Softchoice Virtual Discovery Expo 2020: The Highlights

The Softchoice Virtual Discovery Expo (VDX) 2020 has now wrapped.

Over 2,000 people registered to hear from Softchoice and our exhibitor partners about the areas driving their digital transformation today. This year, our full-day virtual tech expo happened in a much different context than the inaugural event in 2019.

Attendees took away an important message: The current global crisis and its impacts have forced many organizations to embrace change. Done the right way, however, this change will be a catalyst to re-imagine the way they approach transforming through technology.

Now that they have taken steps to adapt to change, secure and stabilize business operations and find efficiencies, VDX participants learned how these steps lay the foundation to make them more agile, more efficient and more secure as they travel the road to recovery.

Among those we surveyed, enabling secure and productive remote work, protecting data, adopting and managing cloud infrastructure were the most compelling topics. While some were still adjusting to remote work or found that they were ready to move to the next stage of their recovery, most respondents told us they were still in the middle of that journey.

While there were enough topics covered to fill several articles, we’ve put together a recap of the biggest highlights from VDX 2020.

Digital Transformation in a Time of Crisis

 Keynote by Aaron Brooks, Sr. Director – Strategy & GTM Enablement at Softchoice

Our reality is changing and pivoting to adopt the right agile strategy is more important than ever. Softchoice’s Senior Director of Strategy and GTM Enablement Aaron Brooks kicked off VDX 2020 by exploring the ways organizations are positioning themselves for growth and success in recovery.

The Highlights:

  • Digital transformation isn’t on hold, it’s just pointed at new problems. New ways to go-to-market in times of necessity will drive growth on the road to economic recovery and beyond.
  • It’s time to ask, “What does our organization really need?” Anxiety around IT costs has raised the need to re-allocate resources to keep your business working.
  • When times are tough, lean on your core values. Staying connected not only as a business but as people has been at the center of our journey to recovery.

Watch the full keynote on demand

The Evolution of Remote Collaboration

Keynote by John MacDonald, Head of Americas Productivity & Collaboration Specialists at Google

John MacDonald, Head of Americas Productivity and Collaboration Specialists at Google, delivered a keynote examining the trends influencing the current communication and collaboration landscape and what we can expect to see in the near and medium terms.

The Highlights:

  • The status quo needs to change. Businesses are realizing the urgent need for collaboration tools at all levels, but still face issues around siloed information and lack of IT security.   
  • People want flexible workforce functionality. Organizations need collaboration tools that support work/life balance and allow teams to adopt quickly and collaborate securely.
  • Everyone’s situation is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to providing secure, smart, simple collaboration solutions.

Watch the full keynote on demand 

How to Achieve Simplified and Highly Effective Security Operations

Keynote by Mike Storm, Distinguished Engineer, Security Business Group at Cisco

In a time of uncertainty, you need a cybersecurity solution with your best interests in mind. Mike Storm, Distinguished Engineer with the Business Security Group at Cisco, explained a three-pillared approach to successful security operations based on quality threat intelligence.

The Highlights:

  • Security controls are only as effective as the threat intelligence they act on. Any security solution depends on access to current, accurate and usable information to remain effective.
  • The more you see, the more you can stop. Unmatched visibility into threats helps protect against them before attackers can exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Organizations need to stay protected after Day 1. Effective security operations depend on a collective, collaborative approach to threat protection.

Watch the full keynote on demand 

Ready to Re-Imagine Your Digital Transformation?

This is just a sample of the insights our exhibitors and partners shared with attendees at VDX 2020.

As you define your journey from continuity and stability through efficiency and recovery, it’s important to recognize the ways the new reality will help you compete and thrive once there.

If you didn’t attend or there was something you missed it’s not too late to take advantage of on-demand breakout sessions, keynotes and downloadable content from our 35+ exhibitors.

No matter where you are on your road to recovery, our team of experts and product specialists are ready to help. 

Explore Softchoice Rapid Response Services  

 

 

Three Big Takeaways from 2019’s Virtual Discovery Expo

Top 3 Takeaways from Virtual Discovery Expo

Virtual Discovery Expo, or VDX—a free, online-only tech conference—just wrapped and the community is still abuzz about it. VDX featured more than 25 disruptive vendors, along with breakout sessions, networking opportunities and downloadable takeaway content. We love tech conferences, and so we were excited to deliver this one right to our customers’ desks. Enough exciting content came out of VDX for several articles but we’ve narrowed it down to three big vendor takeaways. Read on to see what attendees are still talking about.

#1 Google’s Cloud Secrets, Revealed

Google became a pioneer in cloud out of pure necessity. A handful of their services have over a billion users. Some are on their way to two billion. This means an unprecedented – and perhaps intimidating – demand for growth. It also means a network unlike any other. With this in mind, Google has developed a cloud development philosophy that allows them to stay agile throughout its rapid expansion. Neil Bunn, manager of customer engineering at Google Cloud Canada, shared that philosophy with us in his keynote address. He broke down the following elements of Google’s approach to maintaining agility:

  • When possible, use open-source solutions to ensure maximum portability.
  • Rely on abstracted infrastructure to avoid hardware procurement limitations.
  • Take a software-defined approach to avoid vendor lock-in.

These principles can make any cloud infrastructure more scalable, says Bunn. Moreover, Google Anthos, a new cloud platform he showcased during the address, provides this kind of agile infrastructure as a managed service.

#2 How the Cloud Can Secure Itself with Microsoft

Security in the age of the cloud is difficult, according to Microsoft’s Jon Wojan. It’s hard to guarantee that mobile devices are secure. Yet more workers are demanding mobile access. Organizations expand their attack surface all the time, but there remains a serious skills shortage in security. As Wojan pointed out, we’ve entered a world wherein security is no longer about stopping breaches – it’s about damage control.

From Wojan’s perspective, the cloud complicates security while also revolutionizing it. For example, inputting records of attack into machine learning systems—pooling data—allows them to learn how malicious actors behave and then stop them on the spot. Cloud systems can also compile and profile typical user behavior and block or grant conditional access for users acting outside the norm.

Implementing these tools requires a shift away from the siloed approach—one firewall and one encryption solution—and towards integrated systems like those offered by major cloud providers like Microsoft.

#3 The Collaborative Future Is Almost Here, Thanks to Jabra

We are living in the age of the collaborative, mobile workplace. More than ever, a new class of employee is contributing to the enterprise: the “remote office professional.” This development is another step toward a more flexible future, where employees have a choice over where and when they do their jobs.

While some are skeptical about this direction, research on the issue yields some hard truths.

  • Open-plan offices—used by 70% of organizations today—are terrible for productivity with 81% of workers complaining that noise and interruptions are their biggest issues in the workplace.
  • Once distracted, it takes the average worker 23 minutes to refocus.
  • Employees in open-plan offices take 61% more sick days.

Until recently, the problem was the technology.

  • Sixty-three per cent of surveyed workers report that technical glitches—which take up a reported 10% of every 45-minute meeting—negatively impact their performance.
  • On average, dealing with such glitches takes up 10% of the duration of a 45-minute meeting.

Enter Jabra, a new generation of audio endpoint devices that provide seamless unified communication with the most advanced noise cancellation capabilities available. Jabra devices are designed to handle remote workers—and those in the office whose jobs don’t allow them to roam.

With these advances, it should come as no surprise that by 2020, 72% of workers will be working remotely.

More to Discover

This is just a sampling of the business concerns VDX vendors addressed. If there was something you missed, worry not! You can still log in and access recorded breakout sessions, keynotes and downloadable content from our 25+ participating vendors. Experience VDX on demand