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Explore important emerging technologies in accounting, business and finance at this must-attend conference for senior leaders. Connect with peers, experts and pioneers on best-fit technology solutions for your clients or organization.
CPA Canada and 180 Systems
The world is changing, and so is the way CPAs, senior financial leaders, IT consultants and other trusted business advisors approach industry challenges.
The National Technology Forum 2019 is a unique opportunity to network and learn about forward-thinking tech strategies that support innovation, performance and sustainability. It is one of Canada’s leading events for practical guidance on technology evaluation.
Over the course of two days, you can expect high profile keynotes from the tech world, sessions on the latest tech solutions and feature comparisons, plus interactive roundtables, panels and workshops.
Gain a better understanding of how emerging resources, tools and trends across the tech landscape will impact your business – from big data and artificial intelligence to cloud computing, blockchain, new ERP platforms and more.
Check back soon for updates to the 2019 agenda.
New this year: an expanded exhibition floor to showcase more cutting-edge products and services. Post-forum workshop also available.
Additional options and pricing may be available. See pricing and registration for more details.
Senior leaders, CPAs and other trusted business professionals who are responsible for the technology investment decisions of their organization or clients. This includes:
Thank you to our generous sponsors.
Registration and Continental Breakfast - Vendor Exhibit Area
Registration Sponsored by: Tableau Software
Opening Remarks and Keynote Address
Opening RemarksGeneviève Grenier, CPA Canada and Michael Burns, 180 SystemsOpening Keynote AddressWhat’s Next for Your Business and Your Clients? A Look through the Lens of a FuturistSpeaker: Jesse Hirsh, Futurist, Researcher and Internet StrategistSponsored by: TD Canada
Seeing Through the Fog of Cloud Computing
“Cloud computing” has been part of the technology lexicon since 2007. Yet, there is still considerable confusion as people use the term to refer to things that may not relate to its actual definition and scope. Is it simply web hosting? Is it an old book with a new cover? This session will attempt to demystify cloud computing and examine:• Cloud vs. on premises• Affording leading applications• Basics in migrating to the cloud• How migration can support digital transformation• How migration can enable a mobile workforce.Sponsored by: Calligo
RPA Moves to the SME/P Mainstream
Moderated by Asif Qayyum, PricewaterhouseCoopersRobotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology application that automates manually repetitive tasks, thereby creating efficiencies in a company’s operations. RPA “removes the machine from the person”, freeing them up to focus on more value-add work.This moderated session will feature a leading RPA vendor along with a major tech advisory firm in a lively panel discussion and debate:• What RPA does and doesn’t do• Why RPA is not the same as Artificial Intelligence (AI)• How RPA can deliver ROI in a short time by building upon existing applications and systems• How RPA can result in faster cycle times and reduced errorsThe session will also feature a competition, pitting an RPA Bot against humansSponsored by: UiPath, PricewaterhouseCoopersFeaturing: Jonathan Ouimet, UiPath
AI – Ready for Prime Time?
Moderated by: Geoff Cronin, Grant ThorntonFeaturing: Scott Zandbergen, Intuit and Dan Wesley, WorkdayArtificial Intelligence (AI) has been used to describe various activities ranging from simple automation to in-depth thinking and interpretation algorithms. AI is ranked as the highest level of automation maturity, with the ability to develop ideas and apply continuous learning based on experience, resulting in automation that is able to think, learn, and interpret.In this moderated session, Geoff will lead a fascinating discussion with a group of technology vendors currently testing AI boundaries; embedding and integrating AI enhancements into products and applications in accounting, operations and other contemporary business activities. Sponsored by: Intuit, Mindbridge AI, Prophix and WorkdayFeaturing: Scott Zandbergen, Intuit; John Colthart, Mindbridge AI and Dan Wesley, Workday
Today’s Top Budget, Planning and Reporting Challenges and CPM Solutions
Moderated by: 180 SystemsFeaturing: Dave Birch, Waterloo Brewing Co.Corporate performance management (CPM) is transforming forward-thinking organizations; using insight harvested from BI systems to align strategy and execution, leading to efficiencies and an improved bottom line.In this moderated session, you will hear from a customer of a leading provider of business performance on his experiences in addressing contemporary challenges in finance functions such as budgeting, forecasting and reporting, and how the implementation of successful performance management programs has improved his company’s key business drivers.Sponsored by: Corporate Renaissance Group
vCFO – Becoming a Virtual Team Member
