IDSA of Western PA hosts Microsoft’s Director of User Experience and President of Daedalus to Present a New Model for Masterfully-crafted User Experiences at Carnegie Museum of Art

The new experience model poster PTC


The New Experience Model

On January 17 2014, the IDSA of Western PA features a talk by Surya Vanka, Microsoft’s Director of User Experience, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Entitled ‘Design thinking at scale’, Vanka’s talk reveals what’s next for Microsoft and offers insight into transforming a large company that’s known for technology prowess into one that is driven by the user and the experience they truly need.

Co-presenter and Daedalus President, Matt Beale, will present a talk entitled ‘Usability is no longer enough’, sharing a model that drives user experience design beyond usability and into the realm of lasting meaning. Daedalus is responsible for numerous IDEA, Spark, and Good Design awards and counts Philips, Bayer, and Alcoa among its product and interface design clients.

After the seminar, join us for The After Party at Daedalus headquarters. Enjoy refreshments and an intimate Q+A session with the evening’s speakers, Beale and Vanka.


5:15 – 5:30 – Introductions

5:30 – 6:00 – ‘Usability is no longer enough’ by Matt Beale (CMA Theater)

6:00 – 7:00 - ‘Design Thinking at Scale’ by Surya Vanka (CMA Theater)

7:30 – 9:30 – Intimate Q&A session and After-party at Daedalus


About the Speakers:

Surya Vanka

Surya Vanka is Director of User Experience at Microsoft, overseeing best practices and engineering standards to create high-quality user experiences for Microsoft customers. He has worked as a designer and user experience manager on several products during his 13 years at Microsoft.

His mission is to put users rather than technology at the center of the development process for all Microsoft products. Vanka serves as chief of staff of the User Experience Leadership Team and as discipline owner for user experience. He is the winner of two Microsoft Best Practice Awards, the Microsoft Accessibility Achievement Award and several industry recognition awards. Before joining Microsoft, Vanka was a professor of design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Study.

He is the author of two books on design as well as several publications, and he has lectured on design in more than 20 countries. His work has appeared in numerous publications and news programs, including Form, I.D., Design Council, WIRED, Interactions, the BBC and National Public Radio. He regularly speaks on interaction design, user experience, product development and strategic innovation, and he teaches courses and seminars on these subjects around the world.

Matt Beale

Matt Beale is the president of Daedalus, and has contributed to the creation of dozens of award-winning products and patented innovations as facilitator, researcher, project manager, and industrial designer. In addition to managing Daedalus, Matt has engaged in a number of entrepreneurial activities, including the 1990s launch of projectEYE, an online service that hosts product development team spaces. Matt has also taught for over 15 years at Carnegie Mellon University, running courses that draw on his experience in design thinking, product development, and research. He is also a regular lecturer on innovation at the Katz Business School of the University of Pittsburgh.



Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

CMA Theater



IDSA members: $15

Non Members: $35

Please click here to register: Registration link



Philips Healthcare


Media Sponsors

Pittsburgh Technology Council



Computer Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) Recognized by Microsoft with the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award

Computer Enterprises, Inc.

Computer Enterprises, Inc.

Recently, Microsoft proudly announced the 2013 East Region Partner Award winners during a ceremony at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, TX.

“The 2013 East Region Partner Award Winners represent some of the best and brightest our ecosystem has to offer,” said Jack Braman, Vice President, East Region Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P), Microsoft Corporation. “We applaud our winning partners for their incredible focus, passion and dedication to solving the most pressing technology challenges facing our mutual customers today.”

Computer Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), an information technology firm, was recently recognized at Microsoft’s 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas, with the Rookie of the Year award for the Mid-Atlantic and for the entire East Region. The Rookie of the Year award is given to the top Microsoft partners for providing outstanding solutions and services based upon Microsoft technologies, as well as fostering superior customer engagement. While this is CEI’s first year in the select Managed Partner program, they have been a Microsoft Gold Certified Business Partner since 2003. In addition, CEI was also named as a global finalist for the Microsoft Application Lifecycle Management U.S. Partner of the Year Award in 2011.

“Winning the Microsoft 2013 Rookie of the Year award is a tribute to the commitment, hard work and dedication from the whole team at CEI and Microsoft said John Hillenbrand, CEO of CEI. “It is a tremendous confidence statement on CEI’s efforts in the Mid-Atlantic and East Region.”

Microsoft presents Field Partner Awards in 13 categories, with honorees selected from more than 200 organizations across the East Region.

“As a dedicated leader in the Mid-Atlantic and East Region, CEI is incredibly deserving of this award,” said Jack Braman. “CEI has a proven track record of consistent excellence in its service to commercial customers throughout the East region.”

