Differentiate and Win

Midmarket IT Strategies to Deliver Future Business Success

In today’s hyper-competitive environment, business is suddenly being commoditized. Around every corner, nimble competitors look to take away share or out-innovate their rivals. Business leaders view technology as the only way to stand apart and provide true value to customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders. IT leaders carry a heavier burden than in the past. They must go beyond collaborating with stressed-out business leaders. They need to deliver the tools to build a better future. Forget small steps. They are being tasked with making big technological leaps in mobile apps and augmented reality, as well as streamlining cost structures and supplying analytics to drive good decisions. Today’s IT leaders are in the hot seat. The pressure is on to create a bright tech-enabled future for their organizations’ survival. IT leaders must use technology to differentiate and the win battle against the competition.

Keynotes: Sunday, Sept. 16. 2018

MES International Vendor Orientation

This special session is designed for those companies who participate as MES’ international sponsors. Join this session to gain a better understanding of the event, audience and how to engage with senior IT leaders of midmarket organizations. Presentations are designed to help you get the most out of your meetings, boardrooms and networking opportunities. Find out how to engage attendees who are interested in new technologies and services designed to advance their organizations

MES Attendee Orientation: Get Educated, Get Energized, Get Ready

Speakers: Robert DeMarzo, SVP, The Channel Company; Tracy Fischer, Recruitment Director, The Channel Company

MES can be overwhelming for any attendee, given all the commitments they must fulfill including meetings, sessions and networking opportunities. In this session, attendees will gain insight into how to get the most out of MES to maximize their ROI. Come get energized for the days ahead. Also, hear how hard at work our team has been assembling educational content leaders can put into practice immediately. We will also share insight into the content that should not be missed while attendees get a chance to meet with peers who can provide valuable insight into best practices.

The Technologies You Need To Differentiate & Win

Speaker: Mike Cisek, Research Director, SMB Infrastructure & Operations, Gartner 

The midmarket is undergoing a phase of rapid growth, investment and productivity. Business leaders of midsize companies are experiencing a high level of confidence which IT leaders can leverage for investment in key projects to continue driving company growth. In this session, attendees will gain an understanding of the major trends shaping the midmarket--one of the least understood segments of today's economy. This session will unveil the myths of the midmarket then dive deeply into the five trends that can help every midmarket IT leader differentiate and win. While we don't want to spoil the surprise, some of those trends include security, enablement of the digital workplace and how analytics are improving business and IT operations. Make sure you come to this kickoff session to hear how today's senior IT leaders can play critical roles driving the business forward and staying ahead of rivals.

From CIO to CEO—How Techies Take Over The World

Speaker: Bonnie Hagemann, CEO, Executive Development Associates Inc.

For more than the last decade, two paths have been carved through organizations everywhere: the path of the leaders and the path of the techies. But today, almost every company is in some way a technology company and that creates a fundamental shift in what is needed in leadership. As the impact of technology continues to grow, organizations of all types and sizes will need their technology leaders to step into higher-level roles, many even moving into the CEO seat. Attendees will leave with a vision outline to help define where they are going and what they want to accomplish for themselves and their organization. Most important is a blueprint to engage constituents with a clear plan for creating a compelling vision that resonates at all levels. 

In this session, leadership expert, Bonnie Hagemann, will share

  • The landscape for CIOs to move into the CEO office
  • The skills IT leaders need to gain to get there
  • The leadership trends identified in the latest Trends in Executive Development research by leading organizations around the world.  

Keynotes: Monday, Sept. 17. 2018

Leading The Winnable Future

Speaker: Thornton May, technology futurist, author and educator

IT leaders in midsize enterprises are the engine and under-appreciated heroes of the global economy. IT value creation, which is Job One for winning the future, requires executives to understand a complex and ever-changing business and technological environment. They must also navigate and remediate the bordering-on-dysfunctional beliefs and behaviors of non-IT executives and workers. In addition, today's senior IT leaders who want to lead the winnable future must manage perpetually expanding expectations while effecting broad-based cultural change.  Futurist Thornton May, in a highly interactive session, will showcase the best practices of the best CIOs leading the winnable future.

