Thursday, 29 October 2020 22:37

ZEBRA CUSTOMER SUMMIT: Nov 10 2020 - video interview with CTO Tom Bianculli


On the 10th of November, Zebra Technologies is holding its ANZ Customer Summit, with this year's theme being "Customer experience at the edge", and CTO Tom Bianculli joined us for a wide-ranging discussion on the on-demand economy, supply chain optimisation, new devices, the impact of COVID-19 and more.

Zebra Technologies. Since 1969, or 51 years ago, Zebra has been "empowering the front line of business in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, public sector and other industries to achieve a performance edge".

The company proudly boasts of "more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries" and says it provides "better visibility through industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that intelligently connect people, assets and data to help our customers make business-critical decisions".

In the post-COVID world of 2020, where logistics, supply chains, retail stores, shortages, lockdowns and more have turned the world on its head, Zebra's technologies have been at the coalface of essential services across the spectrum of it all, with such modern technologies (and many others, from Zoom video conferencing, online shopping and plenty more) the glue that has kept us all together in ways that would have been impossible in the past.

Now, Zebra Technologies is not alone in providing such technologies, systems and hardware, but it is one of the major players, and has officially been around for over half a century, so the company clearly has some genuine insights to share - and of course, like every company, wants to survive, thrive, serve existing customers so they can serve their customers, and gain new customers too.

Thus, it is no surprise that companies have customer summits, and Zebra's next such summit for its current, potential and future customers for Australia and New Zealand, is on from 9am to 11.50am on Tuesday November 10, 2020, in what is obviously at online environment, given the year we've all endured.

This year's theme is "Customer experience at the edge", with the conference free to attend - all you need to do is to register.

To learn more about the event, and to have a range of questions answered, the CTO of Zebra Technologies, Tom Bianculli, joined us for a video interview which is embedded immediately below. The article continues thereafter, please read on!

A brief note, the audio input in Zoom was too high at my end, and there's some slight popping noises at times when I speak - apologies! I have finally figured this out. Tom's voice has the usual occasional audio glitches that happen in any video conferecing session, but it's absolutely well worth hearing what he has to say! 

So, Zebra's ANZ Customer Summit focuses on customer experience at the edge, and how different emerging technologies are transforming the retail, healthcare and transport/logistics industries. There are keynotes and dedicated workshops taking place over the day.

Zebra says "Attendees will have the opportunity to maximise their time out of the office by engaging in only the most relevant sessions for their business".

  • There event will start with a CEO address, then you'll hear from Zebra's ANZ Sales Director, Tom Christodoulou who will talk about "Preparing for 2021".
  • This will be followed by Joe Heel, Senior Vice President Global Sales, who will share customer insights and trends, and who will interview Jonas Stillman, the Director of Store Operations at Office Dept, which runs the OfficeMax and Winc brands in Australia.
  • Next up is Zebra CTO, Tom Bianculli, who will talk about supply chain optimisation in an on-demand world, followed by Joe White, Zebra's Senior VP and GM of Enterprise Mobile Computing, who will explain Zebra's vision for mobilising your workforce.
  • After this comes a break, and then from 10.45am, you'll have the choice of two breakout rooms with two speakers and sessions in each. At 11.45am there will be a prize draw, and the event concludes at 11.50am.

More details of the agenda can be seen here

  • In my video interview with Tom Bianculli, I introduced him and asked him to tell us about the types of companies and industries worldwide that Zebra serves, and then about the ANZ Customer Summit and this year's theme
  • Noting that the conference itself will discuss it in much greater depth, I nevertheless asked Tom to share some of the 2020 customer insights and trends in the on-demand economy.
  • Tom then shared some of the newest developments in its advanced handheld and wearable devices that augment mobile workers with technology.
  • We then discussed the impacts COVID-19 has had on supply chain optimisation in 2020.
  • I noted how COVID-19 had changed everything, including the length of conferences with were once one or two day affairs, often held in Las Vegas or elsewhere, with this event being just under three hours instead.
  • I then finished with my usual three questions, asking Tom to imagine what Zebra might be like in 2030, and of course I brought up advanced 3D printing and Star Trek like replicators that will have their own incredible impacts on manufacturing, retail and everything else once at least 3D printers can print things with the kind of incredibly "high resolution" that traditionally manufactured products deliver today/
  • Tom shared some of the great advice he has received in life to help him get where he is today, and then his final message to iTWire viewers and readers, and to his current and future customers and partners.

You can freely register for Zebra's ANZ Customer Summit on November 10, 2020 here


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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