The 2015 NWA Technology Summit was the largest and most successful technology conference in Summit history. This year, the Summit brought C-level executives, startups, retailers, developers, marketing specialists, and students together to explore how to innovate and use technology to succeed in the digital era.

In case you missed out on this year’s show, here’s a quick recap:

Bill Akins, chairman of Northwest Arkansas Technology Council, enthusiastically kicked off the 2015 NWA Technology Summit and announced that 100 students were given scholarships to attend the Summit.

President and CEO of AT&T Mobile & Business, Ralph de la Vega, followed with his keynote address on industry disruption and innovation. He mentioned Uber, the poster child for disruption, due to its ability to drastically impact the taxi industry through technology. “Mobile is eating the world, they now say…understand the impact of that fact, or you’ll find yourself disrupted by people who do,” according to de la Vega. He also cited six trends impacting and disrupting business: software, mobility, video, Internet of Things, data and cyber security.

The morning was filled with dynamic breakout sessions with topics ranging from analytics, robotic innovations, and developer happiness. I would be remissed if I did not send a shout out to the following RevUniters: Alex Williams, Brenna Blackwell, Michael Paladino and Will Bowlin who did an extraordinary jobs in their various sessions.

During “Redefining HR: The User Experience”, Jacqui Canney, executive vice president of Global People Division of Walmart, identified concepts like big data, social media, and gamification as future trends in technology for human resources. As the luncheon speaker, she lent her expertise as one who manages, attracts and retains America’s largest private workforce.

New York Times best-selling author, Louis Patler concluded the afternoon as the final keynote speaker for the Summit. He encouraged us to view innovators as integral to a company’s success. “We should focus on innovators, rather than innovation,” according to Patler. It is worth mentioning that two of his books, If It Ain’t Broke, Break It! and Tilt, were highly recommended by the late Steve Jobs, and have been added to my personal reading list.

Here’s 7 Impactful Quotes From the NWA Tech Summit (in no particular order):


“75% of our functionality will be virtualized by 2020.”#NWATechSummit15 - Ralph de la Vega, President… Click To Tweet


“You just can’t take failure personally. Sometimes it just happens.” -Brenna Blackwell, (@verbranden)… Click To Tweet


“A company of innovation differs from building a culture of innovation.” -Louis Patler, New York Times… Click To Tweet


“Technology is the enabler of enterprise growth, it’s changing education and fueling entrepreneurship.”… Click To Tweet


“A marketing person with technology and HR skills can be the next CEO.” -Jacqui Canney, (@jpcanney) EVP… Click To Tweet


“Robot innovations will enable the next wave of business transformation.” -Todd Lohr, Principal of KPMG… Click To Tweet


“Join the analytics revolution; analytics is going through its own industrial revolution.” -Bill… Click To Tweet


At RevUnit, we were excited to participate in the 2015 NWA Tech Summit because this was a major gathering place for those who thrive on digital innovation and at our core that is what we are passionate about. The Summit provided an opportunity for business people, start-ups and technology to come together for great learning and great sharing.

For me, the overall experience of the Summit was wonderful. A palpable buzz of excitement charged the atmosphere as the technology and possibilities of the future were brought into focus. I was once again reminded what an exciting time it is in the digital world. As a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, I see many parallels between the tech atmosphere in Northwest Arkansas and early Silicon Valley. My prediction is that future NWA Technology Summit attendance will only continue to grow and attract the best and brightest the industry has to offer. Keep your eye on them and don’t be surprised if Northwest Arkansas emerges as the Silicon Valley of the South.

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