23 MAY 2019 – AUCKLAND

DIGI_X: Digital Decisions 2019. Registrations are now open and the programme will be available from 28 March 2019. Check out the 2018 event info below.
The Innovation Mantra for Scale, Scope and Speed

For businesses that have tight margins and schedules, transforming themselves to deliver at scale, scope and speed for their customers is the only to compete with disruption and grow in the future. This is especially true for small to medium size companies, that make up the bulk of New Zealand business.

Thanks to a new world of high-tech, low-cost innovation, this is possible now. Proactive business leaders across verticals are leveraging budget-friendly innovative technologies, to evolve their businesses for maximum impact.

At DIGI_X: Digital Decisions 2018, innovators, industry experts and business leaders from Microsoft, ANZ, IBM and the Tech Futures Lab along with others will lead you through discussions from a business point of view on all aspects of innovative transformation - from leadership to culture, from cloud platforms to artificial intelligence and from mobile strategies to data and analytical capabilities.

Innovation Accelerators

Our Partners


Sarah Bowden

Small, Medium and Corporate Business Lead - Microsoft

Sarah is a driven and motivated Business Leader with sales focus, strategy builder and implementer of transformational change, operational excellence and organisational growth.

Priti Ambani

General Manager - Tech Futures Lab

Co-founder of The Next Billion, an impact-driven enterprise that pools collective resources to invest in female-led businesses, Priti has unique insights into the collaborative economy of platform ecosystems.

Isuru Fernando

Country Leader AI - IBM

Isuru "Issy" Fernando is IBM's leader on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing in New Zealand. Globally, Issy is a recognised thought leader and is in the top 0.1% of IBM's talent.

Aaron McDonald

Co-Founder, Centrality.Ai

Aaron has held leadership positions in companies such as BlockhausCrypto, Putti, and Telecom Digital Ventures to name a few.

Claire Bonham-Holden

General Manager - Valocity Data Insights

Currently the General Manager of Data Insight, Claire has over 20 years of experience in the data industry in New Zealand as well as the UK, having worked across a range of industries.

Daniel McCarthy

Chief Executive Officer - Mobile Mentor

Daniel is the CEO of Mobile Mentor. He is a global citizen, with experience in the USA, Europe and AsiaPac, and a passion for the impact of mobility on the workforce and customer experience.

The Future Workplace

Experience the future of business at the DIGI_X Future Workplace display. Showcasing technologies and expertise that will change the way we work and do business.

The display will provide a first-hand experience of innovative digital products, services and solutions that make businesses customer-centric, responsive and agile.

To participate, contact us today or download the expo pack

Rebecca "Q" Walker

Experience Lead - Uprise Digital

Rebecca "Q" Walker is a researcher, designer and speaker originally from the Boston area and currently the Experience Lead for Uprise Digital in Wellington.

Roxanne Salton

Head of Digital Strategy and Delivery - Mercury

Roxanne is a passionate digital leader at Mercury Energy where she uses her experience gained across varied industries to drive disruptive innovation and create new opportunities.

Mark Billinghurst

Professor of Human Computer Interaction -
University of South Australia

Prof. Billinghurst has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in human computer interface technology, particularly in the area of Augmented Reality (the overlay of three-dimensional images on the real world).

Hon. Minister Clare Curran

Minister - Government Digital Services and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

As Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Minister for Government Digital Services, she leads the Digital Advisory Group with a focus on ensuring that all Kiwis have affordable access to digital services and the motivation, skills and trust to fully participate in the digital world.

Liz Maguire

Head of Digital and Transformation - ANZ

A passionate advocate for digital transformation, Liz leads the digital transformation of ANZ New Zealand and believes in developing core digital capabilities to improve both the customer and employee experiences.

Patrick Quesnel

Business Group Lead, Microsoft Azure Cloud - Microsoft

Patrick is passionate about digital transformation and at the forefront of innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things.

Michael Brick

Legal and Corporate Affairs Director - Microsoft

Michael is Legal and Corporate Affairs Director for Microsoft New Zealand and focuses on providing guidance to Microsoft customers in New Zealand and Australia on their digital transformation.

Danu Abeysuriya

Founder & CTO - Rush Digital

Danu is the Founder and CTO of Rush Digital, an award winning engineering studio developing and delivering innovative technology solutions for their clients.

Mark Walton

Microsoft Office Marketing Group Lead - Microsoft

Mark leads the Office 365 and Modern Workplace team in New Zealand and has over 17 years of experience working at Microsoft across NZ and UK.

Danu Abeysuriya

Founder & CTO - Rush Digital

Danu is the Founder and CTO of Rush Digital, an award winning engineering studio developing and delivering innovative technology solutions for their clients.

Agenda – 21 June 2018

7.45 – 8.30

Registration & Networking – Tea and Coffee

8.30 – 8.45

MC Introduction

Under the hood of NZ business – Are you getting ahead or standing still? A Quick Snapshot of where Businesses are at – Their Priorities and Direction?

