Microsoft‘s premier technical education and networking conference, the recently concluded Tech.Ed Sri Lanka 2010, provided an unparalleled opportunity for IT students and professionals to explore current and future Microsoft technologies, tools, platforms and services. The three day program themed “Challenge Your World” provided participants with the opportunity to interact with Microsoft innovators, third party experts and IT students, and was structured in a manner in which participants could avail themselves of over 200 IT learning opportunities.
Tech.Ed 2010 Sri Lanka hosted 4 main technical tracks which spawned 50 learning opportunities. The main tracks spanned across business and productivity tools, IT management and tools, security, optimisation; developer tools, database, languages and frameworks; and web technologies and user experience. The sessions encompassed subjects of interest for both IT students as well as advanced professionals. Another attraction of Tech.Ed 2010 was the “Partner Expo” conducted by Microsoft partners. An exhibition featuring leading local IT solution providers and technology giants who showcased solutions and products whilst demonstrating their expertise in the latest technological innovations and developments. An additional focal point at Tech.Ed 2010 was the state-of-the-art technical lab that provided participants with the opportunity to experience and study what was being showcased in a live environment. Participants were also given the chance to win prizes and surprises through numerous raffle draws and fun filled activities sponsored by the partners and Microsoft Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the inauguration Mr. Sriyan De Silva Wijeyaratne, Country Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka stressed on the need for IT to generate tangible results “When we talk of Information Technology for business leaders, Government or anyone, if we cannot anchor our conversation against return on investment, cost reduction or how this technology can give your company a distinctive competitive edge… and if we can‘t link our IT conversation with these kind of topics, then we start making IT an end in itself and that‘s not what we should be doing. So what we‘re doing today, here at Tech.Ed 2010, is helping to build this dialogue”
He went on to express his appreciation for the input, expertise and enthusiasm of the eminent panel of speakers who were present at the event, and also made special mention of the events sponsors: Platinum sponsor Dell, Gold Sponsors Navantis and Millenium IT as well as the Silver Sponsors IronOne Technologies, GLPL, HP, Virtusa and Singer – thanking them for joining forces with Microsoft in this endeavor to transform the IT landscape of Sri Lanka.
Tech Ed 2010 featured a stunning line up of internationally renowned IT Gurus‘ including the ‘Sage of Security’ - Bruce Schneier, Chief Security Technology Officer of British Telecom (BT), internationally renowned security technologist and author of nine books as well as hundreds of articles, essays and academic papers, who spoke on the issue of security whilst shedding light on why so many smart security solutions go unimplemented.
An important factor in the success of Tech Ed 2010 was the immense opportunities it offered for networking and interaction. Throughout the event, IT solution providers and technology giants worldwide were able to share knowledge and experience with local companies and techies, providing the ultimate experience to learn from the best that Microsoft has to offer. The technology discussed at Tech Ed 2010 presented the local IT community with an insight into next generation technology that is making waves across other parts of the world, and giving them the opportunity to witness the benefits gained by international companies in using these technologies and solutions.
In his key note address at the inauguration of the event Bruce Schneier said he was happy to be present in Sri Lanka for Tech Ed 2010 “This event is critical in the current business context. Tech.Ed 2010 is an ideal platform for all IT geeks and business heads to identify potential threats and opportunities. Information is an essential resource for all businesses today and is the key to growth and success. However, you need to ensure that the information held on your IT systems is secure”.
Mr. Schneier emphasized the importance of integrating practices which may seem mundane and overcautious into the daily operations of both companies and individuals in order to ensure safety and the maintenance of privacy. One of the most quoted and respected Security experts in the world, Mr. Schneier also emphasized the critical role security plays in a company’s growth and development as well as the importance of including employees in the entire process, making them responsible participants and thus resulting in the entire process being carried out faster and more efficiently by the company.
