The Internet we built is not the Internet we need. Join us for a series of speed talks from industry experts covering the full stack—from dirt to cloud—as they explore the need for new and collaborative infrastructure, aka The Grid, that will be required to power our future applications.

Join us to hear directly from the co-founders and industry trailblazers that launched the Open Grid Alliance who will cover their piece of the puzzle, how they fit in, as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead. This is an exciting journey, and we hope you’ll jump-in!

THE VISION: The Open Grid Alliance (OGA) seeks to benefit society by engaging commercial and community forces to dramatically accelerate the transformation of internet infrastructure past its legacy core-to-edge framework into a highly-democratized, highly-distributed platform for next-generation applications and services, built from the edge in.

The key Highlights

  • This session begins with a short introduction of a vision for a next generation internet and the technologies and infrastructures needed to make it a reality. This behind-the-scenes look includes the key drivers that led to the creation of the Open Grid Alliance, formed to address the future internet challenges we will be facing as a global economy and as an alliance.
  • Next, multiple experts from the different OGA stack will present their view, covering why it is important, key problems they are addressing, as well as their part in the larger collaboration.


Kaniz Mahdi, VP of Distributed Edge, VMware
Kaniz Mahdi is Vice President of Advanced Technologies at VMware. In this role, Kaniz is responsible for long term vision and architecture direction for VMW Telco Edge Cloud Platform, while shaping the next chapter of wireless evolution with fusion of B5G/6G, AI and Cloud. Prior to VMware, Kaniz held various technology leadership positions at Ericsson, Huawei, Ciena and Nortel.
With 45+ patent grants, Kaniz has a stellar record of continuously pushing the envelope on new technologies. She is an inventor of essential technologies underpinning current Voice over LTE systems and has been instrumental in defining the 5G era landscape with disruptive technologies (e.g. SDN/NFV & O-RAN). Kaniz’s current technology focus is on research incubation for new technologies that sit at the cross section of B5G/6G, AI/ML, Time Sensitive Communications, High Performance Distributed Compute and Complex Adaptive Systems for enablement of Collaborative Controls Systems of the B5G/6G era.
Kaniz serves on the board of 5G Americas and Linux Foundation Networking, and has previously served on the ONF boards for ONOS and CORD initiatives.

Cole Crawford, CEO, Vapor IO
Cole Crawford is CEO and founder of Vapor IO, the creators of the Kinetic Edge™ platform. Vapor IO is the leading provider of edge colocation, edge networking and edge interconnection services. Cole has been a thought leader in the data center technology and edge computing industry for over a decade. Cole is a founding board member of the Open19 Foundation, the founding executive director of the Open Compute Project Foundation and co-founder of OpenStack. He is leading Vapor IO in developing the largest nationwide edge colocation and interconnection platform at the edge of the cellular network. Cole is a Forbes contributor, has been named to Data Economy’s list of The World’s Most Influential Data Economy Leaders and The World’s First Top 50 Edge Computing Influencers.

Vishwamitra Nandlall, P Technology Strategy & Ecosystems , Dell Technologies
Vish Nandlall is the Global VP of Technology Strategy and Ecosystems at Dell Technologies. In this role, Vish has established the company’s technology roadmap in areas such as 5G, edge, and data management and led the incubation strategy to mainstream these businesses at the company. Prior to joining Dell, he was the CEO and co-founder of the Elefante Group, a stratospheric airship startup that delivered 5G coverage for rural and underserved markets. In 2014, Vish was appointed Group CTO for Telstra, responsible for building the Australian company’s technology vision and leading their innovation strategy. In 2016, he was inducted into Australia’s “Knowledge Nation 100” for his contributions to the national innovation agenda.
Vish Nandlall has previously served as CTO and Head of Strategy and Marketing for Ericsson North America. While at Ericsson, he was responsible for defining Ericsson’s regional market strategy and technology roadmap leading Ericsson’s entry in small cells, digital media, IT transformation, cloud, and next generation IP networks. Vish was also the Group CTO for Extreme Network, leading the company’s entry into software defined networks and carrier backhaul.
Vish Nandlall started his career at Nortel Networks, during which he developed the telecom industry’s first distributed processing system for voice applications, pioneered 10Gbps IP forwarding, and led the industry’s first LTE trial system. In 2005, Vish was named Nortel’s CTO for the Carrier Networks Group, and was awarded the title of Nortel Distinguished Engineer for his technical leadership across Nortel’s IP, optical and wireless products. He has been awarded a fundamental patent for LTE, and has published several widely cited IEEE LTE technology papers. Vish also holds several patents for the design of cloud based mobile applications and communication services.
Vish Nandlall is a passionate contributor to the telecom industry, he was recognized by Wireless World at one of the top 100 wireless experts globally, and he has served as director and policy chair for TIA, member of the ATIS board, and member of the FCC technology advisory committee. Vish currently serves as a director for the AECC and the IOWN Global Forum.

Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP of Strategy and Technology Innovation (STI) of Deutsche Telekom
Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi is SVP of Strategy and Technology Innovation (STI) of Deutsche Telekom with responsibility for the Network Differentiation strategy to transform Deutsche Telekom’s infrastructure to an open, distributed and cloud-native architecture with an automated production model. Dr. Choi is also Chief Operating Officer of the O-RAN Alliance. Dr. Choi has more than 20 years of experience in the mobile telecommunication industry & consumer electronics and has been thought leader driving forward key strategic and research topic in Telco and AI. Dr. Choi was the first Chairman of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and previously served as CTO for SK Telekom. With the introduction of “NUGU”, the first AI- based virtual assistant in Korea, Dr. Choi was influential in the development of AI solutions.

Jason Hoffman, CEO, Chair, Technology and Product Executive, MobiledgeX
Jason is one of the original cloud pioneers as one of the founders and CTO of Joyent. While there, he launched the world’s first container-as-a-service offering in 2004, the most popular asynchronous runtime (node.js) in 2009, the most secure KVM-based VMs in 2009 and the world’s first serverless offering in 2013.
As head of Ericsson cloud and infrastructure products Jason acquired an advanced degree in telecom knowledge. Jason is now chairman and CEO of MobiledgeX, a Deutsche Telekom backed venture, aimed at making developers win at the edge.
Jason has a BS and MS from UCLA and a PhD from UCSD, but what he’s really interested in is the art of the perfect steak. He lives with his wife and children in the wilderness known as the Bay Area.

Matt Trifiro, CMO, Vapor IO
Matt Trifiro is the chief marketing officer of Vapor IO where he leads the company’s global marketing, branding and communications efforts. He is an expert in edge computing, is co-chair of the State of the Edge Report and Chair of The Linux Foundation’s Open Glossary of Edge Computing. He is a technology industry veteran and a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded or led over a half dozen startup companies. Prior to joining Vapor IO, he was entrepreneur in residence at Xseed Capital and chief marketing officer and senior vice president at Mesosphere. Prior to Mesosphere, Trifiro was chief marketing officer at Heroku, a division of Salesforce, and prior to that he served as senior vice president of marketing for Salesforce He was also a co-founder and CEO of e-commerce startup 1000 Markets (sold to Bonanza) and co-founder and vice president of marketing for interactive television pioneer Wink Communications (NASDAQ IPO). He currently holds advisory roles with a number of venture-funded startups, including Buoyant and Move37 Marketing, and is working on a book about Open Source Marketing.

Run Almog, Head of Product Strategy, DriveNets
Run is the head of product strategy for DriveNets. Previously, he ran the ethernet switch product management and marketing teams at Mellanox Technologies, playing a central role in promoting disaggregation for data center networking. At Nokia Siemens Networks, Run served in the packet networks business unit. Run holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Tel Aviv, Israel.


Session Chair

Speaker: Benoit Pelletier
Benoit Pelletier is currently Director, Next Gen Ecosystems & Alliances in the Advanced Technologies SEBU at VMware with a Global mandate.  Co-founder of the Open Grid Alliance as well as the $400M ENCQOR 5G Public Private Partnership initiative with international collaboration between Canada, USA, Europe and UK, executive member of the board for Innovation ENCQOR, a NPO created to deliver this PPP across Quebec-Ontario corridor.

Serving as co-chair of the Next G Alliance Steering Group, on the board of 5G Americas, 6G World Advisory Council, general co-chair of IEEE 5G World Forum and Industry Fora conference.

Creative thinker and passionate about collaborative innovation, disruptive technologies, and execution! Proven leader with an intrapreneur mindset who creates rich and unique ecosystems that connect multinational corporations, SMBs, governments and academia.

“Innovate or Evaporate” has been his mantra over the last 30 years in different industry markets:  Telecom at VMware, Ciena and Nortel, Transport at Bombardier, and Military-Aerospace at Oerlikon Aerospace.

Benoit held several leadership positions in design, system integration, program management and business development.  Broad knowledge in Product Development and expertise in New Product Introduction of cutting-edge technologies along with government relationships.  Benoit holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Sherbrooke.