Say hello to OpenCloud Connect, and greet the initials OCC. This is the new name for the organization behind the Clouded Leopards Den 2015 prize for cloud innovation, and one of the leading industry consortiums driving cloud interoperability and standards.

The previous name, of course, was CloudEthernet Forum, or CEF. Launched nearly two years ago, the original name made a lot of sense, given the early interest on Ethernet-related specifications. Over time, however, the CEF evolved toward driving broader end-to-end cloud service enablement.

One of the highest-profile projects started at the CEF was the OpenCloud Project (OCP), which is creating an open test and iterative standards development program for service providers, industry vendors and over-the-top cloud service providers. That’s one reason why the “OpenCloud” began to resonate within the industry more than “CloudEthernet” — and the pathway to the new name became clear.

The OpenCloud Project, announced in May 2014, has already generated considerable momentum, and become the key focus for our ongoing cloud standards development drive, explains James Walker, president of the organization, saying, “When we launched the CEF, one of the key aims was for automated, secure, end-to-end, vendor agnostic cloud service enablement.”

James continued, “Since then, given the strong response to the OCP, ‘Open-ness’ has taken pole position. Meanwhile ‘Cloud’ takes its rightful place at the very heart of our banner, and the final ‘Connect’ reflects a double meaning: representing both literal connectivity and the bonds of shared purpose that bring such an apparently diverse membership into one cohesive whole. We are more than a forum, we are a movement. Hence: OpenCloud Connect (OCC).”

A new name, a new website, and even more passion for cloud innovation and interoperability. The OCC will show off its work, including the OCP, at Interop in Las Vegas, Apr. 28-30, in Booth #608. If you are attending Interop, come by and meet the Clouded Leopards Den 2015 competition sponsors!

And speaking of the Clouded Leopards Den, the judges are currently reviewing nominations and creating a short list of 12 semi-finalists — six from early-stage startups, and six from later-stage pre-IPO firms.

The Clouded Leopards Den prize winners will be named at the Global Cloud Innovation Summit, to be held Apr. 23-24 in the San Francisco Bay Area. (That’s a few days before Interop.)
Follow the Clouded Leopards Den 2015 competition on Twitter @CloudLeopardDen, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cloudedleopardsden, on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/100250558688719993929/, and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/5069066.