This article was originally published on blog.melski.net.
This month saw the fifth annual Electric Cloud Customer Summit, in many ways the best event yet. Located at the historic Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, California, the 2012 Summit had more presentations, more repeat attendees, and more customer and partner involvement than any previous summit. For the first time, we had a “Partner Pavilion” where our customers could meet and learn about offerings from several Electric Cloud partners: Parasoft, Perforce, Opscode, Rally, Klocwork and WindRiver. We also offered in-depth training on ElectricCommander and ElectricAccelerator the day prior to the summit proper, with strong attendance for both.
But the best part of the Electric Cloud Customer Summit? Meeting and speaking with dozens of happy customers. I always leave the summit energized and invigorated, and over the past few days I’ve used that energy to do some analysis of this year’s event. Here’s what I found.
Registration and Attendance
Total registrations hit a record 170 this year, although only 126 people actually made it to the event. That’s a bit less than the 146 we had at the 2011 summit:
More than one-third of the attendees in 2012 had attended at least one previous summit, a new record and a significant increase over the 24% we hit last year. Only three individuals can claim to have attended all five summits (excluding Electric Cloud employees, of course, although including them would not dramatically increase the number):
The 2012 Summit had more content than any previous year, and more of the presentations came from customers and partners than ever before. I didn’t get a chance to see too many of the presentations, but I did see a couple that really blew me away:
- Getting the Most Out of Your Development Testing, a joint talk between Parasoft and Electric Cloud, presented a method for accelerating Parasoft’s C/C++test for static analysis. The results were truly exciting — roughly linear speedup, meaning the more cores you throw at it, the faster it will go. In one example, they reduced the analysis time from 107 minutes to just 22 minutes!
- Aurora Development Service, a talk from Cisco. ElectricAccelerator is a key component of their developer build service, where it provides two tremendous benefits. The first we are all familiar with: faster builds improve developer productivity. The second is less often discussed but no less significant: Accelerator allows Cisco to efficiently share hardware resources among many groups, which means they’ve been able to decommission hundreds of now-surplus servers. In electricity costs alone, that adds up to savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Overall, the 2012 Summit included 29 presentations on three technical tracks, including all track sessions, keynotes and training. That’s nearly 20% more than we had in 2011:
As usual, the majority of attendees were from the United States, but there were a handful of international users present:
Fourteen US states were represented — oddly, the exact number represented in 2011, but a different set. Naturally, most of the US attendees were from California, but about 30% were from other states:
Nearly 60 companies sent people to the 2012 summit, representing industries ranging from entertainment and consumer electronics to energy and defense. Here are the industries represented, scaled by the number of people from each:
Many companies sent only one person, but most sent two or more. Several companies sent 5 or more people!
Comparing the size of the delegations to the length of time that a company has been a customer reveals an interesting trend: generally speaking, the longer a company has been a customer, the more people they send to the summit:
Rate of registration
Finally, here’s a look at the rate of registration in the weeks leading up the summit. At last we have a hint as to why there was so little international attendance and probably lower attendance overall: in 2011 promotion for the summit really started about 14 weeks prior, but due to various factors this year, we didn’t really get going until about 9 weeks prior to the event. For many people, and especially for international travellers, that’s just not enough lead time. You can clearly see the impact of our promotional efforts as the rate of registrations kicks into high gear 8 weeks before and remains strong even into the week of the event:
The Summit Is Over, Long Live the Summit
The 2012 Summit was a great success, no matter how you slice it. Many thanks to everybody who contributed, as well as everybody that attended. I hope to see you all again at the 2013 Summit!