Meet our Speakers at Network Transformation Congress 2019











Mr. Anoop Agrawal
Head of Product Engineering | Verizon


Mr. Walid Ali
Chief Technologist Artificial Intelligence, Edge and Cloud Systems | AMD


Dr. Walid is the chief technologist of artificial intelligence, edge and cloud solutions at AMD. His team has collaborated with key partners and delivered cutting edge deep learning, analytics and cloud solutions to various industry sectors; ranging from infrastructure, to secure and trusted deployment all the way to deep learning enterprise solutions, business intelligence and big data.
Before AMD, he lead the cloud solutions team at Intel datacenter group, revolutionizing the line of business solutions at major international banks; exchanges, media, cloud and Telcos customers.
Prior to joining Intel, Walid was a senior manager with, Mubadala, a private equity investment entity solely owned by the government of Abu-Dhabi, investing in technical sector and semiconductors (GlobalFoundries and AMD).
Prior to this role, Walid lead the development of many products across his tenureship with Microsoft, Redmond, WA and Intel, Santa Clara, CA, Philips, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Walid holds 51 granted patents with USA patent office and more than 40 peer-reviewed technical publications.
He has studied executive management at Harvard business school, holds a Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA in 1999, and has received his M.Sc. in computer science from the Imperial College, London University, London, UK in 1994 with distinction.

Dr. Shahin Arefzadeh
CTO | Ziotis


We automated processes for some of the biggest carriers in the world. We have extensive experience with mission critical networks. We designed and implemented the biggest media networks worldwide for ATT, Telstra, Telenor, Vodafone to carry NHL, NBA, NFL, soccer/football, News across the world.

At Ziotis, we are passionate about collaborative automation, which enables telecom operators and enterprises to optimize their resources and minimize their investments. We are doing this by harnessing advanced technologies such as Blockchain, AI, data analytics. Our software is beautifully designed, easy to use and based on latest web scale architecture.

The pace of innovation and cycle of new technologies can sometimes be overwhelming. Most organizations are trying to catch up with the technology the best they can, in order to get through the digital transformation journey. Most advanced product companies use AI in their marketing material. As a machine learning veteran I always refer to AI as digital intelligence. Most of the cases in AI are nowadays simple decision trees, or at best anomaly detection. In best case scenarios, AI algorithms have to be adapted to a new environment, through extensive learning, in order to make them work.

Mr. Geoff Burke
Chief Marketing Officer | Broadband Forum


Ms. Petra Callaly
General Manager | Layer123


Mr. Roy Chua
CEO | AvidThink


Partner | Wiretap Ventures


Roy Chua has 20+ years of experience in technology infrastructure, including networking, security, SaaS and cloud technologies. Prior to co-founding SDxCentral, an online resource and news site, and Wiretap Ventures, a management consultancy, Roy was VP Products at 41st Parameter, an online fraud prevention company acquired by Experian.

Roy was formerly a co-founder and VP Products/Marketing at Identity Engines, an Enterprise security company acquired by Avaya. Roy was also previously Director of Product Marketing at Spirent Communications, responsible for its layers 4-7 networking product lines. He joined Spirent via the acquisition of Caw Networks, where he was part of the founding team, and was responsible for taking the Avalanche(tm) from concept to award-winning product and growing revenue to $30M+ in under 4 years.

Roy has worked in marketing management and engineering positions at various startups and at Cisco Systems. He received his MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and is the holder of several patents in network instrumentation and distributed identity management.

Mr. Marc Cohn
Solutions & Technical Strategy, Strategic Marketing | Spirent


Marc has been a major contributor to the SDN and NFV community, as the former VP of Network Strategy for The Linux Foundation, the Executive Director for the OPEN-Oopen orchestration project (which recently merged into the ONAP project), Market Area Director and ONF Fellow for the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), an advisor to the Chair of the ETSI NFV ISG,and Silver Member representative (and Treasurer) for the OpenDaylight Board of Directors.