Other eminent speakers included Brian Puhl - an Architect on the Identity and Access Management team for Microsoft’s internal IT department; Prasanna Amirthalingam, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional), technology consultant, technical author and trainer with more than 9 years of experience, working for Readify, Australia; and T. N. C. Venkatarangan, Founder & Chairman of Vishwak Solutions Pvt. Ltd., India, and its two wholly owned subsidiaries in US and UK. In addition, the event saw subject experts and reputed technology specialists such as Kevin Chai , Charlie Tan, Christopher Perez Estonina, David Foo, Darren Sim, Ngan Seok Chern, Freddy Tan, Aviraj Ajgekar, Joy Rathnayake, Rohan Perera, Madhusudan Kohli, Rahul Pahwa sharing their expertise and knowledge, adding much vitality to the Tech.Ed experience.
The event proved to be the ideal forum to share, explore, learn and connect with peers and industry experts, offering the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals who are equally passionate about cutting edge technology and new-age IT solutions. Tech.Ed shared valuable insights on how to tackle the challenges encountered by IT managers daily, by aligning the capabilities and strengths of IT with the organization’s business goals.
Another distinguished speaker at the inauguration ceremony Mr. Jay Keller, CIO / Executive Director MAS Capital Pvt Ltd, INDUS Director and Regional Head of Sri Lanka spoke of his experience with Microsoft Office 2010 which is built to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness for businesses across the globe said “I am an ardent fan of Microsoft products, Microsoft has simplified the whole PC experience and enhances business productivity and efficiency to a degree that boosts companies efficiency and revenue in unparalleled degrees”
Mr. Glen Speering, Business Development Manager for Sri Lanka from Dell Global Business Centre Malaysia, who is the Platinum Sponsor of Tech-Ed Sri Lanka 2010, speaking at the inauguration event explained their decision to sponsor the event “Our decision to sponsor this premier IT conference has proved to be wise as the level of learning and value addition that the event provides participants is unlimited. We are cognisant of the efforts that Microsoft Sri Lanka makes in promoting learning and enhancing IT skills in the country, and going by the company’s past records, we were convinced that this mega IT conference would be another feather in its cap”
Tech.Ed comprised a high degree of value for corporate participations including seminars on efficiency through Automation, Green Computing, Virtualization, Security, Identity and Access, Unified Communications and Business Intelligence and Database platforms, and much more. The event was packed with back-to-back sessions with the experts and group discussions, wherein participants could actively interface with speakers and with each other. By collaborating so closely with Microsoft professionals, the participants were able to explore greater uses of existing IT infrastructure and how these tools can be leveraged for greater performance levels.
Mr. Buddika Perera, Post graduate student at SLIIT, had this to say: “Microsoft’s Tech-Ed 2010 was an amazing learning opportunity for me because it opened a whole new world of possibilities. Firstly, the line-up of eminent speaks who also happened to be leading industry experts kept me completely enthralled, and I am aware that I was really lucky to be able to interface with these professionals and have them answer my toughest queries. Some other students were even able to locate resources to help design software solutions! I now have a clearer idea of the limitless possibilities of using Microsoft tools and technologies, and more importantly, going ahead, I am more confident of how I want to chart my career growth in my chosen professions of IT.”
The general consensus following the event was that Tech Ed 2010 could not have come at a better or more appropriate time for Sri Lanka. At this juncture, when the country is looking to catch up with the time and opportunities it lost in the past, the event presented professionals and students with the chance to really delve deep, seeking the answers to their questions and finding them via the best and most knowledgeable sources.
Participants at Tech.Ed Sri Lanka 2010 were able to add to their knowledge from a variety of touch-points. Learning through the powerful keynote addresses and training workshops, asking discerning questions at focused interactive discussions and then strengthening their knowledge through the PC-based instructor-led training laboratories. The strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration, and the convergence of talent under one roof meant that everyone present could connect with other IT professionals on a personal and professional level, ensuring that Tech Ed 2010 was an unforgettable experience that left participants with just one question “When is the next Tech Ed?”