SUSECON Keynotes are dynamic and entertaining events where SUSE presents
compelling content that inspires, informs and invigorates SUSECON attendees.

Keynote Highlights

Each day of the main conference at SUSECON 2016 will start off with an energetic keynote hosted by Michael Miller, SUSE president of strategy, alliances and marketing. We will explore different challenges to IT organizations and highlight solutions to these problems. The keynote topics include:

  • IT Transformation: finding open source solutions help you modernize and transform your IT to reduce costs, improve efficiency and innovate faster
  • Business Agility: identifying open source solutions that help you more quickly respond to changing business needs and improve your business agility
  • Business Continuity: using open source solutions to help you reduce business risk by reducing downtime and ensuring mission critical application and services availability

SUSECON keynotes are never dull! Besides the live band and the guest speakers, SUSE likes to “give away the keynote” with great prizes given away in each session. Each SUSECON keynote is a must-see event!

Each keynote will include customer highlights and guest appearances from key SUSE executives and partners, including:

  • Michael Miller, President of Strategy, Alliances and Marketing
  • Figen Ulgen, Intel General Manager of High-Performance Computing Software and Cloud
  • Katsue Tanaka, Fujitsu SVP, Head of Unit, Platform Software Business Unit
  • Scott Farrand, HPE Vice President of Platform Servers
  • Kathy Bennett, IBM Vice President of Global ISV Technical Enablement and Support
  • Brian Vink Sr., SAP Vice President of Data Management Products
  • Nils Brauckmann, SUSE Chief Executive Officer
  • Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE Chief Technology Officer

Michael Miller

President of Strategy, Alliances and Marketing

As President of Strategy, Alliances & Marketing, Miller is instrumental in developing the SUSE business strategy. He carries responsibility for business development, strategic alliances and also leads the product management and SUSE marketing functions including sales enablement and training.

Miller has over 20 years of experience across a broad range of global leadership roles, including senior management positions in engineering, product management, marketing, sales, business development, and alliances. Miller applies a practical and results-driven approach to building teams, creating alliances, and developing solutions for the enterprise market.

Miller holds an MBA from the University of Baltimore, a Master's degree in English from Western Washington University, and a Bachelor's degree in Literature from Marquette University.

Figen Ulgen

Intel General Manager of High-Performance Computing Software and Cloud

Figen Ulgen is General Manager of the High Performance Computing Platform Software & Cloud Group at Intel Corporation. Ulgen leads a global organization that develops and promotes HPC platform software technologies for the HPC ecosystem.  In her current role, she manages the HPC Platform Software P&L, business strategy and product marketing spanning static and cloud workloads.

Figen joined Intel in 2014. Prior to that, she was a Senior Director with Microsoft for over a decade in various leadership roles in Data Science, Azure Public Cloud and HPC teams. Her 20 year industry experience includes technology innovation, competitive strategy, software product planning and management, as well as driving change across large organizations. Before Microsoft, Figen worked at McKinsey & Co., Motorola and at Justsystem Corporation in Japan.

With a passion for intelligent systems, Figen sits on the OpenHPC Board of Directors and Chairs technical seminars on Artificial Intelligence.

Ulgen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Expert Systems under a Fulbright Scholarship and a Ph.D. in Machine Learning under the Japanese Government Ministry of Education Scholarship. She holds two U.S. patents.

Katsue Tanaka

Fujitsu SVP, Head of Unit, Platform Software Business Unit

Katsue Tanaka is the Senior Vice President, Head of Platform Software Business Group at Fujitsu Limited and has been leading the group since April 2016. Her responsibility includes business, strategy and development of platform software for Mission Critical systems as well as for on-premise, private and public cloud. Under her organization she manages 4 subsidiary companies which develop and provide solutions based on advanced open source software technologies.

Prior to this, Tanaka was Vice President of Virtualization Platform Software Division at Fujitsu Limited where she successfully managed ISV-related businesses including with Microsoft and VMware.

Scott Farrand

HPE Vice President of Platform Servers

Scott Farrand is Vice President of the Platform Software organization in the HP Server Enterprise group at HP. He and his team are focused on the HPS software business, platform manageability, virtualization and strategic software partnerships. Farrand's team drives internal and external partnerships and is responsible for delivering virtualization platform support and manageability value for the HP ProLiant and HP BladeSystem platforms.

Farrand joined HP in 2005 with the acquisition of RLX Technologies. He joined the founding team at RLX Technologies in December 2000 and was responsible for operating systems support, ServerBlade management and solutions development for scale-out applications.

