Strategic Briefings
& speakers


Conducted during the Networking Breaks, Strategic Briefings allow conference sponsors to present expert views of strategic opportunities and implications of emerging technologies and business trends.


Ric ElertDave Scrim Conversant

Disruptive Digital Marketing:
From Identity to Measurement

Ric Elert, President, and Dave Scrim,
Senior Vice President, Product and Pricing, Conversant

This strategic breakout will cover the keys to performance-based digital marketing from identity management to activation to measurement. How well do you know and manage your customer and prospects? Measure your marketing strategies and learn strategies to drive better outcomes.

About Ric and Dave »

Ric Elert is a recognized industry leader with 20+ years of experience in high-scale technology, individualized data and operational development. As President at Conversant, Ric is responsible for driving corporate and product strategy and managing all business operations (with the exception of the Conversant sales team). He also guides the product, development and marketing of the various technologies and capabilities that set Epsilon Conversant apart as a truly differentiated offering in the market. Prior to joining Conversant, Ric was Executive Vice President of Engineering at comScore, Inc. As one of the company’s original technology team leaders, he oversaw the development and management of comScore’s global enterprise technology, which scaled to support billions of online transactions.

Ric is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s Tech 50 in 2017. He sits on several boards, including the Federation for Internet Alerts (FIA) and FreeOsk, and is a founding member of the IAB Data Center of Excellence.

As Senior Vice President of Product and Pricing, Dave Scrim is responsible for developing differentiated offerings across Epsilon and Conversant as well as growing the companies’ Mesobase, Bridge and Unite products. He is also responsible for the pricing strategy across all Conversant products.

A graduate of Auburn University, Brian’s career also includes stints at Oracle, Akamai Technologies and Internap Network Services.

Dave joined Conversant (formerly Dotomi) in 2011. Prior to Conversant, he worked for Experian as Director of their Integrated Marketing Services team. David graduated with an MBA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a BBA in Marketing from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. David was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario and moved to Evanston in 1999 where he lives with his wife Sandrine and his three sons Kaiden, Kingston and Teo.


Jake Beyer EDCi

Contact Center – Winter is Coming!

Jake Beyer
Director of Customer Care, EDCi


Now, more than ever, changes in the contact center arena are borderline immeasurable. From terminology to trends, this field has flipped upside down in a matter of a couple of years! Concepts like omni-channel and big data have been surpassed by artificial intelligence (AI), the cloud and the implications of low unemployment. From there, throw in the role of smart assistants (Amazon Alexa, Google Home) and social media (Facebook, Twitter), and we are all left scrambling!

EDCi’s session will not only evaluate these trends, but also demonstrate how they play into the current and future state of contact centers. Furthermore, we will point out how realistic these buzz words really are for our Wisconsin marketplace, in comparison to other regions or countries. The session will wrap with guidance on preparing and executing projects related to each trend or a combination of trends.

About Jake »

Jake Beyer brings over 15 years of customer service and contact center experience to EDCi where he serves as the Director of Customer Care. Jake and his team focus on helping organizations optimize their contact center software and processes. This seamless integration allows for maximum efficiency. EDCi’s numerous innovation and growth awards are a testament to the unique approach that EDCi has used to solve business problems using process and technology. Jake is passionate about technology and invests a great deal of time into keeping his skills current. From complex contact center integrations to optimization and consulting, he understands the vital task of aligning IT with the strategic goals of the business.


Clint Harder OneNeck IT Solutions

Cloud Native Innovation

Clint Harder
Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Product Strategy, OneNeck IT Solutions

Innovation waits for no one. In an age where the status quo can be measured in hours (or faster), how can we expect developers, IT and security to keep up? Something has to change. This presentation will focus on what needs to change so you can keep pace when it comes to IT application innovation and security.

About Clint »

Clint Harder is responsible for shaping OneNeck’s product development and technology strategy. His focus is on driving revenue by bringing new products and partnerships to market. Additionally, Clint is a senior member of the business development team at OneNeck’s parent company, Telephone and Data Systems. In this role, Clint helps to evaluate strategic partnership and acquisition opportunities. In June 2011, Clint joined OneNeck as the VP of Product Strategy. He was promoted to CTO in June 2013 and has held other senior roles during the company’s evolution. He currently works out of the OneNeck office in Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining OneNeck, Clint served as a consultant where he provided guidance to TDS Telecom and other companies on developing and growing their IT services strategies. He has extensive professional experience in waterfall and agile software development, manufacturing and IT process engineering and total quality system management. Clint holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of California-Berkeley and is an alumnus of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School.


