Act, Don’t React: How AI and Automation Will Change the Way You Work

Data and AI

Now, more than ever, organizations are under pressure to change the way they work. In today’s distributed work environment, organizations can’t afford to be tied into a single ecosystem — they need an open one that offers the freedom to shift direction at the speed they need and their customers demand. With AI and automation, organizations can take a proactive approach to transform their business and infuse intelligence across their workflows. In this keynote session, learn how clients are using our prescriptive approach to put AI and automation to work in their organization, and hear some of our partners discuss the importance of being open.


Rob Thomas

Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud & Data Platform, IBM

Robert D. Thomas is Senior Vice President of IBM Cloud and Data Platform. He directs IBM’s product design and investment strategy, expert labs, global software product development, marketing and field operations across the company’s vast software portfolio. Rob was previously the General Manager of IBM Data and Watson AI. Under his leadership, IBM has emerged as a leader in data and AI, spanning databases, data integration and governance, business intelligence, financial planning, data science and AI tools, and AI applications. Since joining IBM’s software unit, Rob has held roles of increasing responsibility and overseen 4 acquisitions by the firm, representing over $2.5 billion in transaction value. Born in Florida, Rob earned his BA in Economics at Vanderbilt University and earned his MBA at the University of Florida, Rob serves on the board of Domus (Stamford, CT), which assists underprivileged children in Fairfield county.

Mirco Bharpalania

Head of Data & Analytics, Lufthansa Group

Mirco Bharpalania is responsible for Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, API Management and Middleware for the core business of Lufthansa – Lufthansa Airlines, Swiss and Austrian and additionally has the role of Lufthansa Group Process Owner for Data & Analytics.   In this role he is responsible for the management of all relevant data (customer, sales, operations) up to generating insights out of this data through advanced analytics, BI or AI with teams in Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich.    During his 16 years at Lufthansa Group he has been in charge of several management positions including IT Governance and Strategy of Lufthansa Airlines. In his last role he was responsible for the IT applications for the worldwide ground operations processes of Lufthansa.   Mirco Bharpalania holds a German University Degree in Business Computer Science from Technical University Darmstadt.

Jessica Rockwood

Vice President of Development, Hybrid Multicloud Management, IBM

Jessica is Vice President of Development, Hybrid Multicloud Management. She is responsible for building operational tool chains and packaged AI applications that infuse AI into enterprise IT workflows to drive business value. Prior to this role, she was director of IBM Db2, an AI database, leveraging AI to optimize development processes, enabling clients to bring AI applications closer to the data that matters most. Her passion for IBM is infectious, which is exactly why she has been an active part of the IBM Employee Experience Program - a series of activities that helps to educate, enhance and provide a positive on-boarding experience to new hires.

Melissa Molstad

Director of Common Platforms, Data Strategy & Vendor Relations, PayPal

Melissa is an experienced people and vendor manager with a demonstrated history of working in the internet and financial services industry. Skilled in risk management, user experience, business process improvement, and cross-functional team leadership, she is a strong program and project management professional. Melissa also serves on the PayPal Omaha Leadership Development Committee, PayPal Unity (Women in Technology), PayPal Aliados (Hispanic community) and PayPal Pride (ally for LGBTQ+) committees. In addition, she has been a sponsor for Unity Shadow which provides the opportunity for women to be mentored by women leaders in technology.

Aaron Levie

Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder and Chairman, Box

Aaron Levie is Chief Executive Officer, Cofounder and Chairman at Box, which he launched in 2005 with CFO and cofounder Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind the Box product and platform strategy, incorporating the best of secure content collaboration with an intuitive user experience suited to the way people work today. Aaron leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served on the Board of Directors since April 2005. Aaron attended the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to found Box.

Stewart Butterfield

Co-founder and CEO, Slack

Stewart Butterfield is the CEO and co-founder of Slack. Over the past 20 years, he has had a distinguished career as an entrepreneur, designer, and technologist. In 2014, Stewart helped found Slack, a new category of software that changed the way we work by bringing together people, applications, and data to help teams do their best work. Since then, over 600,000 organizations in over 150 countries have turned to Slack to increase their organizational agility--making it the place to communicate, collaborate, and get work done.  In 2003, he pioneered a new way of sharing information on the Internet when he co-founded Flickr and built the company as CEO into one of the largest web services in the world.  He was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine, and one of the Top 50 Leaders by BusinessWeek among many similar honors, such as Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List, the Recode 100, Advertising Age’s Creativity 50, and the Technology Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal.  Stewart has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Victoria and an MPhil in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. He retains academic interests in cognitive science, economics, organizational psychology, and the history and philosophy of science.

Dr. Mallory Freeman

Director of Data Science and Machine Learning, Advanced Analytics Group, UPS

Mallory Freeman leads the Advanced Analytics Group, the Enterprise Business Intelligence group, and the Data Strategy & Analysis group, all driving the development and implementation of the enterprise data strategy at UPS to manage data as a corporate asset. Previously, Mallory was instrumental in establishing data science practice within the Advanced Technology Group and in designing and launching sponsored research projects with major universities and research firms.  Mallory holds a bachelor’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, a master’s in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Mallory is active in her community having numerous accomplishments including a 2016 TED Talk. In 2019, she received the Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award from Georgia Tech.