Farrand formerly worked for Alta Vista Company, where he helped port the infrastructure for the search engine web software from C/C++ on an expensive compute infrastructure to many inexpensive, Linux-based, industry-standard x86 servers.

Prior to Alta Vista, Farrand was at Compaq Computer Corp. for 12 years, where he founded and developed the company's first systems management products. He brought these products through several generational designs, including web-based solutions and porting multiple platforms.

Before joining Compaq, Farrand founded a startup software company that developed the windows terminal program.

Farrand earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. He holds 11 United States patents in systems management.

Kathy Bennett

IBM Vice President of Global ISV Technical Enablement and Support

Kathy Bennett is Vice President, ISV Technical Enablement in IBM Systems Unit. Kathy is responsible for technical enablement of commercial ISVs and open source software. Kathy leads a global team of Senior Architects and SW Engineers across the globe whose focused on delivering optimized ISV and Open Source SW solutions on IBM Systems. The ISV enablement organization is a global organization with US labs in Austin TX, Beaverton OR, Rochester MN, Raleigh NC, San Jose, CA and Poughkeepsie NY with a global development team based in India and Germany with local skills resident worldwide in IBM Innovation Centers. Kathy is currently located in Austin, Texas.

Prior to this, Kathy was the Director of the Linux Technology Center. As the director of the Linux Technology Center, she was responsible for IBM’s participation in the Linux Open Source development community and for Linux Operating System Development for IBM servers, software, storage, and other key initiatives. Her team provided Linux technical expertise to all of IBM and was the technical liaison to the Linux Distribution Partners.

Prior to becoming the director of Linux Technology Center, Kathy held first and second line management roles within the Linux Technology Center since 2001. From 1995 through 2000 Kathy held several management positions in OS/2 Development and Support. Kathy began her career in Poughkeepsie, New York in the MVS Service Delivery organization providing technical support to external customers. Kathy graduated with a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from Pace University in New York.

Brian Vink Sr.

SAP Vice President of Data Management Products

As Senior Vice President of Data Management Products, Brian Vink is focused on product and market development strategies for the SAP database and data management portfolio. This portfolio includes the SAP HANA platform—a modern, open, standards-based and in-memory enterprise compute and storage platform. During the last few years, SAP has quickly established itself as a market leading database vendor capturing market share, pioneering new innovations and achieving leadership recognition.

Mr. Vink has been in the database software industry for over 20 years. Prior to his current position, Mr. Vink served as vice president of product management and marketing for Sybase and was part of the core team that helped to establish its market-leading positions in financial services, mobility and the embedded database markets. Mr. Vink began his career with WATCOM International as one of the original developers on the SQL Anywhere mobile and embedded database project, which subsequently was purchased by Sybase.

Mr. Vink holds both a Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Computer Science and Business from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.

Nils Brauckmann

SUSE Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer for SUSE, Nils Brauckmann is responsible for all aspects of the SUSE business and worldwide growth. Brauckmann sits as an Executive Director on the Micro Focus board.

Brauckmann has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, serving in cross-functional and international management positions. He first joined WRQ in 1994 (acquired by Attachmate® in 2004) and has held various management roles across Attachmate sales, marketing and support organizations in EMEA. Other companies he has worked for include Novell® and Siemens Nixdorf, where he started his technology career. Brauckmann has considerable leadership experience in due diligence and integration processes associated with mergers and acquisitions. Brauckmann holds a diploma in Safety Engineering from the University of Wuppertal in Germany.

Thomas Di Giacomo

SUSE Chief Technology Officer

As Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo drives the rapid innovation and growth of SUSE’s expanding portfolio from the enterprise Linux operating system to software-defined solutions such as the OpenStack cloud infrastructure, Ceph-based storage, and software-defined networking solutions. He engages customers, partners, and open source communities to share and define SUSE’s technological vision.

Di Giacomo has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, serving in various global leadership roles in engineering and product innovation, with expertise in open source platforms, development, and support of global information systems and technologies applied to various industries such as telecommunication, hospitality, and healthcare.

Di Giacomo holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Geneva where he was a senior software developer & researcher involved in both academic work and joint corporate projects with international leading enterprises.

2015 Videos

SUSECon 2015 Keynote Michael Miller and Jürgen Kreuziger, SAP
SUSECON 2015 Keynote Michael Miller and Jürgen Kreuziger, SAP

Tuesday Keynote
SUSECon 2015 Closing Keynote Part 5 SUSE High Availability Extension and Live Kernel Patching
SUSE High Availability Extension and Live Kernel Patching

SUSECON 2015 Closing Keynote Part 5

Watch all of last year's keynotes ›

Join us at SUSECON and see the direction of open source technology in the enterprise!

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