Day two of ProgressNEXT 2019 was filled with great keynotes, great networking and a great party! For those of you who were not able to make it, I wanted to share some highlights from my own experiences at the conference.
If you missed my recap of day one, you can find it here.
The morning started off with Progress CTO Dmitri Tcherevik talking about some very futuristic looking technology that is currently available or being created by teams across Progress.
He began by discussing the problem of app fatigue. Essentially, too many apps reach a point where they no longer improve productivity and employees can struggle to manage all the workflows across the various apps. However, Progress has created a solution that allows companies to bring all the apps and workflows together to allow employees to complete tasks quickly and easily without constant context switching. It is called microapps.
Nischal Reddy walked through some of the process of how microapps can be created using templates. They are automatically built with integrated access restrictions and can update automatically without the user needing to download a new version of the app.
Next up, Ali Haughton joined Dmitri to discuss a new "no show" solution being created that uses machine learning to help doctors and hospitals predict whether a patient is likely to show up for an appointment. The scale of this problem is enormous, with Ali estimating that even a small hospital could lose around $12 million a year on no-shows.
Following Jim, we jumped into the world of AR and VR. We saw a new tool being developed to create augmented reality guided help that can be used to create guides for using machines or other tools. Then a tool was demonstrated that allows doctors to have remote appointments via virtual reality and more easily share medical information in detail.
It is clear that Progress is investing in some very cutting edge technologies.
One of the compelling customer keynotes was delivered by Jehiel Oliver, the founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, and a successful Kinvey customer. Jehiel explained the scope of the problem he was trying to help solve, which is the lack of availability of tractors for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. He showed how this lack of machinery can lead to lower yields of farms and, therefore, a lack of needed food production.
Jehiel explained how Kinvey helped him build a number of innovative applications. For example, the tractor owner app, combined with telematics on tractors, delivers real time data about a tractor's location, health and usage. Meanwhile the scheduling app allows farmers or booking agents to book tractor time at the exact time it is needed. All of these tools combine to solve real business problems but are also helping to build much needed infrastructure around farming in emerging markets.
Megan Smith was the third U.S. chief technology officer and is the current CEO of shift7. Megan delivered an inspirational keynote around unlocking the collective genius of the community. She showed how an unfortunate impact of our technology has been to further separate people into verticals that makes compromise difficult and can limit innovation.
She also showed how biases sometimes built into algorithms can impact the success of a solution in terms of widespread usage. For example how big data can be leveraged in ways that are problematic or AI that is unable to recognize non-white faces. Her message was that we needed to create an inclusive future in order to truly drive innovation and bring in the true creative power of the entire community around STEM.
The day ended with an amazing attendee party by the pool at the Omni Resort. There was a lot of food, drink and great entertainment. It was a fun way to network and socialize while enjoying the Florida sunshine.
Sadly, tomorrow is the final day of ProgressNEXT 2019, but there's still lots more to come. You can check out my recap of day three here.
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