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April 2017 Dinner Recap E-mail
Written by Steve Wright   

Tom Taylor

Atlanta's IoT Ecosystem & the Current and Future State of Autonomous Vehicles!

AITP Atlanta was excited to host Tom Taylor, Vice President of IoT at Wheego Technologies and Cynthia Curry, Director of IoT Ecosystem with the Metro Atlanta Chamber. I, along with our membership, were anticipating another great discussion in our continued dinner meeting series, focused on IoT for our April topic.... and we were not disappointed! We're all hearing the buzz around IoT, but as we learned from both Cynthia and Tom, we're much farther along in not only the products and offerings, but also the development of the ecosystem and infrastructure that will support our connected world!

CynthCynthia Curryia Curry kicked off the evening with some amazing information on what the Atlanta Metro Chamber is doing to draw in and support the IoT ecosystem in Atlanta. But as we learned, there is already incredible backing from the technology community, as well as the state of Georgia, who's investing $250 million in infrastructure improvement program called "Renew Atlanta." Part of this investment has been used to test a new low latency WAN, that will allow IoT connected devices to communicate with each other, greatly decreasing the amount of power these devices will consume compared to the traditional Wi-Fi technologies in place today. This only scratched the surface on what Atlanta is doing to be the hub for IoT! To learn more on what the Metro Atlanta Chamber is doing to promote this initiative, go click HERE.

Continuing, Tom Taylor lead the discussion on the current, and future state, of autonomous vehicles. The content itself was riveting, but Tom's delivery and passion for this tech had everyone at the edge of their seats! It was great to get a history of Autonomous vehicles, but even more excited to hear what major automobile manufacturers are saying:

The State of Statements on Cars
  • Ford fully autonomous by 2021
  • GM autonomous cars by 2020 or sooner
  • BMW to launch autonomous iNext by 2021
  • First autonomous Toyota by 2020
  • Tesla fully autonomous by 2018
  • Nissan to provide fully autonomous by 2020
  • Volvo: by 2020 no one (zero) will be killed or seriously hurt in a new Volvo

While the idea of the autonomous vehicle really hits home with my love of all things tech, there are an amazing number of practical reasons that this technology not only could, but must be implemented - the lives that could be saved alone should get everyone on board!

Automotive DeathsAs you can see from this graph, the increase in automobile related deaths is staggering, and that is a direct result of the adoption of the smart phone - we seem to be addicting to distracting ourselves when on the road! (let's put down the phone when driving folks!)

With the adoption of the autonomous vehicle, this would eliminate these needless deaths. We are, of course, a long way from the highways being filled with self-driving cars. As we hold on to our vehicles for a very long time, before we get there, but it's a dream well worth working towards!

Autonomous CarTom shared an amazing amount of content on the technology as well as the infrastructure needed to support the new world. As an Atlantan, I think we can all see the benefits of our highways being more efficient....dare we dream of a traffic jam free commute?!?!

Again, a huge thank you to Tom Taylor of Wheego Technologies and Cynthia Curry from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. AITP Atlanta greatly appreciates you volunteering your time to share your amazing knowledge with our membership!

BrainPlease keep an eye out for more information on our May 18th dinner meeting. Chris Benson, CTO and AI Strategist will lead the discussion on "Demystifying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence." If you'd like to get a sampling of Chris' background and experience, he leads the Atlanta Deep Learning Meetup, who's next meeting will the evening of May 8th - click HERE for more information on the event.

The AITP Atlanta Board of Directors looks forward to seeing at our next event! As always, you can register via our website at http://www.aitpatlanta.org. Information on sponsorship's, as well as becoming a member of this outstanding community can be found here as well.

We look forward to seeing you next month! Come and Join the Conversation!

Best - Steve

2017 January Meeting Recap E-mail
Written by Steve Wright   

Greg Adams presents insight into how to best leverage Product Management for success!

Greg Adams Presentation
AITP Atlanta started our 2017 dinner meeting series with a compelling discussion on how to best leverage Product Management for success, led my industry veteran, Greg Adams. In addition to sharing his personal journey from Engineering to Product Development, Greg gave a general overview of the space, as well as the drivers on what motivates product management professionals. As someone who's involved in various technology roles, product management was a bit of a mystery to me. True to form with AITP's meetings, I yet again walked away more informed than when I arrived!

Greg followed up with more detail on product management, discussing how the role fits into various methodologies like Agile and Waterfall (more focused on Agile.) After the overview, he discussed his career in more detail, and what led to his switch from the engineering space to product management.

In addition to our professional members, we also had a good group of folks attend from our student chapters, which we like to encourage. Greg - picking up on this - went into a bit more detail on more traditional routes that people take to get into this arena. In his experience he found that people who have moved up through the customer service ranks did incredibly well, as they had a tendency to understand the customer's drivers, wants and needs, holistically. Development professionals also do well in the transition, but shared that the desire and ability to interact with people is the key component for success.

After Greg's very enlightening talk, we had a few awards to present. Each year, AITP Atlanta selects a Member of Year, as well as a Board Member of the year. As a non-profit organization, our members, and board of directors volunteer their time to put these amazing events together. Without them, we would not exist! These awards are presented to those who go above and beyond in their effort to support and grow the organization.

Tony Orlando AwardI'm pleased to share that Tony Orlando of eHire was awarded the Member of the year award!! Tony just recently joined the AITP family in 2016, and has been a breath of fresh air, filling in the gaps, and jumping in anywhere that needed help. Congratulations Tony! We're thrilled to have you as part of the family!

Georgette AwardGeorgette Prater, whose tireless efforts and leadership have helped build our chapter into what it is today. A VERY well deserved Board Member of the year goes to her! In addition to being our current Atlanta Chapter President, she's also the Sr. Manager of Sales Products and Systems Transformations for YP Digital Marketing Solutions. Congratulations again Georgette!

We hope to see you at at our next dinner meeting series being held Thursday, February 16th at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia. We'll be welcoming Samuel Franklin, VP of Data Science at 360i. He'll be leading the discussion on Data Science, specific to Digital Marketing. Further information on the event is on AITP Atlanta's home page - www.aitpatlanta.org - and is currently open for registration!

Come and join the discussion, learn something new, and take part in the unique community that is AITP!!

Steven W. Wright
Vice President, Programs Chair
2017 Board of Directors | Linkedin
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