Marc has also held a number of executive roles in strategy and marketing at ClearPath Networks, Ciena Corporation, IP Infusion, among others.

Mr. Jean-Michel Cornily
Standards Expert - OA&M for Mobile Networks | Orange


Dr. Brandon Heller
CTO and Co-Founder | Forward Networks


Brandon Heller is the CTO and Co-founder of Forward Networks, a leading provider of network verification software, and a pioneer in the Intent-Based Networking market. Brandon earned his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford, and holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Computer Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Involved in OpenFlow before it had that name, he served as main editor of the spec for three years, seeing it grow from an academic prototype to a real tool for industry. Prior to founding Forward Networks, Brandon held technical roles at Google and HPE. His academic projects include energy-efficient data centers (ElasticTree) and flexible network emulation (Mininet).

Ms. Mona Hrapkowicz
Director Next Wave Communication Service Provider Business Acceleration | Intel


Mona Hrapkowicz has 25+ years of experience in technology infrastructure, including networking, data center and cloud technologies. Currently, her team at Intel is responsible for accelerating Next Wave Communication Service Providers' journey to Cloud-ready Solutions. She has also worked in Strategic Product Planning, Development and Marketing roles while at Intel.

Prior to joining Intel, Mona was a Product Line Manager at Celestica with responsibilities for Product Development and Manufacturing for their ATCA and Server ODM portfolio for Fortune 100 companies, a Regional Sales Manager for NEC, and a Sales Manager for TI.

Mona holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Columbia University in New York City.

Dr. Christos Kolias
Principal Research Scientist and Orange Expert | Orange


Christos Kolias is a Principal Research Scientist and an Orange Expert at Orange Silicon Valley. He is a co-founder of NFV and the ETSI group and had led the formation of the ONF's Wireless & Mobile working group of which he was its first chair. He has been a frequent speaker on NFV, SDN, SD-WAN, MEC and IoT. Christos holds a PhD in computer science from UCLA where he studied under Prof. L. Kleinrock.

Ms. Vanessa Little
Director, Global NFV Ecosystem Architecture | VMware


Chair, Technical Steering Committee | OSM


With over 25 years' experience in various roles in network and system architecture, mobile video system architecture and governance in both telco and retail sectors, Van has developed a diverse toolset. Having worked as everything from UNIX sysadmin to Chief Technical Officer with a number of leadership roles in between, Van has contributed to technologies from mobile, enterprise data centre, multi-national networks and beyond.

Now at VMware as the Director - Global NFV Ecosystem Architecture Van is focused on leading integrated architectures that integrate all of the NFV partners across the globe in useful NFV solutions that solve for specific problems. This role has her speaking at conferences around the world, and spreading the word about the strength of the NFV Ecosystem.

Mr. Craig Matsumoto
Senior Analyst, Managed Services | 451 Research


Craig is known in Silicon Valley as one of the pre-eminent voices covering the networking industry.

Before joining SDNCentral in 2013, he spent 11 years with Light Reading, the leading news and community site for telecom technology and business. His primary beats included routing and switching, Ethernet, optical networking, and semiconductors, and he also contributed to coverage in wireless technology and Internet video.

Prior to Light Reading, Craig spent seven years with EE Times, the leading trade publication for the electronics industry. He was there during the dot-com bubble, covering the wealth of technologies emerging in IP and optical networking.

Craig also covered technology for the San Jose Business Journal and the real estate beat for the Fresno Business Journal. He holds a B.A. in Engineering Math from U.C. Berkeley.

Ms. Johanne Mayer
Evangelist - NaaS 2020 | TM Forum


With more than 25 years in the OSS/BSS industry, Johanne is the director of MayerConsult. Recently Johanne was Global Evangelist for Telstra's Network as a Service (NaaS). As part of Telstra Networks for the Future Transformation group, Johanne was responsible for working with the industry Standards and Open-Source teams to support and understand the benefits of NaaS. Johanne was also working internally with Telstra's network teams to transform their organizations into Operational Domains.

