2019 SAS Global Forum: Recap

2019 SAS Global Forum: Recap

Get the Munvo Team’s Firsthand Account of the 2019 SAS Global Forum

We’re back! The Munvo team has returned from yet another immersive tech conference – this time, the 2019 SAS Global Forum held in Dallas, Texas. As we look back at all the events that have transpired over the course of this year’s gala, we reflect on just how aptly the forum fulfilled its theme, Analytics in Action.

From April 28-May 1, team members from Munvo’s Canadian and American offices explored the world of SAS; its products, services, and most recent MarTech innovations. During this time, we chose from a variety of over 700 scheduled sessions and dynamic workshops to attend. With more than 5000 participants, including leaders from global brands and trusted SAS partners, the 2019 Global Forum proved that everything really is bigger in Texas!

Discover Munvo’s 3 Main Takeaways from the 2019 SAS Global Forum:

The ‘Power of the Partner’ Rings True

The SAS Partner Forum on April 28 is where the Munvo team most effectively learned how to engage and build on our profound role as a SAS Focus Partner. This exclusive event is the only one of its kind that highlights how global brands can gain even more value from their respective SAS partnerships and collaborations. Speakers from various organizations shared their executive insights and expertise on a wide range of subjects pertinent to us. Munvo’s specialization in Customer Intelligence (CI) products – Customer Intelligence 360 (CI 360), Marketing Automation (MA), Real-Time Decision Management (RTDM)®, Marketing Optimization (MO)®, and the marketing operations management tool, CI 360 Plan – led us to examine the evolving Customer Intelligence hybrid architecture, as well as to discuss new product features with the Development and Product Management teams over at SAS.

David Franklin, the keynote speaker and founder/CEO of Cloud Co-Op, drew from his 20+ years of experience in tech to emphasize the necessity of solid governance, growth, and implementation strategies with SAS. Not only did he attest to the crucial development of strong partner-to-partner relationships, he explained how fortifying these collaborative dynamics can lead to the expansion of your customer base.

During his presentation, Franklin also took some time to discuss his VETS2CLOUD Apprenticeship program, which provides veterans with real-world paid business experience through direct coaching within the industry. Conference attendees were similarly encouraged to learn about SAS’s Data for Good initiative, which capitalizes on the power of analytics to help solve humanitarian crises internationally.

As official sponsors of Swab the World – an organization dedicated to diversifying blood cell donors – we at Munvo understand the importance of giving back to our community, which is why the philanthropic message of the 2019 SAS Forum resonated with us so strongly. In fact, we were able to see how the Analytics in Action mantra could be applied firsthand through data-driven initiatives that aim to ameliorate people’s everyday lives.

The Takeaway?

While the depth of professional partnerships may vary, it is important to align yourself with causes and corporations that correspond to your core business values. In committing to the cultivation of increasingly meaningful relationships, your organization should always put in the same amount of hard work and dedication that you would like to see reciprocated.

Love to Learn, Long Term

The SAS Global Forum creates learning experiences that intuitively anticipate each attendee’s personal preferences. From classroom-style discussion to hands-on experimentation, the event was well – equipped and ready to accommodate its guests. Our team, naturally, sought to attend as many detailed presentations and workshops as possible. After all, they were conveniently divided into sections of both 20 and 50 minutes, which allowed for flexible conference scheduling.

Customer Intelligence was the central focus of several major presentations. There was even a private session limited to clients and select partners (like Munvo!), meant to unpack strategies for enhanced marketing capabilities. Other sessions we attended include talks on Analytics in AWS and Content Targeting Segmentation with CI360, both of which imparted a wealth of new information to our team.

On the third day of the conference, keynote speaker Reshma Saujani gave a compelling presentation that touched on the themes of learning and diversity in analytics. Along with being a lawyer, author, and TED Speaker, Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code – a national non-profit organization aiming to close the gender gap in tech. During her talk, she implored industry leaders to mentor and empower women within an increasingly competitive field, while similarly encouraging more women to step out of their comfort zone, take risks, and embrace new challenges. She even highlighted a few projects from the Girls Who Code initiative that have gone on to achieve international recognition.

In addition, there were interactive ‘how-to’ demos and Super Demo Stations that covered just about any topic imaginable, from analytics and business intelligence to data management, programming, and marketing solutions. The Learning Lab also gave participants the chance to peruse plenty of visual material and tackle free e-learning courses, while the 10-minute SAS Quick Tips were available for those who generally prefer concise subject overviews or best practice summaries. More than this, the SAS Global Forum incorporates a Post-Conference Training program as part of its offerings, in order to extend your conference experience and continue learning beyond the dates of the event.