Accelerating Business With Cloud, Automation, And AI

Speaker:  Jorge Maestre, Sr. Technologist and Strategist for Worldwide Storage, HPE 

How can cloud, automation, and AI accelerate the business? Hybrid IT or hybrid cloud isn’t just hype anymore--it’s reality. Automation and AI drive faster, smarter, and less-expensive operations, resulting in powerful hybrid infrastructures that can help advance any midmarket organization. Join this session to learn how midmarket IT leaders can be cloud ready and how to get there. Attendees will also gain insight into how automation changes everything in the race to simplicity and why predictive flash is a necessity. Another key takeaway for IT leaders will be how to secure the infrastructure required to achieve automated simplicity.

Ruckus Networks: Different, for a reason!

Speaker:  Jeanette Lee, Sr. Director, Global Field Enablement

It’s hard to stand out in a crowded market. The same product repackaged with a catchy marketing slogan or buzzword is easy. That’s why everyone does it. Ruckus Networks is about real change. It’s about solutions designed to solve intractable problems that have not been addressed well by existing technology. It’s about providing differentiation that lets our partners stand out from the crowd with visionary solutions that only a company completely invested in our customers can truly understand.

The Innovative CIO: Succeeding In An Era Of Digital Transformation

Speakers: Niel Nickolaisen, CTO, CIO, OC Tanner

Nick Dell, IT Manager, Midway Products Group

Vennard Wright, CIO, Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission (WSSC)

Senior IT leaders of midmarket organizations have great responsibility, accountability and pressure resting on their shoulders. Numerous forces-- cloud and disruptive technologies among them--have pushed IT leaders to become agents of change. These leaders are increasingly being called upon to smoothly navigate the organization through this era of digital transformation. Strong IT leadership is now a business differentiator that requires every CIO to adopt new skills. To succeed, IT leaders must create new possibilities and a future the organization may not even realize it has. The innovative CIO is one focused on overhauling operations and helping to develop innovative products and services the business can take to market. They must also master how the business does business. In the past, the organization defined its needs and leaders found a way to support it. Now technology defines what the organization can do and the organization follows. IT leaders must understand what that means to ensure their success and move the organization forward. Join this session to gain insight into how to be an innovative CIO and hear from some who have redefined their roles.

The Security Threat 2.0 : Developing Your Risk Governance Plan

Speaker: Stephen Nardone, Practice Director of Security, Connection

With each passing day, the frequency and complexity of security threats and breaches is expanding. Senior IT leaders must come to the realization that traditional data boundaries no longer exist. The concept of connectivity from any device, anytime, anywhere has expanded the challenges of secure access control and business application connectivity. When it comes to open access for connected devices, IT leaders must address the questions of what their users are connecting to, is it authorized and safe, and if the data exchange is meeting policy. One of the most important components of any risk-management strategy is not the technology itself, but the organization, structure, documentation, and management that put the technology to work. In the current threat landscape, midmarket IT decision-makers must manage process to mitigate risk and develop an end-to-end IT security policy.

Sponsor Orientation: Midmarket IT Trends & How To Get The Most Out Of MES

Speaker: Bill Jones, SVP, The Channel Co. 

Designed for MES sponsors and supporters, this session will offer insight into getting the most out of one of the industry's largest gatherings of midmarket IT decision makers. Hear from the leaders of MES on what's new at the event and the hot buttons for senior IT leaders. Understanding the mindset of today’s midmarket CIOs will help tech suppliers and sponsors maximize their ROI to ensure their investment pays dividends in building relationships, a pipeline, branding and closing business. This session will help those attending meet their event goals.