Prior to joining Telstra, Johanne was director product marketing, focused on orchestration at Oracle; ICT account manager with Ericsson Australia; senior analyst with Analysys Mason leading the service provider programme; and marketing director with Nokia (former Alcatel-Lucent) OSS/BSS solutions. She is a frequent speaker at conferences. Following her tenure as a board and executive committee member, Johanne was awarded TM Forum Distinguished Fellow recognition.

Mr. Jatinder Pancar
Senior Engineering Manager | Intel


Mr. Kaustubha Parkhi
Principal Analyst | Insight Research


I am a market researcher with more than eighteen years of industry experience. I am passionate about making sense of technology. I focus on quantifying market opportunities presented by emerging technologies in the areas of telecommunications and semiconductors. I also engage in unveiling the dynamics of information-opaque regional markets in the industrial engineering technologies.

Mr. Prayson Pate
CTO, Ensemble | ADVA Optical Networking


Prayson Pate is ADVA Optical Networking's chief technology officer for Ensemble and an evangelist for network functions virtualization (NFV). He speaks at industry events and writes posts and articles to inform, educate and entertain. These include The Real CTOs of NFV and The Real Innovators of Networking series.

Prayson received a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Duke University. Prayson has contributed to standards bodies such as the MEF and IETF. He is a named inventor on nine patents.

Dr. Dan Pitt


President | Palo Alto Innovation Advisors


Dan Pitt has been a leading voice of the SDNFV movement since its inception. He served as executive director of ONF from its public launch in March 2011 until September 2016 and since January 2017 has been senior vice president of MEF, driving technical and ecosystem development.

Dan has relentlessly championed open networking to put more people to work building novel solutions for more customers of all types. He also advises private and public companies to commercialize new ideas and stay abreast of new capabilities.

Prior to ONF Dan ran and advised startup companies, served as dean of engineering at Santa Clara University, held executive management roles at Nortel Networks and Bay Networks, developed and managed networking technology and HP and IBM, and taught computer science and electrical engineering at Duke and UNC.

Dan holds a B.S. from Duke and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and son.

Mr. Tipu Qureshi
Principal Engineer | Amazon Web Services


As a principal engineer in the AWS support organization, Tipu works with customers to implement automation and setup new workloads on the AWS platform. He has developed various architectures and certifications on AWS. Tipu comes from a background in various core telecom technologies across operators and vendors. He has a masters in systems engineering from Cornell University and over a decade of experience in systems engineering with a focus on realtime systems.

Mr. Francisco-Javier Ramón
Head of Network Virtualisation, GCTIO | Telefónica


Chair | Open Source MANO


Francisco-Javier Ramón has worked in Telefónica since 2000. He was former head of the IP Network Technologies group in Telefónica I+D, and since 2008 he has been head of the Network Virtualisation Initiative and the NFV Reference Lab in Telefónica GCTO Unit. Additionally, he has been chair of the Performance and Portability Expert Group and the Working Group of Testing, Experimentation and Open Source in ETSI NFV ISG

In April 2016, he was elected Chairman of Open Source MANO (ETSI OSM) project on Management and Orchestration for NFV.

His expertise areas are network virtualisation, IP network architecture, traffic capture and analysis, QoE modelling, network planning and dimensioning, routing and network performance. He is author of several patents and technical papers in these fields.

Francisco-Javier achieved a Master Telecommunications Engineer qualification at the Technical School of Telecommunications Engineering of Málaga (Spain), 2000, and a Master's Degree in Economics at UNED (Spain), 2006.

Dr. Vishal Sharma
Principal | Metanoia


Vishal Sharma is a seasoned international telecom industry expert, with global exposure, who has executed assignments for clients on 4 continents, and worked both in the US and India.

