The move to make life easier for corporate end users will allow IT organizations to change the way they operate in the future, said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the Demo conferences.
"This shift is both empowering to those responsible for driving business and liberating to an emerging new IT role," Shipley said. "In time, the IT organization will transform from end-to-end systems manager to infrastructure architect and provider, and the term IT will itself be redefined to mean not information technology but rather infrastructure technology."
During this years conference, 67 products are slated to make their debut, from enterprise wiki appliances to a solution that allows users to make international phone calls from mobile phones for free.
"Youre going to see products that make you productive, products that make you safe and products that make you smile," said Shipley. "From enterprise software to IT infrastructure to consumer gadgets and services, this DemoFall has something for everyone."
Shipley added that the products shown at the show will be a harbinger of things to come: "These products—and the 200-plus other products that didnt make it to this DemoFall conference—offer a perspective, a map, not just of where we are today but where we are going and what we need to do to get there."
As proof of DemoFalls history of debuting what would be groundbreaking technologies, Shipley said that Java was introduced at the show 11 years ago by Eric Schmidt, then chief technology officer of Sun Microsystems. This year, half of the products at DemoFall were created using Java in some way.
The Demo influence extends beyond products to ideas. Shipley said that the first Web-based consumer application was introduced at Demo nine years ago. During the three-day DemoFall conference, almost every one of the 67 products set to be shown is Web-based.
Many of the enterprise products that hit the stage during the first session of the conference focused on collaboration using the Web.
BuzzLogic launched its namesake product, a tool that helps companies track online "buzz"—or what people are saying about them. The tool identifies and tracks online writers to determine who, and what, the writers are influenced by. This will allow companies to determine where they should focus their attention to create more—and more positive—buzz.
MindTouch unveiled the DekiBox, an appliance designed to allow businesses to deploy a wiki within the organization. The DekiBox is a plug-and-play appliance accessible through Web browsers that enables users to exchange files, create wiki pages and share e-mails in one location.
Koral debuted an enterprise content management system that allows end users to store, share and search for information stored in e-mails, on Web pages and inside folders. The content management system—which is free to registered users—replaces folder hierarchies with tagging.
Not all the products were about allowing end users to collaborate with one another—Genius Interactive Edition, launched by Genius.com, makes it easier for salespeople to add chat functionality to the e-mails they send to prospective customers. This allows a chat window to be automatically launched when the prospective customer visits the salespersons Web site.
Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.