The Takeaway?

The SAS Global Forum was organized so that the most prominent data and analytic hot topics were clearly conveyed and communicated – regardless of your professional background or preferred learning style.

Connect and Collaborate with Industry Leaders

This year’s conference provided us with an ideal atmosphere to catch up on the latest trends in data management, alongside some top leaders in the MarTech industry. For this reason, we must reiterate the event’s overarching ambiance to accurately wrap up our SAS Forum Recap.

The schedule and set up were organized so that we could easily meet and connect with new peers. Not only were we welcomed with a Happy Hour celebration upon our arrival, the Quad’s ‘tradeshow’ atmosphere was perfect for mingling with other SAS specialists and sponsors from the beginning to the very end of the Global Forum.

For North and South American visitors specifically, the SAS Cala – or, the Canadian and Latin American Gala – made for an excellent networking opportunity that could potentially lead to new partnerships.

Meanwhile, the Kickback Party on April 30 was, by far, one of the most beloved occasions for socializing. Guests were invited to Gilley’s Dallas, a massive 90 000 square-foot venue, or ‘playground’ for adults to shoot pool, ride a mechanical bull, enjoy live country music, or simply dance the night away.

The Takeaway?

In light of the information absorbed over our four days at the SAS Global Forum, this Munvo Recap unpacks just a few of the team’s main highlights, insights, and observations. There’s so much more information for us to review and reflect on, in order to continue solidifying our SAS practice. As we look ahead to next year’s event, we’ll be ready to get learning again!

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Nicole Plouffe

Executive Assistant

Nicole harnesses over 8 years of professional experience in executive and administrative roles to ensure the smooth operation of Munvo’s offices, projects, and processes. By working alongside Munvo’s President, she expertly supports the team and leads a number of Munvo community initiatives. Not only does Nicole dream up cool ideas; she puts them into practice by arranging the right people with the right resources.

Munvo University

The Munvo University is an online learning and certification environment designed to accelerate the training of Munvo consultants on Enterprise Marketing solutions. Munvo University is built on 4 main pillars: Marketing, Technology, Methodology, and Consulting.

Mentoring and Coaching

To help integrate newcomers, Munvo encourages a continual Mentoring and Coaching approach to help facilitate each learning experience. This methodology offers trainees with easy access to Munvo best-practices and additional resources from senior consultants.

Summit Meeting

Munvo Summits are 3-day meetings conducted in a resort a week before the holiday break. Summits are a unique opportunity to review the year’s accomplishments and to share plans and objectives for the upcoming year. Our different offices converge together to share stories, update each other on their latest projects, make connections and have fun.

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Ed Scrivani

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Ed oversees the teams responsible for managing professional services, sales, and software products. Ed comes to Munvo with 30 years of enterprise sales and service experience in Enterprise Marketing Management, Online/Mobile Customer Experience Management, Web Content Management, and eCommerce Solutions. Ed brings an extensive background in building teams, coaching and developing talent, and exceeding revenue targets in high growth companies.

Ed started his career in sales engineering and management, selling relational database technology for Informix Software. He then moved to one of the first eCommerce companies, Open Market, where he lead a national team of sales engineers and later ran their professional services practice. He transitioned into direct selling with companies such as Open Text and Oracle. He has spent the last eleven years managing North American sales organizations for companies such as Tealeaf (IBM), Neolane (Adobe), and Quantum Metric.

Ed hold a BS in Computer Science from Hartwick College and a MS in Computer Science from BGSU. 

Julie Bordeleau

Corporate Controller

As Corporate Controller, Julie oversees Munvo’s HR, financial, and accounting functions – from payroll, bank reconciliation, and government remittances, to budget analysis, asset management, and ad-hoc reporting.

With a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from Concordia University, she first established her career in accounting firms, and spent 6 years at Fuller Landau where she was the Manager and Director of their small business division. She then moved on to a family-owned real estate company as Controller for 7 years before bringing her expertise to the Munvo team.

Lunch and Learns

Munvo Lunch and Learns help consultants stay up-to-date on various topics by encouraging subject matter experts to share their knowledge with other team members every two weeks over lunch.

Christopher Stanford

Account Executive

As an account executive at Munvo, Christopher is responsible for the business development of Munvo software products, as well as the management of named accounts. In his previous role, Chris managed relationships with clients subscribed to Munvo products, such as CompanionSMS Connector/SMS Gateway, and campaignQA.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science from the Franklin Pierce University in Business Administration and Management, which he pursued while dominating the baseball field.

