On Thursday, October 19, I had the pleasure to once again welcome more than 250 business and IT leaders from healthcare, higher education, financial services, manufacturing, and technology to Carousel’s third annual 2017 AlwaysOn Technology Symposium (AOTS) at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
As event emcee, it’s always a pleasure to see the Technology Symposium attract so many Carousel clients, prospects, valued business partners and our own subject matter experts from as near as Providence and as far as San Jose, Calif. This years’ AOTS focused on the powerful concept of “Resilience” and its application to business, IT, and talent challenges in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive, and hyper-fast world.
Get a glimpse of the hype. Check out the AlwaysOn Technology Symposium pictures here.
AOTS attendees heard several captivating keynotes, panel discussions, and breakout sessions throughout the day. Each session tackled the most pressing IT and operational issues facing enterprises of all sizes as they seek to gain competitive edge by practicing and maintaining organizational resilience. The tech trends discussed included: automation, advanced threat intelligence, machine learning, AI, intent-based networking, and team collaboration.
Carousel’s SVP of Technology and Engineering Chris Poe kicked off the morning with his keynote presentation and set the stage by discussing the historical gaps in learning, knowledge, and industrial advancement. He also challenged attendees to think throughout the day about applying business, IT and career resilience to each session they attended.
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Keynote and Cisco’s VP of Marketing Strategy Ehrika Gladden was a phenomenal addition to the morning’s energy. Ehrika discussed Cisco’s ongoing reinvention and in so doing, provided a very honest, candid view of Cisco’s challenge in maintaining its edge and dominance in the cloud era. She also detailed how Cisco—by focusing on innovation—has regained that edge. Ehrika concluded with a video featuring Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage discussing the power of intuition as a lead in to Cisco’s Intuitive Network vision.
Next was a timely cybersecurity panel hosted by Carousel’s new Chief Information Security Officer Jason Albuquerque. Jason led a lively discussion featuring Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), as well as Rick Basile, Senior Director, Systems Engineering/Office of the CTO, Fortinet; Martin Roesch, Chief Architect, Security Business Group, Cisco; Jeff Music, Cylance, and David Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer, Varonis. They discussed the global risks and threats posed by next-generation cyber threats, as well as the importance of cooperation and competition among industry rivals and the federal government to deliver next-generation threat intelligence to benefit all.
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Afternoon breakout sessions were led by Carousel SMEs and practitioners tackling some of the most pressing issues in IT today including Ransomware (Josh King, Director of Security Solutions); DRaaS and Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (Ed Wadbrook, VP, Cloud Strategy and Enablement), Unified Communications (Kevin McCarron, VP, Collaboration Solutions) and Next-Generation Network Architecture (John Elliott, Principal Consultant). With many sessions filled to capacity and standing room-only, attendees were able to get vendor agnostic viewpoints on today’s latest technology opportunities.
The “Fast Five” session was a whirlwind presentation on key topics in technology including SD-WAN (Carousel’s Solutions Consultant Bobby DiPetrillo), Intent-based Networking (Carousel’s Sr. Director Infrastructure Solutions Jason Viera), Cybersecurity (Illumio’s Principal, Systems Engineering Sumita Gorla), Team Collaboration (Carousel’s Director, UC & Collaboration Tony McQueen) and Contextual Awareness (Carousel’s Mark “Digger” Damphousse, Director, Managed Services) The Bake-Off Was Won by Illumio’s Gorla.
The day was concluded by an afternoon keynote by Gary Barnett, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Engagement Solutions for Avaya who discussed resilience during times of business transformation. Topping off the day was a quick capstone by Chris Poe, Partner Zone networking and a celebratory cocktail reception.
A big thank you to all who presented and attended this jam-packed day. Including a very special thank you to our sponsors who made AOTS a reality. They include Gold sponsors Avaya, Cisco, and Fortinet; Silver sponsors AVST, Cylance, inContact, Juniper Networks, and Verizon; and Bronze sponsors AudioCodes, Crestron, ForeScout, Polycom, Illumio, Valcom, Vidyo, and XIMA (bronze).