Carol CrawfordWMEP

Transformational Productivity Initiative — Addressing Risks to Growth in a
Tight Labor Market

Carol Crawford
Senior Consultant, WMEP

The threat of labor shortages and higher wages are risks to business growth, profitability and long-term survival for many of Wisconsin’s small and mid-sized manufacturers. There simply are not enough people to hire to keep up with demand. Manufacturers must achieve significant gains in labor efficiency to offset a declining workforce and drive economic growth. WMEP’s Transformational Productivity Initiative (TPI) offers a set of tools and delivery systems to help manufacturers assess and prioritize actions to increase their productivity via basic process improvements and management best practices as well as the integration of automation and digital technologies. TPI shows manufacturers how to do more with less.

About Carol »

Carol serves as a senior consultant in the south region and has vast manufacturing experience in various positions with both small and large companies.

Carol brings a diverse business background with experience in various company sizes and industries. She has more than 25 years of experience in supply chain and operations management in a range of industries including printing, electronics, equipment manufacturing and software.

In addition, Carol is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, APICS certified in Production and Inventory Management (C.P.I.M.), ISM Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) and Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and is a Lead QMS Auditor (ISO 9001:2015) with experience implementing and auditing to various integrated management systems. Carol is also certified as a Trained Service Provider for The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and can help guide customers through the process of survey completion and responding to KPIs.

Carol earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing and international business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA with an operations management emphasis from Marquette University.


Tim Curless AHEAD

Three Ways to Jump Start
Your DevOps Practice

Tim Curless
Senior Cloud Architect, AHEAD

In most cases today, organizations are struggling to deploy DevOps through the enterprise. Join us as Tim talks about three ways successful organizations ramp up their DevOps practice. In this session, you’ll hear strategies to help you build a plan, understand metrics for success and how a successful DevOps practice contributes to business outcomes. This isn’t DevOps for the sake of DevOps, but a way to drive development operations to help you stay ahead of your contribution and delight your customers.

About Tim »

At AHEAD, Tim works on the Cloud team, where he focuses on DevOps and Automation. With a passion for solving complex problems, Tim helps clients build transformative solutions that drive real business value. Specifically, Tim takes a consensus building approach with business leaders, developers and IT operations to change the way applications are created, maintained and deployed. The end result is a solution that increases speed to deliver new features to customers and decreased complexity for operations staff.


Tom Jones eGain

Contact Center AI That Works

Tom Jones
Senior Solutions Consultant, eGain


If AI is a red-hot topic, AI for contact centers and customer service organizations is white hot. At the same time, implementation failures are starting to create disillusionment. Moreover, there has been much confusion about AI — what is it, what are the various AI technologies and use-cases for my business function, what are the best practices, where are the real-world case studies and how do I create quick value, while mitigating risk? Fret no more! All you have to do is attend eGain’s strategic briefing.

eGain is a pioneer in AI that has helped world-class companies transform contact centers, customer service and digital business organizations with AI. As an example, a premier telco improved FCR by 23 percent, NPS by 30 percent, and reduced agent training time by 43 percent across 10,000 agents and associates in 550 retail stores with AI reasoning! You will learn about this success story and more at this session.

About Tom »

Tom Jones is Senior Solutions Consultant for eGain Corporation. He helps clients leverage digital engagement, knowledge management, and applied AI to deliver easy experiences to their customers and contact center agents.


Ken Gavranovic New Relic

Digital Transformation: A CTO’s Guide to Lessons Learned & Success Patterns

Ken Gavranovic
Chief Technology Officer, New Relic


According to IDC, by 2021 at least 50 percent of the global GDP will be digitized. Right now, companies are scrambling to accelerate digital transformation. Cloud, DevOps, agile and a fundamental shift to organizing business around the customer experience, are what many companies consider essential to the journey. How do you transform into a data driven business? Is your company organized for success? Learn how successful companies are tackling this digital journey, including emerging patterns of success as well as lessons learned. This session is designed for senior leaders looking for practical approaches to accelerate their company’s digital transformation.

About Ken »

Ken Gavranovic is the Chief Technology Officer for New Relic Corporation. He specializes in leading global enterprises through transformations, helping organizations scale-up and out and translating customer-first “talk” into customer-first action. Ken has been a public CEO, CTO, Angel Investor and consultant, including founding Interland, which as CEO/Founder, he took public on NASDAQ, now known as WEB.COM (NASDAQ:WEB). Prior to New Relic, Ken was a digital transformation leader at Cox Automotive (Kelly Blue Book, AutoTrader, Manheim Auto Auctions, Dealer Track among other business units). He has led and consulted with global enterprises on patterns for successful digital transformations including Cloud, DevOps/Agile, digital experience first, omnichannel, “customer backwards” product development, and migrating success metrics from “think/feel” to data driven results, as well as other initiatives. Ken has been featured on CNN, CNBC and other media outlets.


