European Cloud Summit

European Cloud Summit and European Collaboration Summit – why are there two conferences, and what’s the difference?

by Adis Jugo

ecs blog
European Collaboration Summit and European Cloud Summit

Tuesday, Apr 19 2022

It was pretty much exactly 10 years ago when Nenad, Toni and I agreed, in a café on the Croatian coast, that we needed a major community-driven SharePoint conference in Europe. I am not going to repeat the story of SPC Adriatics here, but suffice it to say, the European Collaboration Summit had 2200 attendees in 2019, and the combined European Collaboration Summit and European Cloud Summit generated 2500 sold tickets in 2021. When I now think of that conversation from 10 years ago, I realize it was a long and good path that we took. And a path that’s far from over.

But wait? European Cloud Summit? Combined conference?

As time passed, and as technology continued to change, we have witnessed that the topics and features which were covered by SharePoint back in 2012 were being increasingly distributed across different Microsoft 365 workloads. The European Collaboration Summit, which followed the SPC Adriatics event, effectively became a Microsoft 365focused conference by 2017.

On another hand, almost all infrastructure and development topics which were always an important part of our conference had less and less to do with SharePoint, or even Microsoft 365, and they became more and more a part of Microsoft Azure. Azure Functions, Azure App Service, Azure Active Directory sessions… by 2018, the bulk of our conference content was entirely about Microsoft Azure.

That’s why we, back in 2019, conceived the idea of creating a sister conference to the European Collaboration Summit, which would be primarily focused on Azure topics. The European Cloud Summit was born, to be held in autumn 2020. However, with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic we effectively had no option but to once again amalgamate the European Cloud Summit with the European Collaboration Summit in November 2021. That was not what we had envisioned, but it was what we had to do.

Mewnwhile, two things equally as important and awesome have happened. First, Google has recognized the importance of the European Cloud Summit and has joined the board. And second, the topics which we had envisioned for inclusion in the European Cloud Summit have become so important, and so pressing, that if we had ever been in any doubt about the need for two conferences (we hadn’t!), that doubt soon dissipated.

In 2022, the European Cloud Summit will tackle the five most pressing topics of today:  

  • Cloud sustainability, green IT and green by IT. It is incredible what IT can do in terms of helping us deal with the ongoing climate crisis, and we are going to examine this very topic at the European Cloud Summit.
  • Applied artificial intelligence and machine learning. This topic has shifted from scientific papers and proofs of concept to become an integral part of many cloud apps and platforms of today. We will be shining a light on how this concept can be used today, and how it can help you in your daily business.
  • Everyone talks about the Metaverse! Facebook has even changed the company name to highlight their focus on it, and Microsoft and other cloud giants are investing a lot of money in that technology (Microsoft is even integrating it into Teams). We are going to discuss those developments, and examine how can it be used today, and what it means to YOU.
  • App modernization: a lot of legacy apps are still core applications within a lot of businesses, and their modernization (possibly without service interruption!) represents a major challenge. We are going to talk about ways and options for how to modernize those apps, focusing in particular on the “app-factories” approach that’s based on low-code/no-code platforms, which has emerged as one of today’s major trends.
  • Cloud security, compliance and sovereignty are evergreen topics, but they have never been more important and more urgent than today. Technologies, legal frameworks and arrangements, and even political situations, are changing rapidly. We will be shedding light on all those developments and ways in which you can deal with them at the European Cloud Summit.

And what about the European Collaboration Summit, you may ask? We are happy to inform you that it will be back in spring 2023, with a focus on its traditional topics, such as collaboration, communication, adoption, business apps, and workflows, as well as platforms and products such as Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Power Platform.

While we always look forward to the European Collaboration Summit, we are especially excited at the prospect of holding an event this autumn that will focus on the above-mentioned cloud topics. We have received submissions for (literally) hundreds of great sessions, we have some inspiring keynotes lined up, and we cannot wait until the end of September to host the European Cloud Summit.