Some will suggest that whoever controls a client’s data (the bookkeeping function) controls the related compliance and advisory work.In the present and into the near future Virtual Teams are quickly emerging. Many small entities do not have inhouse bookkeeping and financial expertise yet they will require more than a consultant – they require a Virtual CFO (vCFO) – a regular member of the team who is involved in all meetings and decisions like a full time CFO, just not full time.In this session, Janeen will:• Discuss the provision of bookkeeping services (or aligning with a bookkeeping provider)• Explain the differences between a consulting role and a virtual team member’s role• Define vCFO• Illustrate how vCFO can be a profitable “advisory service” to offer• Provide guidance on how do you establish a reliable revenue streamSpeaker: Janeen Stodulski, MNP LLP
How to use Blockchain to Address Today’s Business Issues
Moderated by Rick O’Dell, Manulife FinancialBlockchain technology facilitates distributed public ledger that hold unalterable data in an encrypted manner, ensuring transactions cannot be altered. While cryptocurrencies are the most common examples of blockchain utilization, the technology is being used in a wide range of business applications, including real estate, asset management, financial transactions and many more.In this session, Rick will lead a panel including a prominent blockchain technology developer and a blockchain technology advisor, in a robust discussion that examines blockchain in use today. Successful, real life applications across multiple sectors will be illustrated.Sponsored by: DLT Labs, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Informal Luncheon and Networking – Vendor Exhibit Area
Process and Business Challenges and Solutions – CTO, MTO and ETO Manufacturing
Moderated by: 180 SystemsConfigure to Order (CTO), Make to Order (MTO) and Engineer to Order (ETO) are manufacturing processes in which actual manufacturing begins only after a customer’s order is received. These environments must employ a flexible, adaptive and demand-driven approach to the manufacturing process.In this moderated session, you will examine the unique challenges facing businesses in the CTO, MTO and ETO marketplaces today, and learn about proven solutions that are enabling organizations to improve business effectiveness and performance and enhance the ability to differentiate and the flexibility needed to achieve business goals in these specialized manufacturing environments.Sponsored by: SAP and Illumiti
Process and Business Challenges and Solutions - Financial Services
Moderated by: 180 SystemsThis moderated session will, through the effective use of short business scenarios, introduce you to a number of unique challenges being faced in specific business and process functions within the Financial Services Sector.In a constructive format that combines interview, discussion, dialogue and debate, you will hear how particular solutions address the business challenges put forward, utilizing key product features along the way.Sponsored by: Multiview Financial Software
The Realities of Cybersecurity Risk - Beyond the Myths and Misconceptions
Speaker: Sandy Boucher, Grant ThorntonRecent engagements by Grant Thornton have revealed that many companies do not properly understand the threats their businesses face, or the real impact a cyber-attack would have. In this session, based on findings from real breach investigations conducted over the past two years, Sandy will provide practical insights into cybersecurity risk today, and the steps that many organizations are still not taking to protect themselves.Sandy will outline how to get started on the journey to improve your cybersecurity. You will learn about the top cyber security risks facing Canadian businesses; steps you can take to prepare your people, protect your critical information and infrastructure, and improve your cyber security maturity, as well as common mistakes, and tips on how to make immediate changes that can significantly improve the security of your organization. Sponsored by: Grant Thornton
The Definitive ERP Road Map - A Microsoft Perspective
Get a glimpse of the Microsoft version of the future of ERP in this exclusive session. Learn about Microsoft’s current initiatives and how they plan to enhance their products in the short and medium-term.In a wide-ranging and informative session, you’ll discover how some of today’s emerging technologies will be embedded into the next generation of ERP systems.Time will be allocated for Q & A.Sponsored by: Microsoft and Thinkmax
Future Tech - Changing Your World
In this session, Dwayne shares dozens of amazing advances in technology that are changing the world around us. Exponential technologies – like mixed reality, quantum encryption, nanomaterials, AI, human-robotic interaction and more – are affecting the way we build, create, communicate, distribute, organize, share and travel.Through a series of rapid-fire examples, Dwayne will illustrate true disruption happening across multiple sectors, and ensure you are aware of these important trends so that you can participate in the dialogue revolving around them.Sponsored by: BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.Speaker: Dwayne Bragonier, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.
