Adtran Connect - Quick Take and Photos

Another week, another industry event. This time it’s for Adtran Connect, a company I have some good history with. Not my core focus, but enough pieces that touch on things I follow, so it’s definitely time well-spent. I’ll have more to say soon, and for now, here’s my usual quick-take post with photos before I move on to the next thing.

Day 1 keynotes from Curtis Knittle of CableLabs, and Matthew Hare of UK-based Zzoomm. Adtran’s Gary Bolton keeping things moving along.

Fireside chat just with analysts and press with CEO/Chairman Tom Stanton. Here’s an updated photo that I’ve posted in recent years - their wall of patents - pretty impressive. After the sessions, you do what one does in Alabama - blues and bbq. My kinda town.

Day 2 keynote - my highlight - Dr. Deborah Barnhart of the US Space and Rocket Center. What a great time to be in Huntsville, on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and of course how the space program came to Huntsville. She told the story well, and had some pretty strong messages about how space exploration can help us save the planet - more on that later.

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Next Up - Blockchain Futurist Conference, Toronto

Am very happy to have pretty much no business travel for the summer, but I do have a local event coming up next week. My newsletter subscribers will know that I'm exploring blockchain a bit - who isn't? - and with the Blockchain Futurist Conference here in my back yard, I'll be there. Details are here, in the Event Calendar section of my website.

Not really sure what to expect, but the lineup is solid, and am sure it will be a firehose of pitches and hype. Reminds me a lot of the early days of VoIP - same trajectory, just a different technology. Anyhow, I have no doubt I'll learn some things and meet lots of interesting people - and I'll definitely be writing about it soon after.

Speaking of conferences, things are quietly ramping up for the fall, and I've been getting things in place for a few, namely Slack, two Cisco events and SCTC. Details coming on these soon.


Canadian Telecom Summit - Quick Take

Yesterday was Day 1 of the 16th Canadian Telecom Summit here in Toronto, and I was happy to attend. Hosts Mark Goldberg and Michael Sone always put together a strong program, including an opening keynote from the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Canada's Innovation Minister. He is strongly advocating for more affordable access to mobile broadband, especially for lower income Canadians. It's long been a charged issue, as previous efforts to legislate more competition to bring down prices hasn't really worked, and maybe things will be different this time around. For more on that, here's some coverage of his keynote in today's Globe and Mail.

Following that, we had a full day of other keynotes and panel sessions, and the all-day espresso bar kept the audience alert and focused. The highlight for me was the cybersecurity panel, and as always, Dr. Ann Kavoukian pulled no punches about the dangers of new technology and how it's pushing us closer to becoming a surveillance state. I totally agree with her message about taking our personal privacy very seriously, because it's impossible to get back once you give it up.

Closer to home for me, I really enjoyed the customer experience panel, and while Canadian companies have a long way to go, we heard some great examples of how companies like Telus and Rogers are working hard to reinvent CX around how people engage with technology today. That message also came through loud and clear from keynote sponsor Netcracker, as their CTO, Aloke Tusnial talked about the need for CSPs - communications service providers - to evolve into DSPs - digital service providers. Totally agree.

While I'm not able to attend CTS today, I'll be back tomorrow, and here are some photos from Day 1. Otherwise, the twitter feed has been active, so you can follow all the buzz there - #CTS17.

Michael Sone and Mark Goldberg with their opening remarks

Hon. Navdeep Bains, Canada's Innovation Minister

Panel sessions - customer experience, and cybersecurity

My Next Speaking Event: The Digital Experience - Are We There Yet?

If you follow me, you'll know May is an unusually busy month - 3 out of town industry events, 2 local speaking events, and 1 music gig with the SIPtones in Indianapolis next Tuesday.

Tonight, I'm speaking at Jeff Pulver's networking event here in Toronto about chatbots, AI and enterprise messaging, and we're expecting a big crowd. It's not too late to join us, however, if you're free.

Next up on the local front, I'm leading a panel session on May 30. Also downtown, it's with my MBA alma mater - Schulich - at their Tech Alumni Group. They do quarterly events, and I'm hosting the panel for the next one, focused on the impact of digital transformation on both the employee experience and the customer experience. 

We have a great lineup, and joining me will be speakers from Cisco Canada, Sears Canada, the Compass Group, and Couch & Associates. I'll be socializing this more as the date nears, but we're ready to promote it now, and if you register before May 26,  the registration fee is only $20. If you're local, hope you can join us!