Vishal is an innovator, researcher, engineer, and entrepreneur rolled into one, and his multi-faceted roles over the last 22+ years have included: entrepreneur, technologist, technical leader, academic (professor of electrical engineering), educator, technology evangelist & advisor, technology writer, editor, and speaker, & researcher in academia and in industry labs. He is currently Principal at Metanoia, Inc. - a niche Bay-Area firm providing expertise to leaders in the telecom ecosystem that he founded in 2001.

Vishal has focused on techniques to lower carriers' total cost of ownership (TCO) through better assessment and optimization of a carrier's strategy, business models, operations, networks, and technology. In recent years, he has concentrated on software-defined networking and cloud infrastructure for both enterprises and carriers. Vishal manages the very active Carrier Ethernet LinkedIn Group, which comprises 8,429+ members from 2,236+ companies from 122+ nations on all 6 inhabited continents. Vishal earned his B. Tech (EE) degree from IIT Kanpur, and his MS (Signals & Systems), MS (Computer Engineering), and Ph.D. degrees from UC Santa Barbara.

Mr. Saad Sheikh
Chief Architect | STC


Mr. Shin Umeda
VP | Dell'Oro Group


Shin Umeda covers a broad view of Telecommunications Infrastructure at Dell'Oro Group as he has built their coverage and researched many of the technologies. He currently produces the analysis on Network Functions Virtualization's (NFV) impact on telecom operators as well as equipment and component manufacturers. He previously covered the Optical Transport, Routers, and Carrier Ethernet markets for Dell'Oro Group.

Shin joined Dell'Oro Group in 2000, bringing extensive experience in financial and operations planning and analysis. Prior to joining Dell'Oro Group, Shin held financial analyst and management positions at a number of networking and technology companies, including Nortel Networks, Bay Networks, SynOptics Communications, and Amdahl Corporation.

Mr. Umeda's research and analysis has been widely cited in leading trade and business publications including Bloomberg, Businessweek, Network World, The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared as an invited speaker at industry conferences such as NetEvents Global Summit, SDN & OpenFlow World Congress, and Carrier Network Virtualization. He has presented at investor conferences, customer seminars, and sales meetings around the world.

Shin has a B.A. degree in Business from San Jose State University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Golden Gate University.

Mr. Gert Vanderstraeten
Network Architect | Microsoft


Gert is a Network Architect in Microsoft's IT organization. His main responsibility is development of strategy for improving the interaction between the network infrastructure and real-time services which are relying on it. He focuses on providing the right user-experience while increasing efficiency and agility by exploring technologies like SDN and NFV, keeping cloud and mobility as a strategic direction in mind.

Prior to Microsoft Gert worked 16 years at Cisco as a Technical Leader and member of technical staff. He has 20 years of experience with troubleshooting, implementing and designing collaboration solutions while guiding the largest global enterprise customers from legacy communication systems towards full IP environments.
Gert received a Master degree in Engineering from the U-Hasselt University and a Master in Management from the KU Leuven University, Belgium. He holds an active CCIE in the Collaboration track, obtained VMware certification (VCP-DCV) and Master ASE (Accredited Systems Engineer) - Network Infrastructure (HP).

Mr. David Wang
Founder & CEO | Wave2Wave


For more than two decades, David has been an innovator in the telecom and networking industries, working with large telecom firms and startups.

With Wave2Wave David has created the world leader in the design and manufacture of essential network inter-connectivity solutions. Under David's leadership, the company is now poised to launch the next revolution in data center technology, bringing an unprecedented level of control and virtualization to the L-1 Layer.

David's passion for excellence and focus on tackling engineering challenges at the infrastructure level have enabled him to see unique opportunities for dramatic improvement in data center architecture - improvements that will translate into business opportunities across communications, digital media, ecommerce, mobile apps and enterprise software.

In his career, David has played a key role in both large enterprises and startups. David's philosophy in business is "do what we say, say what we can do and do it every single time."

David holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University and a master's in industrial engineering from University of Regina. His expertise encompasses engineering, professional services, sales and management..

Mr. Ofer Weill
Director of Product Marketing | DriveNets


Mr. Chris Young
Business solutions consultant | BAE Systems