Following on from ChannelCon 2017, in Austin, CompTIA gathered together industry thought leaders, channel partners and CompTIA members for its annual EMEA Conference. The CompTIA EMEA Member and Partner Conference 2017, was held at etc. venues County Hall in the heart of London across two-days, the 17th and 18th October. In similar style to the Austin event, the conference hosted a range of providers, gave vendors an opportunity to exhibit and gave CompTIA members an opportunity to network with one another.
For Redstor attendees, Nathan Wilson (UK Events and Marketing Executive), Phil Atherton (Client Adviser), Michael Gould (Client Adviser) and Heri Chiragi (New Business Executive), the event was an opportunity to network with channel organisations and attend sessions around the state of the industry and more.
Day 1 – Tuesday 17th
The event kicked off at 8:30 on Tuesday morning with a networking breakfast and opportunity for all attendees to pick up their passes and for any late registrants to sign in. By 9am breakout sessions dedicated to different CompTIA practices had begun with attendees busily filling meeting rooms and attending sessions.
One standout session of the morning was the heavily attended GDPR session run by Jim Sneddon of AssureData. The session, focusing on building an organisational roadmap to help become compliant, gave a high-level overview of some of the key areas under the regulation. Jim then highlighted some of the actions that organisations can begin to undertake as well as his understanding of how penalties and fines for non-compliance may work. A Q&A session followed and despite having more than half an hour to discuss questions with the floor, the session threatened to overrun.
The first Keynote of the event followed in the afternoon and spoke around ‘Digital Transformation’ and other ‘buzzwords’ commonly found in the industry. The lead speaker, Lindsay Herbert of IBM, gave an overview of what digital transformation really means for many organisations along with why this can be dangerous and what organisations can do to effectively implement change strategies and minimise risk at the same time.
The evening of day 1 concluded the event with a drinks reception and dinner for all attendees. The 3-course dinner, allowed for further networking in a less formal manner and gave attendees a chance to regroup after a busy day.
Day 2 – Wednesday 18th
Day 2 of the event gave vendors and managed service providers an opportunity to exhibit amidst Keynote speeches from CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux and Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5.
The Future is Now
Capturing the theme of the event perfectly, Todd Thibodeaux, delivered a compelling talk around the future of technology and presenting the idea that the future is in fact now. Speaking around how the ‘digital age’ has transformed modern business as well as modern life and how new innovations have the potential to increase this further over the next decade (and beyond). Todd, touched on some of the stand out technologies but heavily focused on automation, the future of workforce and technology trends. His talk culminated in saying the true technological trends that he believes will carry forward are AI and Machine Learning, Autonomous Vehicles, Robotics and Augmented and Virtual Reality.
Driving change through leadership
Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, followed Todd and began her talk on leadership and how it can be used to drive change. Starting by giving a high-level account of some of the challenges she faced while in charge of MI5, she quickly dispelled myths around the service and focused on the real-life challenges of managing a team in high-pressure scenarios. Touching on the importance of setting high objectives, she also gave the practical advice to always ensure that you gain enough sleep as this will help with making difficult decisions.
Over the course of the 2-day event, Redstor enjoyed the opportunity to meet with new and existing managed service providers, network with attendees and attend some fantastic keynote talks and sessions.