcements will be made.

VMworld US/Europe

VMworld hits Las Vegas at the end of this month, August 27th-31st, and is swiftly followed by VMworld Europe from September 11th – 14th.

Given that the two events are relatively close together, there will be some overlapping of announcements. As in, some things will be announced at VMworld US and then more detail will be added to them at the European conference.

The European event welcomes around 10,000 attendees to Barcelona, with last year’s event focusing on the company’s hybrid cloud vision and a big announcement about a partnership with Amazon Web Services, which had been revealed earlier, but still, it was the big talking point.

Read more: VMworld 2016: Containers, hybrid cloud & virtualisation

More partnerships are likely and so will be a few product updates to its portfolio.

CBR will be on the ground in Barcelona so stay tuned for updates.

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