ASCII EDGE 2023 - Columbus

July 21, 2023 by
ASCII EDGE 2023 - Columbus
Matthew Almendinger

This past week, I had the opportunity to join other service providers in the area to look at trends in our industry at the 2023 ASCII EDGE Conference in Columbus. ASCII is a business community and resource for Managed Service Providers throughout the United States. Their EDGE conferences put industry vendors and peers on stage to discuss critical topics and trends with the IT Service community over two days.

It's a great time to refresh, recharge, and refocus as we strategize our offerings for the coming year - and this year was one of the best events yet. So, what did we learn?

AI is Everywhere - for Everyone

The AI craze is bringing along with it actual stable products. Learning and incorporating AI will be an amazing shift for businesses moving forward - but it won't be without some growing pangs.

One of our Keynote Speakers was Blake Lemoine, a former Google engineer who worked on the Large Language Model, LaMDA, to discuss the ethics, biases, opportunities, and disruptions AI will provide businesses. Blake likens the AI revolution to something similar to introducing robots to the manufacturing industry, yet more adaptable to all companies.

We were also introduced to several products that utilize AI to automate ticket processing at the Tier 1 level.

Making a Human Firewall

Of course, cybersecurity is still an important topic and trend, and looking into how we can provide our clients with more comprehensive security solutions while controlling costs and limiting our client's liability was a common discussion. Interestingly enough, we noticed more discussions focused on empowering and training teams - aka the Human Firewall, to bolster security. It's a shift away from software protections to equipping employees to be better prepared.

Creating Superfans

Our final keynote speaker was Brittany Hodak, who talked about building unique and powerful customer interactions that create Superfans. It was a fascinating and challenging talk that still resonates in my mind. Brittany looked at several companies and how their processes helped or hindered their CX teams in providing the best service possible.