Should You Attend the First #ShiftHappens Conference?

Post Date: 01/23/2019
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I’ve wanted AvePoint to host a conference for years. Not necessarily a user conference, but an industry conference that gathered real practitioners across the industry to discuss the good AND the bad of life in the cloud.

You always hear the success stories, but I’ve found it’s the false steps along the way that provide some of the greatest learning opportunities.

This year, we are finally hosting that conference. #ShiftHappens will take place June 12-13 in Washington D.C. where 250 of the top modern workplace professionals will discuss “digital transformation from the trenches.”

In this post I’m going to share the goals of this conference and who should attend. You should attend if…

You Prioritize Substance Over Flash And You Don’t Have Time For Fluff

#ShiftHappens is exactly the type of conference I’d want to attend.

Oftentimes I feel like you can hit fast forward on the first 30 percent of a conference. We don’t have time to hear (again) why cloud is the future.

We know it’s already here! We are either:

  1. Trying desperately to figure out how to overcome regulations and organizational hurdles to get there OR
  2. We have gone through our own painful transformation (read what I learned going through it with AvePoint) and are adjusting to life in the cloud.

The reality you don’t hear at conferences is that life in the cloud is NOT nirvana. Yes, it’s better than the alternative and it’s a competitive necessity, but its also messy. I still don’t know how CONTOSO did it ? .

And most organizations can’t afford a messy modern workplace, especially large or heavily regulated organizations. It impacts talent retention, productivity and puts your sensitive data at risk.

You’re Invested In The Office 365 or the Microsoft Ecosystem

Microsoft 365 is the dominant cloud office solution with more than 155 million commercial active monthly users. #ShiftHappens will feature the best internal and external perspectives on the platform.

There will be keynotes from Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Office 365 Jeff Teper and Microsoft President of US Regulated Industries Toni-Townes Whitley. In addition, the conference will feature sessions from +10 Microsoft MVPs, 2 Regional Directors, and independent authorities like Mary Jo FoleyTony Redmond and Paul Thurott.

Looking for a conference on digital transformation? Check out this post: Click To Tweet

You’re a Modern Workplace Practitioner or IT Professional

You will hear directly from your peers at the largest, most regulated and process-driven organizations. Speakers that will get into the details about what worked and what didn’t from organizations like CMS, Prudential, the City of Richmond, and numerous other regulated entities.

There is no one who knows digital transformation better than the professionals who have gone through it.

You’re a Big Thinker Focused on the Business Impact of Your Modern Workplace

As Co-CEO of AvePoint, it’s my responsibility to look at the big picture and spot emerging trends to see how they’ll impact the company years before they do (see what I think about tech intensity).

For me, one of the most effective ways to do this is by reading and listening to analysts. Not only is it their job to spot trends, but they talk to hundreds of practitioners a year to help them solve their most difficult challenges. This allows them to spot patterns and trends faster than anyone.

I’m pleased that we will have two of the best analysts in our space keynoting #ShiftHappens: Ray Wang the Principal Analyst and Founder of Constellation Research, and Cheryl McKinnon, Principal Analyst, Forrester.


You’re a Private OR Public Sector Organization

Since the conference is taking place in the heart of Washington DC and AvePoint was named the Microsoft 2018 MSUS Partner Award Winner for Government, we wanted to make sure there were plenty of sessions and learning opportunities from agencies like CMS for government leaders.

In fact, we are so committed to public sector that we are offering free tickets to government employees with a .gov or .mil email address. Reach out to for details.

You Like Interaction, Networking, and Conversation

We’ve capped registration at 250 people in order to maximize peer learning and facilitate the types of intimate, productive conversations you need to have at conferences. With limited space, I’d encourage you to register for the conference sooner rather than later and take advantage of early bird pricing if you fit the above criteria.

Hope to see you there!

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Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

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