IT conferences are normally an excess of major brands excitedly enthusing over their latest products and touting aspirational but theoretical use cases for their technology.
But the 2015 iteration of Spunk's .conf conference held in Las Vegas is a different beast all together.
Rather than announce a new product that shakes up its portfolio but lacks a real-world use, Splunk preferred to release a series of small but solid updates and products that evolve its core operational analytics platform.
One could argue that Splunk has done nothing revolutionary to its software offerings, but having attended the main conference hall full of whooping attendees and spoken to several customers at the conference, V3 can attest that what the company is doing is garnering strong praise from its followers.
This is probably because Splunk seems to have simply given its customers what they want with updates set to benefits them, and then sitting back to see what the customers do with the extra functionality and enhancements.
With the likes of Gatwick airport, shoe brand Kurt Geiger, BMW, and luxury smartphone maker Vertu showcasing different uses of Splunk at .conf, it is not surprising the company has almost taken a back seat in its own conference, allowing customers to showcase its technology rather than dictate uses for their products.
Snehal Antani, chief technology officer at Splunk, said this fandom Splunk has from its customers, means the company allows its direction be dictated by its customers.
"People come up with really cool new ideas that I've never thought of," he told V3. "Our customers are inventing these uses cases and letting us know what they're doing and we're trying to internalise it. [Splunk] is customer driven and so customers are teaching us, it's not the other way round."
It is this approach that paints Splunk as the Lego of the IT world, whereby Splunk provides the pieces for users to build with, rather than providing an overly ridged and closed platform with uses cases limited to specific industries.
And Splunk is being very smart here, as the world of machine data analytics is still a relatively immature facet of the technology world with a myriad of use cases, and if the company tried to prescribe the path the tech trend should be on then it may end up stifling innovation rather than enjoying the fruits of its open platform.
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