Keynotes: Tuesday, Sept. 18. 2018

CIOs Can Raise Awareness With Diversity And Improve Engagement With Inclusion

Speaker: Cindy Kelly, Senior Executive Partner, Gartner

Many enterprises—large, midsize and small--have pursued diversity initiatives expecting improved performance and enhanced culture. For some organizations the outcomes have been limited, disappointing or disruptive and continuing to put more efforts into diversity training has only increased the disruptive effects. CIOs should introduce inclusion initiatives to shift the focus from differences to shared goals and outcomes

You Shall Not Pass—Unless You Have Multi-Factor Authentication

Speaker: Wayson Vannatta, Chief Information Officer, WatchGuard

Senior IT leaders of midmarket companies need to know that 81 percent of all security breaches are the result of stolen usernames and passwords. Going forward, IT leaders must assess whether they have the ability to protect passwords, and therefore their business from these cyberattacks. For IT leaders, multi-factor authentication can act as the drawbridge of the business, providing an additional layer of defense to their fortress. Attendees can learn more about how implementing an MFA solution can better protect their businesses, employees and data from cyberattacks. 

Breakouts: Sunday, Sept. 16. 2018

Executive Session

Developing a Business Focused IT Strategic Plan

Speaker: Scott Dennull, Sr. Director, AtriCure

What is your IT strategic plan? That simple question from business leaders can strike fear in the hearts of many senior IT leaders of midmarket organizations. Sweat beads begin to form as they think about the time needed to create such a strategy when they are consumed with how to keep the business running smoothly. This peer-led presentation will help solve this dilemma by demonstrating an efficient process to create an IT strategic plan so anyone can answer business leaders with confidence. Research firms have developed pages and pages of instruction on the process for creating a plan, but it is just not practical for the small and mid-size business IT leader. Attendees will leave this presentation with a midmarket case study and templates to create an IT strategic plan, define services, and prioritize business requests. 

Executive Session

Midmarket Peer Perspectives: Is SD-WAN The New LAN?

Moderator: Derek Christopher, CIO, Hines & Associates

Nick Dell, IT Manager, Midway Products Group, Moderator

Henry Chace, CIO, Burns & Levinson, LLP

Experts say that SD-WAN is a new and transformational way to architect, deploy and operate corporate WANs because it provides a simplified way of deploying and managing remote branch office connectivity. Its backers say SD-WAN is particularly beneficial as organizations adjust their networks to match prevailing user and application needs, stemming from increased use of public cloud services. So what should a midmarket IT leader do when it comes to selecting a SD-WAN solution? In this peer-led discussion, attendees will learn the pros and cons of SD-WAN including how it can be piloted in a small number of remote locations with very limited risk vs. SDN solutions which often impact larger application environments. Panelists will discuss their perceptions of SD-WAN suppliers—both new and established--along with the benefits of replacing router-based WAN solutions, the resulting cost savings and improved security. Given how fast the SD-WAN vendor landscape is rapidly evolving, senior IT leaders must stay ahead of the curve to tap into the potential of this leading-edge network solution.

Executive Session

Optimizing IT Operations To Drive Business Value

Speaker: Joseph Provenza, Research Director, Gartner

Midmarket senior IT leaders are facing constant change and new challenges in their efforts to enable and support the business to drive value. IT leaders must not only plan and budget for their department's costs and investments but fund innovation and the underpinnings of digital transformation. This is a time to rethink traditional paradigms and time for a new mindset. Historically, IT operations has been perceived as a cost center, a backbone if you will. But now it’s much more complicated than that. IT operations needs to innovate, predict, learn, evolve and embrace the importance of developing a deeper business acumen; running IT operations as a business within the business.

Breakouts: Monday, Sept. 17. 2018

Executive Session

Leading with Vision: A Blueprint for Engaging Your Workforce

Speaker: Bonnie Hagemann, CEO, Executive Development Associates Inc.

Leaders are trying to both understand and adapt to the cultural shift in the workplace driven by millennials. Casting the vision for the "new" workforce means leaders have to know what motivates and inspires them. These younger workers won't be influenced by money alone - they need more. They need an emotional stake in the game.

