AI is Top of Mind at Think on Tour Toronto
June 28, 2023

IBM recently hosted Think on Tour in Toronto, its annual flagship conference for business and technology leaders to come together to share ideas, spark innovation, discuss the impact of artificial...

IBM recently hosted Think on Tour in Toronto, its annual flagship conference for business and technology leaders to come together to share ideas, spark innovation, discuss the impact of artificial intelligence and find solutions to their business challenges.

The conference was attended by more than 500 clients, partners and IBMers. If you were one of the attendees, we hope you enjoyed. But for those who couldn’t – here’s a quick recap.

This is the moment for AI for Business

The biggest moment was the showcasing of watsonx, that was launched last month in May at Think in Orlando. The audience in Toronto witnessed the demos of watsonx, IBM’s upcoming next generation, enterprise-ready AI and data platform designed to multiply the impact of AI across businesses.

The event kicked off with a welcome address from Dave McCann, IBM Canada President and Frank Attaie, GM-Technology, IBM Canada where they acknowledged National Indigenous People’s Day.

They were then joined on stage by Starrlee DeGrace, Global Diversity & Inclusion Native, Indigenous & Workplace Engagement Leader at IBM Canada who shared her thoughts on what this day means to her. This was followed by a spectacular dance routine by Red Sky Performance group.

There were six keynotes and several solution spotlights focused on sustainability, cyber security, and user experience – and Tech Bytes sessions on data security, responsible AI and innovation with synthetic data.

In the coming weeks, we will share more on the insights shared by clients and partners that were delivered in the keynotes listed below – stay tuned for more!

Think on Tour Toronto 2023 – Recap of Keynotes

  1. Embrace Disruption: Turn challenges into opportunities with Hybrid Cloud and AI – This keynote delivered by Sebastian Krause, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, IBM focused on showcasing the power of watsonx to prospective and existing clients. It featured an interview with Christina Kramer, Senior EVP and Group Head, Technology, Infrastructure, and Innovation at CIBC, on the impact of hybrid cloud and AI on their business. 
  2. AI for business: Seize the moment and unlock growth with intelligent automationDelivered by Deb Pimentel, Vice President, Data, AI and Automation, IBM Canada focussed on the current AI landscape and the opportunity AI presents for businesses to achieve a significant breakthrough in productivity and competitiveness amidst a challenging economic environment and talent shortages. It featured interviews with Neel Mehta, Director IT architecture and delivery, Bell and Cari Covent, Head of Data, Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, Canadian Tire Corporation on their data and AI journey.
  3. Focus more on business outcomes, less on IT with hybrid cloud Delivered by Kate Woolley, General Manager, Ecosystem Global Sales, IBM focussed on unlocking the value of data with an open hybrid, multicloud approach can help companies scale resiliency and performance and make decisions with greater precision. She was joined by Bardley Hadfield, LTO, BMO Insurance, Bank of Montreal and Tim Lalonde, VP Technical Operations, Mid-Range Computer Group as they discussed their partnership to accelerate BMO’s journey to the cloud and share practical lessons learned along the way. 
  4. Generative AI For Business – This keynote by Steven Astorino, VP of Development, Data and AI and Canada Lab Director, IBM focussed on demystifying the technology which is AI and shared a set of principles to guide the generative AI business strategy. It also featured interviews with Ramila Peiris, Director, Head of Data Science, Sanofi and Aditya Anne, Director of Data Science, CIBC
  5. No more time: Security at the speed of business – This keynote by Dhruva Suthar, Director Cybersecurity, IBM Canada focussed on how we can empower security leaders and their teams to use AI to respond in minutes or even seconds. It featured an interview with Dhaksayan Shanmuganayagam, CIO, Toronto Transit Commission on how leaders are using emerging innovations to close the time gap and inspire confidence as they move from reacting to anticipating.
  6. Empowering your organization to operationalize sustainability – Delivered by Zlata Huddleston, Partner, Sustainability Practice Leader, IBM Consulting Canada, focussed on how organizations are under escalating pressure to deliver sustainability goals while growing revenue, reducing business risk and driving shareholder returns. It featured interviews with Rob Ellis, Chief Legal Officer & SVP Sustainability, Celestica and Michael Torrance, Chief Sustainability Office, BMO.

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