Artour Kitbalian

Account Manager

Artour joined Munvo in 2013 as a Consultant delivering services for both the Adobe and IBM (now UnicaCampaign practices to clients across Canada and the US. He quickly earned himself a reputation for providing high-level services while maintaining a relaxed and friendly environment.

Leveraging his consulting experience as a Business Solutions Consultant, Solutions Architect, and Named Account Manager, Artour has been developing Munvo’s client profiles by working closely with them to bring tailored solutions to their needs. The dedication that he demonstrates in each engagement ensures that our clients’ aims remain a top priority.

Before joining Munvo, Artour worked as a Data Migration Consultant. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Management from McGill University.

Alex Uher

Global Marketing Head

As Global Marketing Head, Alex and his team focus on identifying our customers’ needs and solving them by clearly articulating Munvo’s proven solutions. Alex rejoined Munvo after a career of 20+ years in Marketing Automation, Data-driven Marketing, and Marketing Strategy. He has deep experience working across a variety of industries including FMCG (L’Oreal Paris USA), Retail (Coach, Tommy Bahama), Telco (T-Mobile), and Gaming (Caesar’s Casinos). Most recently Alex developed the Central & Eastern European Marketing Strategy practice for Wunderman Thompson in Prague, Czech Republic.

Alex holds double majors in Business Economics and International Business from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University – Bloomington.

 

Dave Ariely

Marketing Transformation Services Lead

Since joining Munvo in 2013, Dave has continuously focused on helping organizations enable their strategic vision through the evaluation and onboarding of key value-based technologies and processes. With direct experience in implementing over 25 EMM projects across Canada, the US, South America, and Europe, he specializes in designing business-driven solutions for the Banking, Travel, Telecom, and Healthcare industries. Prior to joining Munvo, Dave has held positions at Rogers Communications, Arthroteq Preclinical, and Forniture Technice Europee – an Italian-based electronics distributor servicing the RF communication sector.

Dave holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computing from Queen’s University, as well as a Master’s in Management from Harvard University. A frequent traveller by nature, he speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish, and Hebrew, and can sometimes be found swimming laps, enjoying a live jazz show, or discovering a new pizzeria.

Anna Ivanova

SAS Practice Lead

Since joining Munvo in 2015, Anna has been a passionate advocate for Munvo’s SAS Practice and today she is responsible for evolving and growing the SAS professional services at Munvo. Anna has over 15 years of experience in both business and technology positions in the Credit Card, Banking, Insurance, E-commerce, and Aerospace industries. She has delivered SAS projects in marketing, analytics, data modeling, and CRM, and in credit risk strategies.

Anna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Concordia University and is currently pursuing a certificate in Data Science and Machine Learning at McGill University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Administration.

Ajay Bhaga

Technology Lead

As Munvo’s Technology Lead, Ajay facilitates complex deployments that require the integration of multiple technologies. Since joining Munvo in 2008, he has been involved in the delivery of over 35 Enterprise Marketing projects in Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia. He was the pioneer behind the development of Companion, Munvo’s performance and monitoring solution, and also contributed significantly to the enhancement of the company’s cloud-based lab infrastructure. Today, Ajay continues to lead various projects related to cloud integration, distributed architecture, and real-time transactional systems, both internally and with clients.

As a Computer Science undergraduate at the University of Toronto, Ajay was Co-Owner and Lead Developer at Beatcatalyst.com, and subsequently worked for IBM and Toyota.

Brad Penwarden

VP Munvo Products

Brad is the manager of Munvo’s Software Product Development team. Inspired by the software architecture training he underwent at Carnegie Mellon University, Brad is a passionate advocate for agile software methodologies and a quintessential Scrum Master. Since first joining the company in 2009, he’s played a crucial role in more than 30 Enterprise Marketing projects across Canada, the US, and Europe, often managing large development teams on behalf of Munvo clients. A gifted communicator, Brad connects Munvo’s developers and management to smoothly translate complex concepts into colloquial language.

Prior to joining the Munvo team, Brad also worked at Research In Motion (Blackberry) and earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier University.

Andrew Didinchuk

VP Adobe Practice

With 25+ Adobe Campaign implementations serviced, Andrew has become a highly experienced leader in the field. His expertise lies in integrating Adobe solutions with external applications. Over his 5 years at Munvo, Andrew has played a crucial role in building our Adobe business and training the Adobe team from the beginning. In fact, he has been involved in more than 50 on-premise and cloud-hosted Adobe Campaign projects to date.

