Speakers: Learn from Industry Experts

When you make the effort to attend a tech conference – let alone the incredible community-driven Comms vNext (we are very humble, we promise) – you deserve more than just another PowerPoint deck delivered by Mr./Ms. Monotone. We are proud to bring some of the most well-known, respected, and engaging names in the Microsoft UC space to our lineup of speakers!

Keynote Speaker


Jamie Stark Keynote Speaker at Comms vNextJamie Stark
Senior Program Manager, Microsoft

Session: Keynote

Jamie Stark is a Senior Program Manager in the Microsoft Office division and works on the IT Pro experience for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Jamie has spent the last 20 Years in Enterprise Software for Telephony, Contact Center, and Enterprise PBX systems and is a frequent speaker at industry events like Microsoft’s Ignite and Enterprise Connect. Jamie lives in Seattle and tweets sporadically from @nomorephones

Session Speakers

Anthony Caragol Speaker at Comms vNextC. Anthony Caragol
Principal Consultant, SWC

Session: Microsoft Phone System Tips, Gotchas, and Things to Know

Anthony is a Microsoft MVP primarily focused on the Microsoft Communications stack and collaboration technologies since 2006 including Lync, Skype for Business, and Teams for collaboration as well as full Enterprise Voice. Exchange on-premises and online for highly resilient email and voice mail infrastructures. Additional areas of focus include business level IT strategy and architecture. For fun, I do what I can to support the community because I love to see it grow.

Heidi Gloudemans Speaker at Comms vNextHeidi Gloudemans
Director – Teams Strategic Customer Engagement, Microsoft

Session: “Cradle to Grave” of a Microsoft Team

Own Product Group relationships with Microsoft Teams’ most strategic customers, gather Enterprise product feedback, and remove blockers for meaningful deployment and consumption.

Doug Lawty Speaker at Comms vNextDoug Lawty
Voice Technology Solutions Professional, Microsoft

Session: Voice Routing in Microsoft Teams

Providing pre-sales technical guidance to Microsoft’s enterprise customers. Enabling them to build an Intelligent Communications solution that provides significant business value.


Jens Madsen Speaker at Comms vNextJens Madsen
Principal Consultant, ConvergeOne

Session: Bring Your Own Trunk and the SBCs role

Jens Madsen currently works as a principal consultant and have been architecting and deploying Skype for Business and Lync for global organizations since the OCS R2 days. Jens has over 25 years experience on general Microsoft technologies going back to Windows 3.1 and NT 3.51 as a developer in the early days, IT manager and lately as a professional consultant.

Kevin Peters Speaker at Comms vNextKevin Peters
Global Director of Solutions Architecture, Unify²

Session 1: Enterprise Voice Deep Dive

Session2: SQL Azure to PowerBI to Teams

Kevin Peters is the Global Director of Solutions Architecture at Unify², specializing in architecture and design of large UC voice deployments as well as managing a team of consultants and senior consultants. Kevin has over 10 years in the IT industry, is a Microsoft MVP and holds both Microsoft Certified Master in Lync 2010 and MCSM in Lync 2013. Additionally, Kevin is a founding board member and Local Chapter Organizer at the Skype and Teams User Group.

Brian Ricks Speaker at Comms vNextBrian Ricks
Owner, BriComp Computers, LLC

Session:Ask Me Anything’ 

Since 1993, Brian has been working in the IT field implementing Microsoft solutions. In 1999, he obtained his first MCP certification and in 2006 received the MVP award from Microsoft, for what is now known as Skype for Business Server. In 2009, Brian decided to be part of the consultant world and set in motion BriComp Computers, LLC . He provides consulting services to companies large and small as an Architect and Subject Matter Expert in all things Infrastructure and Unified Communications related. In 2013 Brian attended one of the last rotations of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (Communications), and not only passed, but is 1 of 22 world-wide holding the certification. Brian holds many credentials including MCSM, MCP, MCSE, MVP and MBA; he resides in Gilbert, Arizona, has been married for over 25 years to his beautiful wife and has two boys, one attending Arizona State University and the other University of Arizona.

Alan Shen Speaker at Comms vNextAlan Shen
VP Professional Services, Unify²

Session: Running UC: An Operational Methodology for Online/On-Prem/Hybrid

Alan leads the Unify2 global consulting services practice, covering areas such as from strategy/planning, solution architecture, implementation, user adoption, and operations. He also drives strategic innovation of Unify Square’s flagship product (PowerSuite), particularly around areas related to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Alan brings over 10 years of Microsoft experience as a Senior Program Manager in the Mobility, Networking, and OCS/Lync groups. He designed the Audio/Video Edge and ICE/STUN/TURN solution, a firewall traversal technology continues to play a foundational role in Skype for Business. He also drove the Technology Adoption Program (TAP), which enabled dozens of global enterprise customers and over 100 Partners with their OCS/Lync voice deployments. Alan was a key approver for over 100 customer designs for interfacing with Gateways & PBXs.

Alan is a regular speaker at conference events and received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Washington. In his free time, Alan enjoys conducting the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, which he founded in 1999.

Nick Smith Speaker at Comms vNextNick Smith
Principal Program Manager, Microsoft

Session: Get the Latest on Skype to Teams Journey Strategies and Experiences 

Nick Smith is a Principal Program Manager in the Customer Lifecycle Services group for Microsoft. His team focuses on the customer and partner experiences of a Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams meetings and calling workloads. He has both services and engineering background and has presented at events such as Lync Conference, Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Inspire, Microsoft Ready and was one of the core team leading the Lync Master’s program.