Michael Fazio Skyline Technologies

Expanding Your Opportunities with Mobile: Trek+BCycle Case Study

Michael Fazio
Senior Software Engineer, Skyline Technologies

Trek’s BCycle doesn’t see itself as a bike company; instead, it sees itself as a transportation company. Therefore, they wanted an easier way to provide bicycles as transportation and reduce the barrier of entry for riders. This session will give marketing and IT professionals an inside look at how Trek leveraged mobile to expand and engage their market ... and the technology that made it all possible.

About Michael »

Michael Fazio is a Senior Software Engineer with Skyline Technologies, where he helps clients solve all kinds of problems in the web, mobile, and cloud spaces. Fazio is also an organizing committee member for Chicago Code Camp and Milwaukee Code Camp, as well as a presenter at user groups, code camps, and That Conference. Fazio has a love of all things mobile, voice assistants, JavaScript, and REST APIs. Outside of technology, he's always up for a chat about board games, video games, baseball, and late-90s metal bands.


Justin Fulkerson Sprinklr

Future Proof Your Marketing Strategy

Justin Fulkerson
Senior Director of Presales, Americas, Sprinklr


In a world powered by social media, customers control your brand, and what customers choose to say, share and listen to is directly impacted by their experience. While all departments now bear some responsibility for the customer experience, CMOs are uniquely positioned to take ownership and align their organization’s customer-facing functions. This presentation will explore the next generation technologies enabling marketing professionals to meet customers on their own terms, and discuss how marketers are future-proofing their role, strategy and relevance of the company.

About Justin »

At Sprinklr, Justin leads the Solutions Consulting organization in North and South America and is responsible for developing strategies that align Sprinklr’s product offering to impactful business value. Justin also established the solution architecture practice at Sprinklr which is responsible for consulting clients on strategic ways to extend the value of their Sprinklr investment into existing digital marketing eco-systems to ensure a consistent and relevant customer experience across all channels.

Justin has been in software for 16 years and specifically focused on customer experience for the last 7. Prior to joining Sprinklr, Justin helped grow and establish Vitrue, one of the industries first Social Media Marketing Solutions, into a successful exit. Most recently, Justin spent time at Oracle consulting Fortune 500 clients on how to architect and activate effective multi-channel digital marketing solutions. Justin is based in Dallas and holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.


West Dillard Zilker Technology

Commerce Meets Experience: Engaging Customers with Experience-driven Commerce

West Dillard
Practice Director – Digital Solutions, Zilker Technology

Experience-driven commerce, or headless commerce, is a growing trend in the industry, but what does it really mean? Using experience-driven commerce helps you to get to market faster, innovate continuously and scale for hyper-growth and global expansion. In this presentation you will get answers to questions like:

  • What is Experience-driven or headless commerce?
  • How does it help me as a marketing or content manager?
  • How does it help me as an IT manager?
  • What does it really look like?
  • How do I get started?

Zilker Technology will explore how to change purchases to buying experiences through timely, relevant content using tools your teams are already familiar with.

About West »

West is a 30 year software industry veteran with experience across a variety of industries including public health, call center, transportation and eCommerce. As Director of the Digital Solutions practice at Zilker Technology, West’s focus is on helping customers maximize the value of their technology investments with practical solutions to real world problems.

Questions about the conference? Contact UWEBC Member Services and Events Director Jen Anderson at 608-890-1406 or jen.anderson@wisc.edu.



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Download the UWEBC Annual Conference app for all of the details you need to know to prepare for the day, including personalizing your own agenda with the track sessions that you don't want to miss.


The Day At a Glance

Your day at the Business Best Practices & Emerging Technologies Conference is packed with content:

7:00-8:00 am Registration and Networking
8:00-9:30 am Opening Session and Keynote featuring Rich Karlgaard
9:30-10:20 am Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 9:45 to 10:10 am)
10:20 am -12:20 pm Track Sessions in Lecture Hall
12:20-1:20 pm Lunch & Table Topics
1:30-2:05 pm Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 1:30-1:55 pm)
2:05-3:25 pm Track Sessions in Lecture Hall
3:35-4:35 pm Closing Keynote featuring Noelle Pikus Pace
4:35-4:45 pm Raffle and Conference closes

Sponsors Banner
DIAMOND SPONSOR
PREMIUM SPONSORS
American Family Insurance logo

CUNA Mutual Group
PLATINUM SPONSORS
EDCi  logo

GOLD SPONSORS
SILVER SPONSORS

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
Mediasite by Sonic Foundry

Video On Demand Partner


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Center for Professional and Executive Development

Kohl's Center for Retailing


Engineering Professional Development

Office of Business Engagement


Interested in sponsoring?


Contact Lori Wilson, Marketing and Communications Director
lori.wilson@wisc.edu | 608-890-2449