Three Stories - Real Life Case Studies in Migrating to the Cloud
This moderated session will consist of three fascinating accounts of real-life business scenarios from small panels consisting of your peers and senior representatives of a major service provider. Customers will detail their experiences in migrating on premises infrastructure into their computational platform into the Cloud. The service provider representatives will provide explanations along the way of technical requirements and process.This is a unique opportunity to hear three different real-life stories with strong backgrounds, and different - even unusual – drivers, with significant examples of ROI.It is recommended that you have a basic knowledge and understanding of cloud computing, or have attended the earlier session called “Seeing Through the Fog of Cloud Computing”Sponsored by: CalligoModerated by: Gerry Wilton, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.
Networking Reception – Vendor Exhibit Area
Immediately following the technical sessions, you’ll benefit from a special gathering of today’s key vendors and developers of technology solutions; products designed to help your organization and your client’s businesses remain at the top of your marketplace. The Vendor Exhibit offers you the unique opportunity to network with your peers and the exhibitors and assess the best new ideas and what’s coming in future from the developers; leading edge technology solutions! You can see and feel some of the most innovative products available in today’s marketplace!Exchange ideas, share knowledge and develop the right technology solution strategy that’s right for you.Please note that the Vendor Exhibit will be also be open during breakfast and lunch on Day One and Day Two
Registration and Continental Breakfast - Vendor Exhibit Area
My ERP Journey from Selection to Implementation – Not for Profit
Moderated by: 180 SystemsFeaturing: Rena Zhou, COSTI Immigrant ServicesThis session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading ERP developer specializing in the not for profit marketplace. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, ERP investment experiences; their journey towards a new ERP solution in their not for profit organization; including identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: Sparkrock
My RPA Journey from Selection to Implementation
This session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading RPA developer. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, RPA investment experiences; their journey towards a new RPA solution, from identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: UiPath and PricewaterhouseCoopersModerated by: Ryan Pictor, PricewaterhouseCoopersFeaturing: Holly Whalen, UiPath
BI Hands-on Workshop
Presented and Sponsored by: Tableau SoftwareExperience the power of contemporary BI tools Pre-registration required, limited seating(1.5 Hours, Begins at 8:00AM)
My ERP Journey from Selection to Implementation – Manufacturing and Distribution
Moderated by: 180 SystemsThis session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading ERP developer, focused on the manufacturing and distribution sector. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, ERP investment experiences; their journey towards a new ERP solution for their manufacturing & distribution operations; including identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: Microsoft and Thinkmax
My HR System Journey from Selection to Implementation
Moderated by: 180 SystemsThis session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading HR enterprise solution developer. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, ERP investment experiences; their journey towards a new HR solution in their organization; including identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: Automation Anywhere
Mandatory Breach Notification
As of November 1, 2018, organizations subject to The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) will be required to report breaches of security safeguards involving personal information that pose a real risk of significant harm to individuals, notify affected individuals, and keep proper records of all breaches.In this session, you will learn the essential steps to enhance your organization’s and client’s breach response plan to address the recent legislation.
Hit the ground running - Practical advice in implementing new technology
A unique panel of independent consultants in an open forum offering valuable advice, sharing knowledge and expertise, and providing insights gleaned from years of experience. Come prepared with your toughest questions, your important concerns and pressing issues….AND, be prepared for candid answers and innovative observations that may completely change the way you look at implementing new technologies in your organization or your firm, and how you advise clients on technology issues.Your questions and concerns will determine the direction of these session.Featuring: Michael Burns, 180 Systems; Geoff Cronin, Grant Thornton; Steve Litwin, Litcom Consulting Inc.
Ask a Tech Expert – An SMP Focus
Featuring: Dwayne Bragonier, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.A open forum offering valuable advice, sharing knowledge and expertise, and providing insights gleaned from years of experience. Come prepared with your toughest questions, your important concerns and pressing issues….AND, be prepared for candid answers and innovative observations that may completely change the way you look at implementing new technologies in your organization or your firm, and how you advise clients on technology issues.Your questions and concerns will determine the direction of these session.
Lunch and Networking - Vendor Exhibit Area
My ERP Business Case – Fact or Fiction?
