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Founder and CEO Flock
Bhavin Turakhia is a serial tech entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Flock – the Team Messenger. A startup evangelist, Bhavin has over 19 years of experience in the sector, with 11 companies founded by him till date.
Bhavin’s affiliation with coding and computers started at a young age of nine. In no time, he went on to acquire remarkable business acumen and co-founded Directi, an entirely bootstrapped technology conglomerate, in 1998. He has enjoyed phenomenal success, and of the number of brands under his name, he sold all four of his web presence businesses to Endurance International Group for $160 million in 2014. In August 2016, he again made headlines for selling his advertising technology firm Media.net to a Chinese consortium of investors in a whopping deal of $900 million. This stands to be the second largest adtech deal in history. Bhavin continues to steer the remaining six companies towards success.
Always the one to predict and lay down the ‘next big what’ ideas in the tech world, Bhavin launched Flock in September 2014. In its two years of existence, the brand has grown exponentially under Bhavin’s able leadership and vision and continues to do so today.
Bhavin has also received international recognition and won several awards, including Serial Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2016 and Entrepreneur of the Year (Innovation and Technology) by Entrepreneur Magazine India. He has recently been featured in Forbes’ list of India's 100 Richest People and has a Bharti Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2005 under his name.
President and Principal Analyst COMMfusion
Blair Pleasant is President & Principal Analyst of COMMfusion LLC and a co-founder of UCStrategies. With over 20 years experience as an industry analyst, she understands the market dynamics and challenges in these areas, and provides an objective perspective and insights to clients.
She is a frequent speaker and participant in industry conferences, webinars, podcasts, and other events to help educate customers, solution providers, channel partners, investors, and others about the evolving Unified Communications and Collaboration and contact center markets.
Ms. Pleasant received a BA degree in Communications from Albany State University, and an MBA in marketing and an MS in Broadcast Administration from Boston University.
VP Skype for Business Voss Solutions
Christopher Martini has over 20 years of experience in communications technology with a focus on the Microsoft stack and ecosystem. Christopher's perspective on the Microsoft ecosystem is unique as he has spent years as a Microsoft employee, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and as an enterprise IT customer. Prior to VOSS, Christopher was VP of Skype for Business at Connect Solutions. Christopher has helped organizations large and small define and realize their UC vision.
Principal Consultant 4C Strategies Ltd
Dave has worked in enterprise telecommunications all of his working life and has more than 20 years experience as an independent consultant advising and supporting large institutions with strategy development, procurement, implementation and benefits realisation for major voice, unified communications and infrastructure projects. Dave has recently supported a major client with a transition of all its communications services to Skype for Business.
Head of Customer Insight & Futures BT Global Services Innovation Team
Nicola Millard heads up Customer Insight & Futures in BT's Innovation Team. Despite working for a technology company, Nicola isn't a technologist and combines psychology with futurology to try and anticipate what might be lying around the corner for both customers and organisations (sadly, her crystal ball is broken).
Nicola has been at BT for 27 years. She has done a number of jobs around the BT business, including user interface design, customer service and business consulting. She was involved with a number of BT "firsts", including the first application of intelligent systems into BT's call centres and BT's initial experimentation with home working.
Nicola got her PhD from Lancaster University in 2005 on motivational technologies in contact centres, published her first book in 2009 and now spends most of her time doing research, writing blogs, articles and white papers.
Nicola regularly pops up on radio and TV around the world, including appearances on 'Woman's Hour', 'Tech Tent', 'The Genius of Invention' and 'Back in Time for the Weekend' for the BBC. She has done a TED talk about why people accept or reject technologies and is also a judge on a number of award panels, including the Institute of Customer Service, the CCMA and the Association of Business Psychology awards. In 2014, she was the recipient of the 'Outstanding Industry Contribution' award from the UK Contact Centre Forum.
When she's not doing all that, Nicola travels around the world presenting at conferences and running workshops with an assortment of BT's large multinational corporate clients including banks, government, airlines and retailers, to name but a few.
Worldwide Lead, AWS Technical & Developer Evangelism Amazon Web Services
Ian Massingham leads Technical and Developer Evangelism at Amazon Web Services and has been working with cloud computing technologies since 2008. He and his team around the world work with developers and technical end-users within AWS customers of all sizes, from start-ups to large enterprises, to increase awareness and adoption of AWS cloud services amongst developers.
Ian and his team team are prolific conference speakers and participate in a wide variety of developer confernces, meetups and other developer communities in order to connect with developers and inform, inspire and educate them about AWS. As an individual technologist, Ian has a special interest in the development of Connected Device and IoT applications, and in serverless architecture patterns for the deployment of applications in the AWS Cloud.
Ian has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, covering operations and engineering within internet hosting, internet access, telecommunications and cloud service providers. Prior to joining AWS, he led a systems engineering team for an integrated software and hardware company that focused on the creation of cloud computing services with telecommunications and IT service providers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa region.
Head of Customer Change and Transformation Google Cloud
Kim is a senior leader at Google and leads the International Customer Change and Culture team for Google Cloud. She is an expert in change management, the psychology of change, digital transformation, organisational culture, leadership and high performing teams. She designed and developed the change and transformation methodology which has been used by tens of thousands of Google’s customers globally to help them use Google technology as a platform to drive business and cultural change. Kim has been with Google for over ten years helping the company grow from just 2000 people to 80,000+ today. She has worked on AdWords, YouTube and DoubleClick, in the People Development team and more recently with Google Cloud. Kim is a regular keynote speaker on the topics of organisational change, innovation, and leadership and has been published in The Economist and Forbes. She is also a regular guest lecturer at London Business School and is one of the founding professors at ‘The College of Extraordinary Experiences
de Lares Norris
Vice President of EMEA Oblong Industries
de Lares Norris
Mary Ann de Lares Norris is VP of EMEA, Oblong Industries, whose innovative technologies are leading the evolution of human-machine interface in the enterprise. Recently she has moved from the role of COO for Oblong Industries and is now executive lead for EMEA activities, and a director of the UK, Spanish and German businesses, based in France. Prior roles include Chief Operating Officer of a Parisian interactive television company, Director of Strategic Planning at Mattel, Executive Producer at Sony Electronic Publishing, and Producer at The Voyager Company. Mary Ann holds an MS from the MIT Media Lab and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from UC Santa Cruz.
Principal Skype for Business Architect VOSS Solutions
Pat Richard is well known as a thought leader in the Unified Communications space. With more than two decades of experience with Microsoft technology, Pat is a leading authority in Skype for Business, PowerShell, and Microsoft Exchange related projects including migration, upgrades, design, and automation. Pat was awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status in 2006 and has received 11 MVP awards to date. He brings to the role a deep understanding of Microsoft UC, and a wealth of field experience. Prior to VOSS, Pat spent eight years as a Principal Professional Services Consultant at Innervation, carrying out migration projects and implementing complex messaging infrastructures. Pat is also an accomplished author, having most recently written "Skype for Business Unleashed", as well as contributing to "Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2010" and "Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: The Complete Reference".
Principal Solutions Architect Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger at tomtalks.uk, podcaster and speaker at global events including Microsoft TechEd and Microsoft Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London and online MSUC.Chat community.