by Ritva Kangasperko, ClearPath Forward Team

As a culture, we’ve never been closer. And yet, we’ve never been further away. Just think about how we work, communicate, and socialize in the digital age.

We collaborate, network, and conduct productive meetings virtually with the help of messaging apps, screen shares, and the like. We text, share, tweet, and retweet around the clock. We are never more than a screen away from our friends, families, and colleagues – no matter where in the world they may be at any given moment. We are constantly, endlessly connected.

But, how often do we get to truly connect? When nearly every interaction takes place electronically, is there still value in meeting one another face to face?

After attending the 60th annual UNITE conference, the answer most definitely is “yes.”

Get to Know UNITE

An association of Unisys users from around the globe, UNITE exists to promote the growth and exchange of information within the Unisys user community.

To achieve this end, UNITE’s mission revolves around four core goals: helping new Unisys users learn the basics of the technology; making sure knowledge is effectively transferred among experts and newcomers alike; building a community of like-minded IT professionals; and using outreach to increase awareness around the value Unisys technology brings to the enterprise.

Central to furthering and supporting these goals is the annual UNITE Conference. Each year, the conference provides a great opportunity to meet old acquaintances, make new friends, network with partners, clients, and peers, and spend some dedicated time learning interesting information about all things Unisys.

And the great UNITE 2018 Conference was no different.

Uniting at UNITE 2018

The central theme of UNITE 2018 focused on IT transformation and security in a hybrid-IT world. Like every year, UNITE 2018 boasted a packed program.

Ann Ruckstuhl pic

Ann Sung Ruckstuhl, Unisys Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, opened the conference with a keynote titled “Unisys Corporate Update.” During her presentation, Ann detailed how new Unisys initiatives and innovations – including the latest advances in the ClearPath Forward® environment – exemplify our commitment to enhancing people’s lives through secure, reliable, advanced technology. Ann also shared how Unisys new marketing actions are driving market leadership, global awareness, and top-line growth.

This eye-opening keynote was followed by “Unisys and the National Cybersecurity Moonshot – an Insider’s View,” a general session hosted by Tom Patterson, Unisys Chief Trust Officer. Tom, who represents National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) member and Unisys Chairman and CEO Peter Altabef as the subcommittee’s co-chair, took a look at the “moonshot” approach being drafted by the NSTAC, and the security science that will influence our world for generations. It was a powerful, thought-provoking presentation about a topic that impacts us all.

Steve Koss, Distinguished Engineer and Global Team Lead of our Product Services Solution Office, ran an opening-day session in which he discussed the security issues, impacts, and considerations that are necessary when transitioning workloads – especially when they’re part of the ClearPath Forward environment – to an internal or external cloud.

The conference’s second day featured 16 presentations in all, covering such topics as application development, transaction integration, data protection in a virtual world, data encryption, and the newest ClearPath® MCP and ClearPath OS 2200 software release roadmaps and strategies.

With 19 presentations, day three was just as full. Attendees learned about securing ClearPath MCP Software Series systems, why web services are always cloud ready, version control best practices, integrating data with Unisys Data Exchange 5.0, and driving innovation with the ClearPath Forward environment, to name just a few.

Aside from some exciting, insightful presentations, what really stood out about UNITE 2018 was the diverse nature of the presenters themselves. While Unisys employees certainly had a strong presence, nearly half of the sessions were run by users, partners, or vendors. In fact, the presentation “I Didn’t Know You Could Do That!” was run entirely by ClearPath Forward users, and featured examples of cool things our clients are doing with the technology every day.

Another Great Year

UNITE 2018 proved that, despite how virtual our “connected” lives have become, there’s no replacing the tried-and-true in-person meeting.

Screen shares are an incredibly easy and convenient means of collaboration. And there really is no faster way to say “hi” than a text message. But when it comes to sharing meaningful time and experiences with your peers, learning from others, and getting energized by interesting, thought-provoking ideas, you can’t beat face-to-face interaction.

With that in mind, we’d like to extend a big “thank you!” to everyone involved in UNITE 2018 – leadership, volunteers, and presenters included – for making this valuable, informative, high-energy conference possible. And, more importantly, for setting the stage for a bigger and better UNITE 2019.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Building Connections in the Digital Age