Top Takeaways from Interface Portland
Last week I had the opportunity to spend the day in the Oregon Convention Center listening to presentations and learning about the latest innovations in IT at Interface. Not only did I win a $25 gift card from MCPc at a raffle at their booth, I came away with a few gems from the speakers at Interface.
I started the day off by sitting in on Jason Sparks’ talk on 10 Technology Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2014. Sparks, who works for Xiologix, talked about the cloud, mobile, and smart machines as disruptive forces. “Everything we do today is digital. The entire world is digital. The internet of everything is a combination of four things- people, the internet, data, and things.” Kind of makes you think, eh?
Next up was Edwin Mendoza of Fortinet with Security Predictions for 2014. As someone who works for a company that spends all day every day preventing unqualified consumers from redeeming protected offers, this topic definitely piqued my interest. Mendoza focused on big-picture problems for IT professionals like securing the cloud, mobile malware and device attacks, password problems, and encryption. He noted that “Cybercrime is getting more costly. The dollar values will go up. Look for attacks that cost millions.” He predicts that in 2014, we’ll see the first $10M+ attack, making security and safeguards against cyber criminals a priority for IT teams everywhere.
The day wrapped up with a keynote presentation by Dwayne Melancon, the CTO at Tripwire, on Restoring Trust After a Data Breach. This was a timely topic as journalists continue to explore the aftershocks of Target’s data breach and report on new data breaches like the attack on Sally Beauty Supply that happened today. Melancon’s first piece of advice was also a key theme in the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy- Don’t Panic.He also advised IT, PR, and marketing executives to work together on a communications and response plan before you need one so that you’re prepared if a breach does take place. “Visibility, communication, and consistency build credibility.”
In between speakers, I strolled the floor, and the marketer in me couldn’t help taking notice of some of the booths, brochures, and freebies on display.
Dell’s presence was notable. They gave a presentation on how to Optimize Your IT Environment with Converged Infrastructure Solutions, channel marketing partners like MCPc were also exhibiting at the show, and everything at their booth was well-branded from the colors of the tablecloths to the signage, to the shirts their staff rocked.
Triple Play’s booth was fun. They had multiple screens attached to the back wall of their display, and they were all playing eye-catching video footage. Their team was friendly and upbeat without being pushy, and their raffle prize was tempting. I know I dropped my card in the raffle box.
In addition to having a professional, well-designed booth, Comcast Business also sponsored lunch. They fed me when I was hungry, gave me a pen when mine ran dry and gave me a free (branded) bag so I could haul around all the brochures and business cards I picked up. In short, they were there for me when I needed them, which is exactly what I’d want from an internet service provider for my business.
In addition to my reliable Comcast pen and bag, I scored some sweet swag like a mini-stapler from Veeam, an insulated carrying bag from tw telecom, fresh popcorn from Syntegrity, and antibacterial hand wipes from Kaspersky. Kudos to these companies for thinking beyond the usual flash drives and stress balls.
Maybe I’ll see you guys again at Interface next year!