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Keynote Speakers

Photo of Deb Bryant

Deb Bryant

Red Hat

Senior Director of Open Source and Standards

Keynote Address - Thursday, October 11th at 9:00am


The Asterisk project stands as a pioneering effort in open standards and open source in communications. Open source software development, its methods, tools, community, and culture are second nature to this long-established and vital ecosystem of network and telecom professionals which built its success on an early wave of disruption: VoIP.

Within a decade traditional telecoms would also find themselves evaluating the case for open source. Increasingly, open source development had become a norm in the software industry while at the same time large institutional players with significant investment in legacy hardware and systems had been slow in understanding its value and power. Inevitably, long product development cycles in telecom had hamstrung the industry from pivoting quickly to meet a new kind of competition from agile companies like Google able to leverage the Internet at scale.

The disruptive response: new open standards and source projects designed to virtualize network functions (NFV) and define networks with software (SDN). With the business imperative to meet the major threat, traditional telecoms are now entering the world of collaborative software development. Huge investment in software development, including the overhead of standing up governance for large and complex projects with their partners and competitors, have raised the stakes for success. Assuming a successful transition to modern networks, significant challenges remain for traditional telecoms who until recently were not in the software business. How will they employ modern practices at scale such as DevOps? How will they manage continuous improvement and integration (CI/CD)? With significant changes in operation and increased exposure to public networks, how will they address security? And finally, taking a look into what’s next, what are some of the implications for the industry from AI and Machine Learning?


Deborah Bryant, is Senior Director of Open Source and Standards in the Office of the CTO at Red Hat, Inc. CTO staff have led the effort to bring telecom OSS project partners through the learning curve of becoming open source project contributors while gaining a deep understanding of their needs. This year Red Hat celebrates its 25-year “upstream first” engineering model and continues its participation in and stewardship of hundreds of open source projects as part of its core model to innovate and add value to enterprise software for its customers.

Photo of Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

Simwood Group PLC


Keynote Address - Wednesday, October 10th at 9:00am


Woodhead’s talk will expand on why privacy seems to be very low on solution providers’ priority lists. Security exists for selfish ends, but the privacy of users is often overlooked. In fact, privacy is often freely sacrificed as, after all, “we have nothing to hide."


Simon Woodhead’s early career was in finance as a fund manager, within what became Deutsche Bank and Barclays Wealth. Simon had discretion to manage over 40m+ of funds before age 21, becoming the youngest qualified member of the Securities Institute. Simwood (https://simwood.com) was founded in 1996 (as 'eSMS': the world's first global gateway between the Internet and Mobile Phones), and Simon left finance in 1999 to focus on it and a number of other start-ups, eventually exiting all of them except Simwood by 2005. As CEO and architect, he shaped the current business of Simwood to be the wholesale voice and mobile operator it is today. In 2016 he was elected a Director of the London Internet Exchange (http://www.linx.net), the world's largest member-owned peering exchange operator. LINX operates peering exchanges across the UK and in North Virginia USA. In that role he speaks widely at industry events, often around the company's extensive research on voice fraud and infrastructure.