Last week saw the launch of our inaugural XPO North at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Thanks to all our partners, attendees and staff who helped to make this a successful event. If you missed the action or want a recap of the day, continue reading for our XPO North event round-up, which features all the key highlights and discussion points.

Full steam ahead for our inaugural XPO North

Wendy Shearer, Public Sales Director

Wendy Shearer, Public Sales Director

Wendy Shearer, Trustmarque’s Public Sector Sales Director, opened the day with a warm welcome to XPO North and the key topics we were bringing to the table, on subjects surrounding digital transformation. Wendy spoke to the audience about culture, collaboration and technology combining to drive better outcomes.

A breakfast briefing to whet the appetite 

XPO North Breakfast Briefing Panel

XPO North Breakfast Briefing Panel

The audience were then taken straight into a Breakfast Briefing with some of the key speakers XPO speakers to whet the appetite and set the scene for the day. Hosted by Trustmarque’s Chief Technology Officer, James Butler, the panel went full steam ahead with a lively debate about the digital revolution and where we are in the transition.

Dell Technologies’ Chief Customer Officer, Sean Horne talked about the need for democratisation of digital. He said that while the digital revolution is largely a “middle class revolution”, it is imperative that all users and communities are engaged to drive the transition forward.

“Democratisation gives everyone the opportunity to be creative; no matter what your background is. Our ambition is to enable people to be creative and develop the apps and solutions that will power the world,” he told the audience.

XPO North 2019 panel of experts

XPO North 2019 panel of experts

Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, Trustmarque’s data expert Paul Brady said there will be greater focus on predictive analytics through advances in AI. He said there are already “great examples of using the data of the past to predict the future” but that we must be mindful to interpret data for the current scenario, rather than simply relying on algorithms.

Concluding the briefing, James Butler was keen to get the panel’s thoughts on the need for a new value system for the digital era. Looking at the perspective of religion and how it has historically provided a code of ethics and simplified difficult questions for society, he raised debate about how we can learn from religion to help people make the right decisions and self-govern in an increasingly complex time.

XPO North vendors captured the imagination

XPO North Vendors

XPO North Vendors

Attendees benefited from some fantastic presentations from our leading technology partners. Dell Technologies were back talking about ‘Digital Darwinism’ and their triangulated approach to digital transformation which considers: applications, infrastructure and operations. Meanwhile, their partners VMware spoke about how application needs are driving cloud strategies and the need for agile infrastructure.

We also had some interesting discussions in the Public Sector Stream where a mix of vendors, Trustmarque colleagues and thought leaders from the sector attempted to address some of the key challenges and opportunities of digital transformation.

Ciaron Hoye, Deputy CIO at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, spoke about the need for a Digital Ethics Charter in healthcare. Barrachd’s session was also well received, discussing ways to deliver better outcomes through data-led decision making.

Microsoft’s Digital Inclusion vision captivated the audience

Helen Smith, Microsoft

Helen Smith on Microsoft’s Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy

One of the stand-out presentations of the day came from Helen Smith, Partner Success Manager at Microsoft, who spoke passionately to a packed room about empowering people through Digital Inclusion.

Helen drew on examples from her personal life which she coupled with some shock statistics that highlighted the prevalence of disability in society and the workplace. For example, did you know that one in eight men in the UK is colour blind? Or that 70% of people with a disability do not tell their employer about their circumstance? She went on to reveal some nifty accessibility solutions from the Microsoft stack and beyond that could go along way to helping us all improve our accessibility and inclusion.

The audience was particularly impressed by PowerPoint tools like Designer and live caption and subtitle functionality, which can be used not only to support disability inclusion, but can engage audiences in multiple languages.

Watch out for the video interviews with our lead vendor sponsors coming soon.

Networking and practical, hands-on advice with industry leaders

Networking at XPO North

Networking at XPO North

At XPO North we had 18 inspirational technology partners on-site who were keen to meet with attendees to discuss how they can help solve their current challenges. Our XPO North sponsors included vendors from across the landscape ranging from Data Management to Cyber Security to Cloud and more. As with XPO South we were proud to welcome our top tier partners; Microsoft, Tell Technologies, VMware and more.

Attendees were also invited to demo the latest technology empowering the modern workplace in the Customer Immersion Experience Lab hosted by Trustmarque’s Customer Success Manager Seb Burrell.

Leading the XPO-dition with man of the mountains, Sir Chris Bonington

Sir Chris Bonington, Guest Speaker

Sir Chris Bonington, Guest Speaker

The day ended on a high as the revered mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington took to the stage as the XPO North guest speaker. After facing an avalanche of puns by way of introduction, he went on to share his experiences in leading high-profile, technical expeditions in some of the world’s most challenging mountain ranges.

Sir Chris revealed the pride in reaching the peak of his success in 1985 when he finally summitted Mount Everest after several near attempts, including climbing Everest’s huge South West Face, which brought him so close to the top in 1975.

He spoke about his passion for technology and how he was the first climber to take a computer up Everest. When asked about how technology has changed the face of mountaineering, he confirmed Gore-Tex to be one of his favourite inventions. For anyone thinking of following in his footsteps, he revealed his go-to pieces of kit; Gore-Tex clothing, a book and a pack of cards, which he says “will go a long way”.

I think it’s fair to say, he gave the attendees ‘summit’ to think about.

The XPO North ‘Hero’ of the day

XPO North competition winner

XPO North competition winner

Finally, congratulations to the lucky attendee from Yorkshire Water who won our XPO North competition to win a GoPro Hero 7.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters

Special thanks to all our strategic vendor partners who participated in XPO North 2019. We’re proud to work with such a diverse network of partners to bring our customers the latest solutions and approaches to their digital transformation strategies.

XPO North sponsors and partners

XPO North sponsors and partners

Your digital transformation partner

Missed the chance to join us at XPO? Our dedicated sales teams can discuss your digital transformation needs and introduce you to the right solutions from our vast network of technology partners. For expert advice contact the team by emailing info@trustmarque.com or hit the button below

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Photos and review by Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast