This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Today marked the start of Zenith Live 2020 for the EMEA region. Zenith Live is the premier global cloud summit, and this year it has gone virtual. For the first time, all sessions have been made available online and for free. This year’s theme is “Beyond Limits,” and day one has certainly gone beyond the limits of my expectations.
I wanted to share a few highlights from the main stage:
The day began with an energetic keynote presentation from Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry. He looked forward and one of his “bolder” visions for the future is that network security as we know it is dead. Jay described the global adaptation to a new way of work and presented an excellent architectural overview of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange and Zscaler’s new Cloud Protection services. He described these as “Holistic Cloud Security.”
Jay provided some perspective, offering a sincere acknowledgement of the hard work and sacrifices of front-line workers, who inspire all of us seeking to preserve business continuity. With this, he also referenced the “extraordinary” accomplishments of two European companies who truly went beyond limits in response to the pandemic. Using Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), Essen, Germany-based DB Schenker moved 20,000+ employees to remote work in two weeks. Similarly, Siemens enabled 300,000 workers to work from anywhere in just three weeks. The responsibility for enabling these accomplishments falls to the stewards of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange platform, and Jay brought on Head of Operations Misha Kuperman, who described in detail how Zscaler adjusted to handle increased traffic loads brought on by the global shift to remote work.
Next up on the virtual main stage were Zscaler President and CTO Amit Sinha and CIO Patrick Foxhoven, who gave an update on several new Zscaler product innovations. Particularly interesting was how Zscaler is integrating machine-learning technology into its behavioural analysis to deliver better security and user experience. Amit used a great real-world example of Zscaler AI used for advanced anomaly detection to flag a potential data-exfiltration risk. He also introduced Jairo Orea, Global CISO with Kimberly-Clark, who described how his company was able to switch to secure remote work in just two hours with Zscaler.
Jay returned to speak with several IT leaders at Siemens: CIO Hanna Hennig, Head of IT Infrastructure Markus Holzheimer, VP of IT Strategy & Governance Frederik Janssen, and Head of DEC Anthony Atherton. Together, this group successfully guided the company’s operations through the recent pandemic. Their innovations are taking IoT/OT security to new levels using a zero-trust architecture, an especially important strategy for an organization with such advanced manufacturing operations.
Another highlight was my colleague Kavitha Mariappan’s interview with Captain Scott Kelly. He shared his experiences as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot and astronaut, and described in incredible detail what it’s like to pilot a rocket. The example he set to go beyond limits can motivate all of us. (Also, his description of reentry into the earth’s atmosphere was fascinating.)
This year we invited IT leaders from Technip FMC, Johnson Controls, BT, and PepsiCo joining Zscaler Senior Director of Transformation Strategy Pam Kubiatowski for the session “Women in IT: Confidence and Collaboration Bring IT Career Success". They shared their unique perspectives on getting ahead and offered advice for other leaders. Some sage counsel from former PepsiCo CIO Jody Davids: Don’t take it personally, develop resilience, and “when in doubt, act.”
Off the main sessions, experts from Zscaler, Zscaler partners, and even Zscaler customers led breakouts and training covering everything from architectural overviews to product updates to in-depth hands-on demos. Some of the more popular topics among European attendees included a technical deep-dive on the new Zscaler Client Connector, an overview of Microsoft 365 deployment best practices, and a new-features-update on ZPA.
In case you missed today’s sessions, don’t worry! Recordings will be available soon! And Zenith Live 2020 continues tomorrow at 8:00 AM GMT.
I’m looking forward to hearing more details on new platform innovations from Amit and Patrick, as well as compelling customer journeys from CMA CGM, Sanofi, DB Schenker, Unilever, and others. And I’m expecting a great keynote from Andy Greenberg, the noted journalist and author of Sandworm, who will share his investigative reporting into the shadowy cyber-terrorist group behind NotPetya.