  • Technology and business newsflash – the funny, the scary and the sobering
  • What are your short term goals – lowering costs, increasing revenue, boosting productivity?
  • What’s your long term strategy – new markets, new business model, and exit plan?
  • If you ran a digital diagnostic today where would you find yourself? What’s your organisation’s level of digital maturity?

Rebecca “Q” Walker , Experience Lead – Uprise Digital

Digital Leadership: is your Infrastructure in Place?

8.45 – 9.20

0% Hesitation, 100% Innovation – Energising Your People And Your Culture With The Ideas And Technologies Of Tomorrow’s Enterprise.

  • Digital first is not a decision – it’s a mindset. Cultivate a work culture that fosters new ideas, trials new technologies and new outcomes without losing your core identity,
  • Pairing skills and talent with innovation and technology – hire, fire or retrain?
  • Leveraging the soft skills and management techniques that accelerate technology driven transformation
  • 3 things you can do as a manager or leader to mobilise your people for innovative transformation.

Sarah Bowden, Small, Medium and Corporate Business Lead – Microsoft NZ

9.20 – 9.50

Hello – Is It A Mobile Strategy Beyond Phones And Are You Truly Mobile

  • Mobile-also to mobile-first to mobile-always – why that journey needs fast-tracking
  • Should you treat your mobile ecosystem the same as your ‘fixed’ screen ecosystem?
  • Mobile has moved beyond smartphones into a mega world of connected devices, sensors and the IoT. How can businesses plan their roadmap across this connected universe?
  • 3 things you can do using mobile technology in your business or work that are guaranteed to boost your commercial presence and returns.

Daniel Mccarthy , Chief Executive Officer – Mobile Mentor NZ

9.50 – 10.20

Case Study: Don’t Buy The Big Data Goblet Before you Have an Insights Elixir.

  • How big to go with data and build your business and strategic vision?
  • Predictive analytics and Business Intelligence tools vs. AI driven prescriptive analytics – what works best and when?
  • Why data-as-a-service solution could be a quick, affordable way to becoming big-data smart – for SMEs?
  • The top 2 areas in your business where you could leverage data to achieve spectacular results in the short to medium term

Claire Bonham-Holden, General Manager – Valocity Data Insight

10.20 – 10.25

Digital Diaries

Inspiring stories of the digital evolution of small business

10.25 – 10.55

Morning Tea

Breakouts: Innovation Accelerator Sessions

Cloud Technology | IoT and Sensors | Digital Marketing | Blockchain

10.55 – 11.35

Breakout 1: The Cloud is Unstoppable and Needs to be the Primary it Strategy for Smes and Large Enterprise – Transition Steps And Benefits.

  • Visualising your cloud requirements and knowing what you actually need. Software- as-a-Service vs Platform-as-a-Service vs Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
  • The future of cloud and cloud services – what to expect and what’s exciting
  • A cost-benefit analysis of cloud computing vs traditional IT costs.

Patrick Quesnel , Business Group Lead, Microsoft Azure Cloud – Microsoft
Mark Walton , Microsoft Office Marketing Group Lead – Microsoft

10.55 – 11.35

Breakout 2: Sensing Technology Innovation and Affordability is Transforming Industry Sectors. Re-Imagine and Create New Smart Products and Services.

  • Sensor technologies present huge opportunities for product businesses – but there are immense benefits for service businesses as well.
  • How voice technologies present an entirely different proposition for interaction with your customers – and how it will impact your business strategy.
  • How to plan for voice in your IoT strategy – costs, constraints, etc.

Pavan Vyas , Managing Director – Rush Digital

10.55 – 11.35

Breakout 3: Your Digital Marketing Could Be in Crisis if You are not Doing These 3 Things in 2018

  • Map your customer’s journey across channels so that you can deliver maximum engagement and context
  • Unify customer touchpoints and experiences – online, mobile and offline and negotiate the hurdles
  • Innovate in marketing using technologies such as bots – set ROI benchmarks and validate with data to create new customer strategies

Rebecca “Q” Walker , Experience Lead – Uprise Digital

10:55 – 11.35

Breakout 4: The Cryptocurrency Juggernaut Aside, Blockchain Technology Has Some Exciting Applications For Small Business.

  • Smart contracts for anything from hire purchase to finance loans – secure and unbreakable.
  • Supply chain value addition audit and verification
  • Affordable and secure distributed storage options for business.

Aaron Mcdonald , Co-Founder – Centrality.AI

Panel Discussion: Breathing, Living, Leading Innovation

11.35 – 12.20

Facts About The Matrix And Other True Stories – How To Resource Innovation.

  • Innovation vs Operations – addressing the hurdles and moving your business to a new way of thinking
  • Driving innovation with a change management hat on? The way your people think might actually be holding you up
  • The truth behind scale – Innovation for small businesses vs large enterprises. Different budgets, different priorities, different outcomes.


