#Avanade20Years: A look back at TechSummit

  • Posted on March 12, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

We continue our #Avanade20Years special series on the blog in celebration of our 20th Anniversary on April 4, 2020. This week, we take a look back at TechSummit, the predecessor of !nnovate, to see how the event evolved from its start in the mid-aughts.

The original concept behind TechSummit was brought to life by then Chief Technology Officer Ashish Kumar’s team, and the idea was to bring together Avanade’s technologists from all over the globe to share ideas, innovation and best practices.

“The very first one was actually in ‘Greece’ – the biggest conference room in the Seattle office on Elliott Avenue,” recalled Bhargavi Raghunathan, Program Director for Talent Communities. “It was a two-day event with about 50 people handpicked by the CTO office. We used other conference rooms in the office for breakout sessions.”

From there, it evolved into a larger conference, with Bhargavi running the event from 2006 to 2012. The event extended to four days and moved to various hotels before eventually growing to over 500 participants hosted in the Microsoft Center in Redmond. Bhargavi said it became an event like Microsoft’s Ignite with luminary keynote speakers, client showcase, multiple breakout tracks, and served as a reward for high performers across Avanade regions.

The final TechSummit took place in the summer of 2017. As Avanade evolved, we also needed to rethink how to evolve TechSummit.

“The growth of TechSummit led it to be the most sought-after event that many of our employees yearned to be part of,” said Lisa McIntosh, Global Partner Ecosystem Lead for Modern Workplace, who took over for Bhargavi in 2012 and ran the event until 2015. “We knew that being the leading digital innovator, we needed to put innovation at the core of the new and improved future event.”

In FY18, !nnovate was born and the event continues to grow and change, just as TechSummit did from its start. Bhargavi said she hopes it continues to serve as a source of innovation and collaboration, a marquee event that fosters both CX and EX.

“I think it’s important to continue to evolve the event to focus on innovation but also engagement – bringing together our employees with our clients and partners,” Lisa added. “Relationships and trust are everything, and leveraging an event like !nnovate to bring people together to network, learn and build solid relationships is invaluable.”

Andy Blevins

I remember TechSummit from 2015 to 2017 very fondly. Absolutely incredible events, and the only way I've seen to truly bring Avanade's global family together en masse. Literally my favorite thing about Avanade since i joined in 2013. The quality of the keynotes and Avanade presentations was so high....makes me want to go back and rewatch some of that content! Many of the thought-leadership sessions would still be 100% relevant today in 2020.

March 18, 2020

David Jobling

I remember that first Tech Summit very well.  It was the first time I saw Mt Rainier looming over the city from that bay view window.  The amount of knowledge and passion for technology that was in the room was astounding.  Learnt so much over just a few days and made, quite literally, life long connections.

March 13, 2020

Marc Jennings

I loved my one and only visit to TechSummit the year we were joined there by the Williams folks.  The event was packed with content that everyone involved could learn from and be inspired by.  My only regret is not to have been able to present at one.

March 12, 2020

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