Day two kicked off with some impressive early risers at the 7am F5 fun run – well done to everyone who made it out of bed to take part, particularly with a few sore heads from our party last night! The first F5 Connects Women breakfast event also took place with an engaging discussion led by Lizzie Cohen-Laloum, Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales – thank you to everyone who joined.

The morning saw a range of fascinating breakout sessions, with partners and customers delivering standout content, including the anatomy of securing the access perimeter, hybrid defence: effective mitigation against DDoS attacks, along with sponsor sessions from VMware, Cisco and HPE. With a host of themes discussed and some great opportunities for techies to come together, we were privy to some really interesting conversations about how technology is being used to advance and protect organisations across EMEA and beyond. Thank you to everyone who took the time to develop and deliver their presentations.

The afternoon saw the final round of keynote sessions. Julian Eames, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, outlined the changes we’re experiencing in the market and how F5 and businesses are working together to solve challenges in the market, at speed. He talked through some of the myriad initiatives and support F5 provides for customers and partners to get the most out of our solutions, stressing the importance of working together to ensure that services are delivered quickly and securely.

Julian was followed by Karl Triebes, our Chief Technology Officer and Executive VP Product Development, speaking about how applications are being built and used, and what this means for the industry. From networking and management, to allocations and the make-up of datacentres, everything is changing at a rapid pace. IT teams are now business partners, in many cases, have even become the business. In order to be that partner, IT teams need to be agile and able to operate where the business needs. Speed of deployment, lowering OPEX, empowering the mobile workforce and ensuring secure access are all key components which must be tackled in tandem. This is changing the application landscape. The dev ops team have a crucial role here; Karl considered how this pans out across the two parts of Gartner’s bi-modal IT model: traditional exploratory IT (non-linear, agile, fast), but focused on how these are ultimately still the responsibility of the IT team and should be seen as an opportunity.

Guest speaker Thimon De Jong then took to the stage with a hugely entertaining talk about changing human behaviour in our rapidly evolving society. He talked about how the future is already here and, citing the example of a start-up named Crystal, considered whether computers are better judges of personalities than people! He moved on to explore the relationship between people and technology, focussing on how a better understanding of this relationship can open up major new opportunities. We also learnt about phubbing – “the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention” – much to the amusement of the audience! You can take a look at what Thimon had to say ahead of the show here.

It’s been a great couple of days and we’d like to thank everyone who has made Agility EMEA 2016 such a collaborative, engaging and innovative event – across our customers, partners and employees. We look forward to seeing you next year and, until then, we hope everyone has a safe trip home!