Priti Ambani, General Manager – Tech Futures Lab
Aaron Mcdonald , Co-Founder – Centrality.AI
Roxanne Salton, Head of Digital Strategy & Delivery – Mercury Energy
Victoria Blood, Chairperson – NZ Music Commission

12.20 – 12.25

Digital Diaries

Inspiring stories of the digital evolution of small business

12.25 – 13.25

Networking Break – Lunch & Expo

Future Focus: Robots, AI, Illusions, Magic

13.25 – 14.00

Cognitive Creatures – Artificial Intelligence Coming Soon to a Business Process Near You.

  • Look, listen, touch, and understand – cognitive technologies and industry specific applications. How this may work for you?
  • Low cost cognitive fruits for your business – Bots, intelligent analytics, machine vision, sensors and more?
  • Can plug and play cognitive platforms for business give you a headstart today.
  • 4 things you would need if you wanted to incorporate cognitive technologies into your business tomorrow

Isuru Fernando, Country Leader AI – IBM

14.00 – 14.35

You Are Not Daydreaming – It’s A Mixed Reality Workplace!

  • Mixed reality and breaking boundaries – travelling tools for teams and customer facing staff
  • Reimagine collaboration and productivity with mixed reality tools.
  • What does the mixed reality infrastructure look like – is it for you?
  • 3 teams in every business that you could introduce VR, AR and Mixed Reality to in the next 1 year

Mark Billinghurst, Professor of Human Computer Interaction – University of South Australia

Digital Leaders: Lessons from the Platform Economy: the 4th Industrial Revolution

14.35 – 15.10

Platforms are Powering and Driving the New Leaders of the Digital Economy. Lessons for Business

  • Platform strategy 101 – the basics behind the success of Xero, Amazon, Uber and Facebook
  • Identifying the core elements of a successful platform model – the users, the value exchange and the drivers of network effects
  • Is your industry prone to disruption by platforms?
  • How to pivot to a platform business model.

Priti Ambani, General Manager – Tech Futures Lab

15.10 – 15.25

Refreshments Break – Afternoon Tea

Panel Discussion: The Big Questions – Technology, Business, Economy, Government

15.25 – 16.10

Technology, Innovation And Policy. Why New Zealand Is Poised To Be A World Leader In The Digital Century With A Coordinated Technology Strategy Focused On Business, Society, Governance And Regulation?

  • Is New Zealand ready to be a global powerhouse and beacon for an innovation economy?
  • Is there a grassroots plan to resource innovation led growth at a macroeconomic level – where are the skills, capital, regulation?
  • Where and how can the government, business and communities contribute to help New Zealand take a leading global role as an innovation hub with a robust and progressive socio-economic outlook?


Hon Clare Curran, Minister – Government Digital Services and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
Liz Maguire , General Manager – ANZ
Michael Brick, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director – Microsoft
Danu Abeysuriya, Founder & CTO – Rush Digital

16.10 – 16.45

Pivoting from an Industrial Era Business to a Lean and Agile Start-up

  • How should leadership react to changes on the horizon for a business?
  • The important questions around business model transformation and how to approach them?
  • Key areas for resourcing innovation to drive the overall transformation intiative
  • A look at the digital platforms that will power the organisation’s future growth?

Liz Maguire , General Manager – ANZ

16.45 – 17.00

MC Closing

Thank you – Recap and Review of the Day

  • Review digital maturity levels.
  • Review short term and long term goals
  • What are some of the most powerful ideas you are leaving with?

Pricing & Registration

Member Pricing


$495 +GST

Price per person

Group 2+

$395 +GST

Price per person

Table of 8

$2,000 +GST

Price per table

Non-Member Pricing


$595 +GST

Price per person

Group 2+

$495 +GST

Price per person

Table of 8

$3,000 +GST

Price per table

DIGI_X is calling..

The Fanboys

Are you the one always regaling your colleagues with stories of the latest AI robot, are you a fan of the Blackmirror TV series and do you swear by online shopping. Well you are propbably the future of your organisation.

As your organisation transforms, its important you can leverage your natural proclivity for digital to becoming part of the new and innovative core in your workplace. Just make sure you take enough notes to impress your boss with the business rationale behind your innovative digital ideas!!

The Leaders

You know how to lead your people and build a new culture and digital innovation can help you transform your organisation to offer new customer experiences and new products and services at renewed scale, scope and speed.

You are probably a bit amused around all this hullabaloo around digital. But you know it more than anyone else, that there is no substitute for good business acumen. By combining your natural leadership abilities and expertise with a fundamental business understanding of today's new digital ecosystem, you as a leader are set to win big for your business.

The Experts

Transformation has landed on your desk. You understand technology, the systems and the processes that are the backbone of your business. You lead and manage teams that deliver the annual targets and also undertake new projects and initiatives across marketing, IT, communications, operations and services.

You can see with clarity where cloud technologies and smart analytics could replace your spreadsheets and reports, social media could become your main communications channel and intelligent technologies and connectivity could revolutionise your backend operations and supply chain.

Venue and Location

Crowne Plaza Hotel

128 Albert St, Auckland, 1010

Parking Information

Atrium Carpark – 130 Albert Street