466 companies identified the #1 skill leaders need today as the ability to create a compelling vision and engage others around it. This is also the #1 skill that next generation leaders are lacking. We do not have it now and we are not going to have it in the future unless leaders take the time and effort to learn how to lead with vision. In the first book devoted entirely to vision as a key leadership principle, Bonnie Hagemann delves deeply into the notion that a compelling vision that motivates and inspires is a true differentiator for organizations that want to hire and retain talent, be more competitive, and thrive in uncertain times.

At the end of Bonnie's presentation, participants will leave with a vision outline to help leaders define "where they are going" and "what they want to accomplish" – for themselves and their organization.

  • A blueprint to engage constituents with a clear plan for creating a compelling vision that resonates at all levels.

Executive Session

Email & Security: What Every Midmarket IT Leader Needs To Know

Speaker:  Neil Wynne, Senior Research Analyst, Gartner

Email has been with us for more than 40 years. In that time, it has become the unstated killer app for B2B organizations. Contracts, purchase orders, invoices are all routinely sent by email. Collaboration of all types--from engineering designs to creative writing, presentation development to party planning is all done by email. But at its core, email remains the same vulnerable, venerable medium. In this presentation, we look at why email is so useful, ubiquitous and what vulnerabilities exist that can impact the midmarket organization. We will take the opportunity to look at what security controls exist, why many still languish un-adopted in the enterprise and what senior IT leaders need to know to stem the tide of phishing, ransomware, spoofing, and outright fraud.

Executive Session

Leadership Vision For The Midmarket CIO

Speaker:  Mike Cisek, Research Director, SMB Infrastructure & Operations, Gartner 

To engage and manage business ecosystems, organizations are creating a digital business platform to share critical assets. A digital platform is a business-driven framework that allows a community of partners, providers and customers to share and enhance digital processes and capabilities or to extend them for mutual benefit. This framework allows for different combinations of business models, leadership, talent, delivery and IT infrastructure platforms that power digital business ecosystems.

However, implementing digital platforms successfully needs collaboration with business counterparts and across IT roles. Infrastructure and operations leaders will play a key role in building and managing this platform. I&O leaders will have to play their role in this collaborative environment. This means they need to overcome any challenges and take a different leadership approach.

  • What are the major trends and challenges affecting the I&O leader?
  • What is leadership in the digital age for an I&O leader?
  • How do leading organizations deliver the highest value using I&O?
  • What actions and next practices should an I&O leader and team implement?

HPE/Intel Session

Intel Optane & Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) with HPE Solutions

Speaker: Jorge Maestre, Sr. Technologist and Strategist for Worldwide Storage, HPE 

HPE/Intel Session

HPE Power Session: User Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) – Hype or Help?

Speaker: Dan DesRosiers, Director Security Sales | US West, Aruba Networks, an HPE Company

IntroSpect’s UEBA detects attacks by spotting small changes in behavior that are often indicative of exploits that have evaded traditional security monitoring and analytics that are still active in an enterprise.

These types of attacks are also notoriously difficult to detect because compromised users and hosts can be involved where the bad actors have evaded perimeter defenses using legitimate credentials to access corporate resources. Phishing scams, social engineering and malware are just a few of the popular techniques by which these criminals acquire employee corporate credentials.

Unlike other solutions that are in the Behavior Analytics space, Aruba IntroSpect uses logs and packets together to create the most comprehensive view of all entities on an enterprise and track them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Breakouts: Tuesday, Sept. 18. 2018

Solutions Track

AI Vs. Malware: History, Workings And An Operational Example

Speaker: Keith Rayle, Strategist, Fortinet

Due to the wide range of readily available resources for creating malicious payloads like coders for hire and SaaS, malware is an exponentially growing issue. Threat actors are able to rapidly assemble and deploy high volumes and varieties of malicious code to unsuspecting users.  Current malware management models are simply overwhelmed or incapable of providing complete protection while reducing false positives toward that magical zero rate. Senior IT leaders of midmarket companies will hear the history and workings of AI.  Explore a system comprised of highly efficient deep machine learning neural networks that are currently deployed to proactively defeat malware attacks against enterprises and learn about the future of these systems and how they will be further leveraged into fighting cybercrime. This is not just a concept. It is an operational game changer.