Moderated by: 180 SystemsFeaturing: Frank Di Liso, TMXSometimes you have no choice in the investment of a new system. For example, the existing system is supported by 1 person about to retire. However, some organizations do not want to proceed unless there is a compelling business case. But is the business case fact or fiction? It is often fiction if the preparer of the business case was also highly motivated to obtain a new system. It’s easy to know whether the costs are accurate. But is there any evidence that the benefits were realized? In this moderated session, you will learn whether actual, real life business cases from TMX, that were used to justify ERP investments, were fact…fiction…or somewhere in between.Sponsored by: WorkdayModerated by: 180 SystemsFeaturing: Frank Di Liso, TMX
Supercharging your Aging ERP: How to extend the life of an Ageing ERP through Digital Strategy
In this moderated session, you’ll benefit from a stimulating discussion, lively debate and interviews about the methods being used to make the right decision, at the right time, to meet the right objectives. Proven, innovative approaches to extend and enhance the life of your current system will be featured, and weighed against reacting to true and tested signs and red flags that have traditionally signalled the time to “bite the bullet”.Sponsored by: TreefrogModerated by: 180 SystemsSpeaker: Sean Stephens, Treefrog
How Does CRM Drive Growth and Increase Access to Capital for your Customers
Speaker: Ashu Avasthi, Grant ThorntonTraditionally CRM is thought of as a sales tool. In this session, Ashu will explain how ever increasingly, CRM is being leveraged for multiple uses in an organization including to predict financial results and gain access to capital. Financial professionals who do this are able to provide more insight and value to the organization and thus directly impact the growth of the business. Why, because looking at leading performance indicators of a business informs actions that can be taken to impact the business in real time vs. simply reporting on lagging results at which point, we cannot change the result.Sponsored by: Grant Thornton
My ERP Journey from Selection to Implementation – Professional Services
This session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading ERP developer, focused on the professional services sector. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, ERP investment experiences; their journey towards a new ERP solution for their professional services business; including identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.
Today's Business Process Challenges and HR Solutions
Moderated by: 180 SystemsThis moderated session will, through the effective use of short business scenarios, introduce you to a number of unique challenges being faced in specific business and process functions within the HR function.In a constructive format that combines interview, discussion, dialogue and debate, you will hear how particular solutions address the HR system challenges put forward, utilizing key product features along the way.
Leveraging Edge Computing
Edge computing is about identifying, collecting, and analyzing data closer to where data is generated rather than in centralized servers and systems (the Cloud). One of the most important benefit from leveraging edge computing, is increased network performance by combatting latency. While not yet mainstream, it’s estimated that by the end of 2020, 5.6 billion enterprise and government owned IoT devices will be using edge computing to collect and process data (Business Insider Report). Proponents of the technology claim that it’s safer because data is not traveling over a network, while opponents claim that edge computing is less secure because the natural susceptibility of IoT devices.Learn about this latest networking topology. Prepare your organization and your clients for the improved operations that will come with leveraging edge computing.Sponsored by: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Closing Keynote Address
What Now? A Post-National Tech Forum Action PlanSpeaker: John Colthart, VP of Growth, Mindbridge AI
Geneviève Grenier, CPA Canada and Michael Burns, 180 Systems
The Hitchhikers Guide to Technology Solutions
Led by Michael Burns, 180 Systems Whether in industry or in a professional services firm, this workshop will help you prepare for your organization’s investment or your upcoming client technology investment engagement.In this full-day session, you will benefit from insights gathered over many years by a team of leading experts who will provide you with guidance based on their extensive experience and real-life engagements.Learn today’s best practices; what works well and what doesn’t:• What is best practice? Examples and cases will be discussed• The Business Case• Effective Contract Negotiation, with proven strategies• Smart Software Selection - how to document needs and secure a good fit• Successful Implementation• Project Management Methodologies• Lean Management• Change ManagementHeld at CPA Canada offices - 277 Wellington St West
Hands-on Blockchain Workshop
Led by Behram Faroogh, PwCExtend the benefits of attending Forum 2019 by registering for this special ½ day Hands-on Blockchain Workshop. You will learn what blockchain is all about by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, in a sandbox environment created especially for the workshop.We’ll remove much of the hype and make blockchain and its benefits much simpler to understand and appreciate as you learn how applications can be built using the technology.Sponsored by: PricewaterhouseCoopersHeld at CPA Canada Offices - 277 Wellington St West
Thank you to our advisory committee members
Dwayne Bragonier, President, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc. Michael Burns, Principal Consultant, 180 SystemsFrank Colantonio, Principal Consultant, FC AssociatesGeoff Cronin, National Advisory Service Line Leader, Grant ThorntonBehram Faroogh, Partner, PwCRick O’Dell, Managing Director, Global Real Estate Operations, Finance and Transformation, Manulife FinancialMaura O’Shea, VP Finance Improvement and Controls, Bell CanadaGeneviève Grenier, Director, Professional Programs, Member Development and Support, CPA CanadaAnne-Marie Laderoute, Principal, Partner Programs and Specialty Area Credentials, Member Development and Support, CPA Canada
Westin Harbour Castle
1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6
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