Prior to joining Munvo, Andrew completed two Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration at Wilfred Laurier University.

Serge Bohdjalian

VP Unica and SAS Practice

Serge joined Munvo in 2011, bringing with him a wealth of technical and marketing experience. He now manages a Professional Services team specialized in marketing solutions and digital analytics.

For ten years, Serge worked at Matrox Graphics, first as Lead Technical Writer and then as Senior Marketing Manager. He was also the Chief Technologist and owner of Memidex, a word-reference aggregation website with nearly one million pages of content.

Serge holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the John Molson School of Business, a Graduate degree in Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Concordia University.

William Brooks

VP Salesforce Practice

As the Vice President of Salesforce Practice, Wil is responsible for developing and assisting new lines of business in addition to overseeing the recruitment and resource development functions at Munvo. Since joining Munvo in 2011, Wil has been engaged in more than 25 Enterprise Marketing projects for industries such as banking, travel, retail, insurance, loyalty, telecommunications, and healthcare. The depth and diversity of Wil’s experience now informs his work in client management and talent acquisition here at Munvo. In fact, he both consults and facilitates workshops in Marketing Resource Management and Campaign Execution & Optimization.

Prior to joining the Munvo team, Wil worked for Publicis, John Hancock, and TeraGo Networks. In 2007, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Toronto.

Bill Dynes

VP Sales and Alliances

As the Vice President of Sales and Alliances, Bill is responsible for supporting Munvo’s rapid growth, while maintaining successful relationships with the company’s clients and technology partners. Since first joining Munvo in 2014, he has played a key role in establishing strategic agreements with various global corporations, in conjunction with the Professional Services and Product teams.

Bill launched his career as a Software Business Consultant back in 1990 when he worked for GEAC Computer Corporation. He went on to provide services for companies such as Epicor Software, Screenscape Networks, eBridge Software, ADFLOW Networks, Nexterna, and the UR-Channel Broadcasting Company. Bill holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University.

Johanne Roy

Chief Financial Officer

Johanne is the Chief Financial Officer responsible for Munvo’s Finance, Human Resources, and Procurement departments. Prior to joining Munvo, Johanne began her career as an auditor at Poissant Thibault Peat Marwick Thorn (now KPMG) and worked as a law clerk at McCarthy Tétrault. Johanne later took on the role of internal auditor for multiple multi-national organizations, including Cirque du Soleil Inc. and Quebécor World Inc., and also served as the Chief Financial Officer for two subsidiaries of Group Air Liquide in Asia, where she led the Finance, Procurement, and Information Technology departments.

Johanne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (B.B.A.) from HEC Montreal, a Bachelor’s degree in Quebec Civil Law (LL.B.) from the University of Montreal (UdeM), in addition to the titles of CPA•CA, Lawyer (LL.B.), and Certified Internal Auditor.

Mathieu Sabourin

Founder

Mathieu founded Munvo, originally Client Spectrum, in 2005 after two decades of software and management experience. Deeply inspired by Jim Collins’ influential book, Good to Great (2001), Mathieu started Munvo with the determination, discipline, and entrepreneurial drive to build a world-leading company related to Enterprise Marketing Management solutions. He is now supporting the management team and is also involved with strategic initiatives for Munvo’s continued growth.

Prior to Munvo, Mathieu began his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and then moved on to an eight-year management tenure at Dun & Bradstreet software. He joined the consulting firm Proximi-T in 1994 as Vice President of Software Solutions. Proximi-T would later become Fjord, a division of Cossette Communication Group, Canada’s largest marketing communications agency.

Having previously worked as an Assistant Professor at CIREM-HEC Montreal, Mathieu remains an avid public speaker on topics such as CRM and Enterprise Marketing.

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Agora

Five times a year, Munvo hosts a company-wide Agora meeting to update all team members on various topics such as project accomplishments, corporate initiatives, industry trends, and an introduction for newcomers. These sessions are a great way to bring team members all together and to strengthen everyone’s knowledge in our field.

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Nabil Taydi

President

As President, Nabil oversees Munvo’s executive team responsible for managing professional services, sales, software products, and financial operations. Since first joining Munvo in 2006, Nabil was instrumental in developing a wide range of marketing solution software practices. He was personally involved in deploying marketing solutions for more than 35 global corporations in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Nabil was also a driving creative force behind the development of campaignQA, Munvo’s solution for ensuring more efficient Quality Assurance processes and data validation.

Nabil holds a double Bachelor’s degree in Organization Management and Computer Science & Engineering, as well as Master’s degrees in e-Commerce and Business Intelligence.