This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the SOTI Sync 2019 technology conference with some of my fellow CSCU members. The three-day conference took place at the prestigious Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto, and presented an eye-opening perspective of the upcoming digital landscape.

SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues and Former US Vice President Al Gore spoke on the effect that technology has on our climate change crisis.

On the first day, we were able to hear from SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues, who kicked off the conference with a visionary keynote presentation highlighting the rapid change that technology is driving. Carl explored how we can not only keep up with this rapid change, but also how we can accelerate past it by breaking through the barriers of technical complexity and cost.

Following the opening keynote, we were able to hear from Samsung's Global Director of Enterprise Platforms Strategy & Business Development – Nick Dawson. Dawson, an enterprise technology veteran of 20 years, shared his thoughts on technology trends that are increasing at an astounding rate and how they are converging in the mobility space. Nick discussed the hyper-connected world that we are headed towards thanks to the convergence of several technologies, including 5G, IoT, and artificial intelligence. With such an emphasis on the advancements in technology, Dawson raised the question of security throughout this digital transformation and briefly went over Samsung's Knox security program.

Later in the day, we were privileged to hear from Stephen Tanaka, Microsoft Canada's One Commercial Partner CTO. Stephen's eye-opening presentation explored how technology is disrupting every industry – and why it is so important. Tanaka shared his thoughts on innovation in the tech industry, saying "Innovation is not a word, it's an action. Innovation doesn't see tomorrow, it creates tomorrow".

The second day of SOTI Sync 2019 was kicked off by the duo of SOTI's Oscar Rambaldini (VP of Product Development) and Ryan Weber (VP of Sales Americas). The two delivered a funny, yet informative keynote covering how SOTI has been able to deliver the innovation required to keep pace in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. Day two wrapped up with a special keynote from former US Vice President Al Gore. It was interesting to hear his insights on how technology has the ability to drive global change, explaining the importance of sustainable growth and how the nature of consumer demand is changing. Gore discussed why he believes that the growth in technology is key to the solution of our climate change crisis.

Jodie Wallis, Managing Director of Artificial Intelligence and Applied Intelligence at Accenture, spoke on AI Applications in the Enterprise on Day 3 of SOTI Sync 2019.

The third and final day of SOTI Sync 2019 did not disappoint, starting off with a Fireside Chat with SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues, who described SOTI's rapid innovation and growth worldwide – including the technological advancements that are fuelling the global growth within the industry. Last but certainly not least, SOTI Sync 2019 wrapped up with a keynote from Jodie Wallis, Managing Director of Artificial Intelligence and Applied Intelligence at Accenture. Jodie covered the topic of AI applications in the enterprise, and discussed the opportunities and challenges that are associated with such advancements. While most companies have begun to gain an understanding of artificial intelligence, Jodie explores the sources of value made possible by artificial intelligence and conversely covered some of the challenges that organizations face in realizing this value that is inherently right in front of them.

All in all, SOTI Sync 2019 was a great learning experience, providing our group with the chance to learn about new developments in the industry and network with industry-leading professionals. It is clear that SOTI has a growing landscape of young talent, as illustrated by the 1,000 employee mark recently surpassed by the organization. It was an honour to be able to represent Ryerson University alongside my fellow CSCU members. I look forward to witnessing the rapid growth of not only SOTI, but also the development of the hyper-connected digital landscape that we are headed towards at a rapid pace.