The best of Avanade comes to life at TechSummit

  • Posted on August 11, 2016

I’ve been lucky. In my almost seven years at Avanade, I’ve attended our annual TechSummit each year. Held at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Washington, this three-day event brings together our top technologists from around the globe along with key clients, strategic partners and inspired students to facilitate learning, sharing and, quite frankly, be amazed at how technology is being used to change our world. This year was no different in those respects, but it was different for me.

As Avanade’s new Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO), this was my first year as the event’s executive sponsor. Working for a company like Avanade that dedicates itself to the development of people and innovation, it’s no surprise that an event that focuses on these things is one of the most anticipated of the year. And it’s no small feat. An incredible team of people pulled off our largest TechSummit yet: 600 attendees came together to hear from leading authorities in our industry, participate in panel discussions, and experience the art of what’s possible in leading edge technology solutions.

This year’s keynotes didn’t disappoint, and while it’s hard to pick a favorite, two that garnered a lot of attention from attendees were our CEO Adam Warby’s panel with three great guests - Bob Kelly, Microsoft Vice President; Nancy Giordano, a strategic futurist; and Rob James, William Hill CIO; as well as James Whittaker’s talk on “Disruption is closer than it appears." I could hear the discussions and debates among attendees after listening to these speakers and realized this is why we invest our time and money in bringing this large group together – to broaden horizons and help people think beyond what has already been done to imagine what’s possible.

One of the most anticipated sessions at TechSummit is our Innovation Contest final—five teams from around the Avanade world, who’ve made it through three rounds of judging, presenting their solutions to real-world challenges set by our clients, to hundreds of their peers and special guests who get to vote to choose the winner.  This year honors went to “Agriculture Acceleration Initiative” who created a solution to help small rural farmers get connected to the world to improve their crop yields.

This desire to go above and beyond day-to-day client work and develop solutions that improve our global communities is just one example of an Avanade Core Value – we change things for the better – brought to life. Congratulations to all the teams who participated!

Reflecting on TechSummit, one might ask why we have an annual event to celebrate people and innovation – something that we are already committed to every day? It’s a testament to the fact that we never rest on our laurels. We’re always looking ahead – anticipating what’s over the horizon and solving not just the challenges put in front of us, but harnessing the power created when we bring together technology and really smart people. I am already looking forward to TechSummit ’17!

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