Solutions Track

Analytics That Scale, Data You Can Trust  

Speaker: Chris Banks, Sr. Dir. of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Information Builders 

Attend this session to learn how to scale business intelligence and analytics adoption across diverse groups of users that add up to greater organizational intelligence and business impact.  We’ll cover how different personas consume information and communicate and collaborate with data, including embedded business intelligence (BI) applications, infographics, artificial intelligence (AI), and predictive analytics -- with an eye toward activating data, rather than just accessing it. We’ll also discuss how to transform an increasingly complex data and systems environment into a trusted data foundation to ensure decision integrity.

Solutions Track

SD-WAN: From Basics To Advanced Capabilities

Speakers: Jeremy Smith, Sales Engineer, Call One

Joey Waxman, National Sales/Channel Executive, Call One

Call One presents an industry-defining SD-WAN demo powered by Versa Networks. This session will cover the basics and skim the surface of advanced SD-WAN capabilities. This is one session that senior IT leaders will not want to miss. This session will cover application prioritization, dynamic path selection, unified threat management, next-generation firewall, reporting and analytics.

Wednesday, Sept. 19. 2018: MES IT Security Workshop

Cutting Through The Hype

Speaker: Bryan Cunningham, Executive Director, UC Irvine Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute

Security Expert Bryan Cunningham will give a sober and realistic assessment what the cybersecurity threat environment will look like over the next 10 years.  He will combine several macro trends with recent legal, technological, national and economic security developments, putting together the big picture. Cunningham's perspective comes from his extensive security work for the federal government advising the national security advisors and president along with his work as founder of UC Irvine's cybersecurity policy and research institute. In addition, counsels major corporations on how to comply with often conflicting legal regulations in the U.S. and overseas.  

A Security Breach Is No Longer If, But When

Speaker: Ben Johnson, CEO, Liberty Technology

Cyberattacks are increasing in number and sophistication. In addition, hackers are using new technologies such as IoT and mobile to conduct attacks. So far in 2018, companies have spent over $96 billion dollars on security solutions and yet 66% have been breached.  The consequences of a breach are more than just serious, they are life changing.

Liberty Technology believes that visibility is vital to defense and an expert partner is needed to help reduce any risk of attack. Great security protection can be both manageable and affordable.

Security as a Business Goal

Speaker:  Mark Murphy, Director Security Services, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, USA, Inc.  All Covered, IT Services

Alignment of any security plan with the corporate business goals is crucial to success.  Determining a corporate risk tolerance is fundamental to establishing the initial security roadmap and achieving buy in with Management. It is also utilized in the analysis of security initiatives relative to business context.  We will discuss the relationship of risk, corporate business goals, and the security roadmap.

Everything You Always Wanted To Ask A CISO

Speaker: Candy Alexander, CISSP CISM, Independent Consultant, Virtual CISO

Paul Furtado, VP of IT, Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies

The majority of midmarket organizations do not have a chief information security officer because the IT leader is the de facto security strategist. As a result, the executive team relies heavily on the CIO’s advice to set the company’s overall security strategy and implement the procedures and policies designed to protect the organization. This places enormous pressure and weight on every senior IT leader. But wouldn’t it be great to have a private conversation with a CISO who could allay all fears and provide a needed boost of confidence. This session will provide just that in helping today’s IT leaders address the constantly changing security landscape and provide answers business leaders are asking. Virtual CISO and cybersecurity consultant Candy Alexander, is here to field every question senior IT leaders would ask a CISO if they had one.