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Microsoft masterclass to equip Cumbrian businesses for hi-tech future

James Whittaker

[C]umbrian businesses are invited to find out more about what future technology has in store – and how to keep one-step ahead – at a talk with one of Microsoft’s top engineers this month.

Microsoft’s Distinguished Engineer, James Whittaker, is set to deliver a Masterclass for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), which promises to offer an entertaining and thought provoking jaunt into the future. The talk will look at how the world will interact with devices when they are smarter than humans are, and how businesses can continue to make money in an age where machines learn our habits faster than we do.

The event is part of Cumbria Forum, a support programme for SMEs that offers a trusted peer-to-peer network and activities to stimulate self-development and business growth, as well as a master-class programme with high-profile inspirational speakers. The programme provides a space for owner-managers of Cumbrian SMEs to step away from their businesses and develop themselves in a supportive environment with help from peers and experts from Lancaster University Management School.

The event will take place on Wednesday 16 May between 9.00am and 1.00pm at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal. It is free to attend and lunch and networking opportunities will be provided.

James Whittaker, Technical Evangelist and Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting with local business leaders and discussing the future – a future that is coming a lot faster than most people imagine.

“The Internet of Things will ultimately mean more Internet traffic generated and consumed by machines than by humans. Machines are learning our habits faster than we can form them, so what does this mean for the future? I plan on talking about how the PC, web and mobile eras brought us to where we are today and will offer some insight into the technologies that the future will be built on: big data, invisible UI, augmented reality and intelligent machines.”

Helen Atherton, Lancaster University Management School Programme Manager for Cumbria Forum, said: “This event presents a fantastic opportunity for small businesses in Cumbria to hear from one of the leading engineers working for a global technology giant. He has a presentation style and energy that is truly unique, and I guarantee attendees won’t be disappointed.

“Technology is advancing at an incredible rate and to be competitive and grow in today’s market, businesses need to have a leading edge and be prepared to adapt to a very different future.”

Cumbria Forum is eligible to B2B Cumbrian SMEs employing fewer than 250 people and with a turnover of less than £40million. This is made possible through the European Regional Development Fund.

To register to attend the event, please call Pete Cornwall on 01524 510728 or email [email protected]

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