Mobile First Conference 2015 – a look back at an incredible week

It’s been a few days since our Mobile First Conference wrapped up on Friday. Like many attendees, I’m still processing the incredible experience. My post from the conference last week focused on the keynote, which included presentations by Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Uber, and the overall theme I heard from customers attending the conference — a recognition of the tremendous transformative potential of mobile across every industry and that mobile is a critical journey for every organization.

MobileIron’s major announcements during the conference included the following:

  1. How the company completes the mobile privacy and security puzzle with new technologies like Visual Privacy and the extension of per-app VPN functionality to Android and Windows 10
  2. A joint announcement with Google and Samsung on AppConnect’s integration with Android for Work
  3. A preview of MobileIron for Windows 10

While everyone that I spoke to recognized that mobile and cloud represent a journey that will dramatically transform businesses and IT departments over the coming years, several had questions about what exactly that will look like and even more asked about how to get from where they are today to where they will need to be one, two, or five years from now.

I was happy to offer my own thoughts (and plug our Rethink: CIO series in the process), but I was even happier to be able to discuss specific needs or concerns and suggest specific sessions at the conference that addressed them. Everyone that presented at the conference provided expert and in-depth advice on everything from high level strategy, to security and regulatory compliance, to the nuts and bolts of using MobileIron solutions in the IT trenches. 

With dozens of sessions, a well-designed mobile app, and the new zone-based format for breakout sessions, it was easy to help attendees build the agenda that addressed their specific needs.

The conference debuted a new zone-based environment for breakouts for the first time in our industry. The innovative approach literally took down barriers by including all the breakouts in a single large ballroom. Presentations happened simultaneously at stages in App, OS, Deployment, and Security zones. Each presentation included headsets for attendees that allowed them to focus on the specific content while still having a shared experience.

A large networking zone anchored the center of the space and also included an answers bar for customers with specific questions.

The zone approach made it easy for attendees to browse between sessions without interrupting a presentation as would happen in traditional smaller breakout rooms. It was a great success for those wanting to dive deep into specific topics as well as those wanting to simply sample the available sessions. I even saw a number of people participating in two adjacent presentations simultaneously by listening to one and watching the other.

The overall impact was a unique shared experience that encouraged interaction between attendees in a way that I have never seen at other industry events. I would definitely dub it a great success.

In addition to the zone sessions, Thursday and Friday both featured powerful stories from MobileIron customers about their experiences. Friday’s session was particularly compelling and focused on Uber’s experience building a mobile-only company that literally couldn’t exist without mobile.

I’m very proud of every MobileIron employee that went into creating such a tremendous event packed with information to help companies take the next steps on their mobile journeys. I’m pleased to say that we were able to offer content and information for companies with extensive deployments as well as those just getting started.

Ryan Faas