A new information technology show promising to simplify hi-tech buying decisions for businesses has opened for registration, with the aim of attracting key ICT decision-makers.

Organisers of the new IP Expo event anticipate that business buyers will seize the opportunity to engage with vendors and experts supplying the latest products and services to help their companies find solutions for their specific needs.

The two-day event is making its debut in Johannesburg after running successfully in London for six years. IP Expo succeeds because it is a forum where customers can meet the vendors, ask questions about IT trends, attend informative presentations, assess the risks and solutions and make smart buying decisions, says exhibition manager Lizelle Christison.

It will focus specifically on Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure, virtualisation and cloud computing; three technologies that are gaining ground as South Africa finally gets access to fast and affordable bandwidth.

“While South Africa is a leader in technology and telecommunications on the African continent, it is still lagging behind most developed countries,” says Christison. “The landing of several international cables and massive fibre infrastructure projects mean that our bandwidth is improving. As the costs come down, end users are increasingly looking at technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing.”

Those potentially complex technologies will be made easy to understand by creating an environment where enterprise end users can meet the experts in a two-day consulting experience.

Major players already participating include Aastra Telecom, VMware, Telkom, CommVault, Citrix, Mitel Networks, Veeam, Vision Solutions, Wyse Technology, F5 Networks, Troye Computer Systems, Intel, Smart Axess Solutions and Oracle.

The show will feature ‘competitive partner zones’ showcasing complete solutions put together by a vendor, consulting partner and distributor. Several rival offerings will be grouped in these competitive zones, letting buyers examine each one and consult the experts to find the most appropriate for their organisation.

“People will be able to go back to the office and make a recommendation for a product or solution that best meets their requirements,” says Christison.

Infrastructure growth, virtualisation and cloud computing are poised to boom, she says, because organisations are always looking for opportunities to improve their bottom line and rely heavily on technology to do so.

Last year’s IP Expo in London attracted thousands of visitors and it has become the biggest end-to-end infrastructure show in the UK, supported by all the leading vendors. Now its organiser, Imago Techmedia, has teamed up with local eventing specialists Montgomery Africa to bring the show to South Africa. The local show will replicate that highly successful model at Sandton Convention Centre on 15 and 16 November.

Three stages will host 48 seminars to help visitors understand topics such as virtualisation, data centre management, business continuity, mobility and wireless, unified communications, and the underlying network infrastructure. Other sessions will explain how to apply those technologies to specific fields such as the security market and identity management systems. Also given how high security is on the agenda of enterprise ICT decision-makers, another session will see a panel of industry leaders share their knowledge in a security debate.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD of local research house World Wide Worx, will present research findings on the potential for IP networks, cloud computing and virtualisation, commissioned specifically for IP Expo.

Afterwards, the speakers and buyers can hold in-depth discussions in the informal meeting lounge.