Reflections on Elastic{ON} 2018


Elastic{ON} 2018 just concluded, and what a great week it was. We at BA Insight started down our Elastic journey over three years ago and seeing this strategy and investment in action is very exciting. It was my first time at the conference, BA Insight’s first time as a sponsor with a booth, and because my wife was able to sneak away for a few days, our first quick getaway of the year. I’ve coined it the “Week of Firsts”, as it seemed that one thing after another brought another “first” my way.

My first time in San Francisco

I consider myself a well-seasoned traveler, whose majority of work-related trips have been tech-related, so I was shocked when I realized that I’d never been to San Francisco before. I owe this to Elastic for picking San Francisco as the venue. Plenty of trips to California and the west coast, but no actual trip to what I now realize is a beautiful city with a lot to offer.  This will certainly not be my last.

BA Insight’s first Elastic{ON} as a sponsor, and my first Elastic{ON}

Being a first timer at the conference, I made it a point to take in as much as possible. The week started with a great Elastic Partner summit, where we got some first-hand knowledge on SwiftType and ECE, along with some other great info.  BA Insight’s CEO and West Coast Sales Director were able to join this session as well.  The key takeaway for me was the resounding interest in Elastic as a search engine for enterprise search, and how it confirms our vision of providing our solution on multiple search engines, giving customers a choice.  Seeing the community embrace Elastic in this context further proves that our strategy that started in this direction three years ago was the right move.  It’s also good to see other search-focused companies following our lead, as can been seen by Coveo’s Elastic-based offering. The week continued to build from this, delivering some good booth conversations around similar challenges being faced by many companies, and a continued strengthening of our partnership with the Elastic team.  I got to meet a plethora of Elastic team members from sales, service, partnership, marketing, etc.  They put on a great event and stuff it full of great people.

The first big announcement

It didn’t take long for Shay Bannon to garner excitement from the crowd during the Keynote, as he quickly got to the “big” announcement of the show.  Elastic doubled down on their open code philosophy, with the addition of X-Pack code into the open source repositories.  The community responded enthusiastically to this, reassuring everyone of Elastic’s focus on being open.  I’m sure great things will continue to come from them, and ultimately the community will continue to benefit from access to this open code.  The other announcements that were made were great too and highlighted some interesting new features and capabilities with rollups, simplification of APM, the mainstreaming of AppSearch, and the continued growth of ECE.  It was all high quality rapid fire techy stuff, exactly what you would expect.

Multiple exciting first conversations

I never know what to expect in terms of which problems conference attendees are looking to solve at conferences like Elastic{ON}.  Many times, they are primarily interested in learning, both from other attendees and from sponsors and vendors.  It’s exciting when they come with distinct problems to solve and are actively seeking the best way to solve them.  I had two great “firsts” of what hopes to be many conversations with two companies in this manner.  The first faced real issues with the mass of information available to their internal, customer facing, employees.  This information was spread across 5+ internal systems, changed at a rapid rate, and the current multi-system approach just wasn’t working.  Having been a user of Elastic for other internal solutions, and knowing the strength of its search capability, this company was looking for ways to get all of their data into Elastic so that it can be searched in a single pane of glass.  The conversation really clicked when we talked them through how our connectors work with 60+ off the shelf systems and can push all the data they have into Elastic without any custom code.

The second conversation was focused on a pending GSA replacement and a company’s drive to remove custom code from their environment.  They no longer wanted to be beholden to bespoke solutions that come with a continuous consulting expense.  Once they realized that we offer an off the shelf fully supported enterprise software stack to meet their needs, then the conversation really took off! Add to that the fact that they were used to GSA’s built-in connectors, which the replacement of was driving a lot of the custom code needs, our off the shelf connectors made light bulbs go off for them as well.

First (but for sure not last) trip to The Stinking Rose

Since I had the great pleasure of having my wife join me on this trip, we found a few pockets of time to head out and take the city in.  We found great shopping, exciting areas like Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, but the highlight had to be dinner at The Stinking Rose.  Our West Coast Sales Director, Mark Aschemeyer, set this up, and we had the pleasure of Miles Kehoe’s (fom New Idea Engineering) company as well. Miles recently wrote an article about Elastic’s acquisition of Swiftype that you might be interested in.  My first time at this restaurant was great, and it was the first time I’ve seen garlic used so frequently, even in the ice cream!  It’s always great to couple great company with great conversation and a great meal.

March the 1st

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the first of March in my list of firsts.  The beginning of the month that brings spring weather to my native North Carolina is always something I look forward to.  Maybe it’s the combination of seeing the first quarter of a new year end and the rest of the year start to take shape as it’s for sure an exciting time.  The fact that we’ve pretty much closed out the cold weather in my part of the county is just icing on the cake.

I’m excited to see where these conversations we started this week go and how BA Insight’s partnership and strategy related to Elastic continue to grow!  If you want to learn more about how BA Insight and Elastic work together, you can check out this page.

BA Insight at Elasticon