About CEI
Since its founding in 1992, CEI has delivered high quality software development solutions to companies of all sizes across most industries. Our architects use their substantial experience to deliver complex projects that solve real business problems. In the Microsoft space, CEI strives to be a thought leader in Custom .NET development, SharePoint, BizTalk, Visual Studio/Team Foundation Server, Azure, SQL Business Intelligence and Mobile Applications. CEI also has established Mobile, JEE, and Open Source practices delivering custom software solutions.

TechVibe Radio Features Microsoft, SMI, ChorusCall and E-Youth

Be sure to tune in to TechVibe Radio this Saturday at noon on FM News Talk 104.7. We’ll be broadcasting from Marty’s Market!

We have a star-studded lineup ready to get behind the mic, including Microsoft, SMI (Social Media Information), and Chorus Call.

Hosted by the PTC’s CEO Audrey Russo and Director Visibility Initiatives Jonathan Kersting with cohost Charlie Batch, TechVibe is on the air every Saturday at noon bringing you interviews and conversations from the Pittsburgh region’s fast-moving technology and entrepreneurial communities.

Stream TechVibe Radio on or iHeart Radio. Get TechVibe Radio on demand at
TechVibe Radio is sponsored by Bill Few Associates, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Chorus Call, EyeFlow, Lincoln Financial, PTC Employee Benefits Group, Pittsburgh International Airport and PNC.

TechVibe Radio to Feature Viper Network Systems, Microsoft, Gateway Analytical and Tech Export

Be sure to tune in to TechVibe Radio this Saturday at noon on FM News Talk 104.7.

We’re ending 2012 in style with an exclusive interview with Microsoft’s Jane Boulware. She was in town last week to launch Windows 8 and took time to talk to us about the new OS. Viper Network Systems will tell you all about its new PacketViper technology that filters network traffic by country. Gateway Analytical will also get behind the mic detailing its unique forensics services, and learn all about export opportunities in Canada.

With the Holidays in full swing, we’ll rebroadcast this show on December 29, too! We’re looking forward to more TechVibe Radio in 2013.

Hosted by the PTC’s CEO Audrey Russo and Director Visibility Initiatives Jonathan Kersting, TechVibe is on the air every Saturday at noon bringing you interviews and conversations from the Pittsburgh region’s fast-moving technology and entrepreneurial communities.

Stream TechVibe Radio on or iHeart Radio.

Missed a previous broadcast? We have a massive library of podcasts right here.

TechVibe Radio is sponsored by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Chorus Call, DQE Communications, EyeFlow, The Hartford, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, PTC Employee Benefits GroupPittsburgh International Airport and PNC.

Pittsburgh, you’re on a roll…don’t let illegal software slow you down

By Luke Sossi, Enterprise Sales Manager for the Mid-Atlantic District, Microsoft Corp.

These past few weeks have been filled with good news for small businesses in Pittsburgh.  Recently, On Numbers ranked Pittsburgh as having the strongest small business sector of 21 major Eastern metros as part of the publication’s annual ratings of small-business climates across the country.  It’s exciting to see Pittsburgh’s ranking in this survey skyrocket over the years, from 17th in 2010 to sixth last year to taking top honors this year.

Also, the most recent PNC Economic Outlook finds that, among several positive trends, Pennsylvania business owners showed a significant improvement in business expectations and optimism compared to Fall 2011 for hiring, profits and sales.

Small business owners in Pittsburgh are on a roll. With such great momentum moving our local small business economy forward, we at Microsoft are focused not only on providing technology solutions that help businesses grow, but also on protecting business owners from technology dangers that can hold them back.

These dangers can be especially insidious as they often come in small packages, like software purchased for a company.

How can something that takes up so little space cause so much harm? Consider how powerful your company’s productivity software is and the efficiency and accuracy benefits it delivers.  If counterfeit, something as small as the discs housing these resources can seriously compromise your company’s security, reputation and legal standing.

Here in Pittsburgh, I work closely with local businesses and can confidently say that, when equipped with the facts about illegal software’s dangers, they make more informed decisions about software purchases. However, these conversations have also revealed that some do not have the basic information around why and how counterfeit software impacts business viability. If you fall into that category, consider this a primer on counterfeit software’s dangers:

  • Increased vulnerability, decreased productivity: Purchasing software from a non-reputable website or software vendor increases the chances of downloading malware or viruses, which makes PCs or laptops slower and less reliable. It also exposes your – and your customers’ – data to fraud.  By purchasing softward from reputable Microsoft partners, you’ll decrease your chances of downloading malware and viruses or losing your critical business data, problems that are symptomatic of using counterfeit software.
  • Nowhere to turn: If your business is in the habit of moving fast to keep pace with competitors and customers, the last thing you want is to be locked out of technical support in a time of need.  Counterfeit software doesn’t give you access to protection such as a complimentary subscription to Microsoft Security Essentials, the award-winning antivirus solution from Microsoft
  • Legal repercussions: An individual or a company can be found legally responsible for pirating software even if business owners are unaware of copyright infringement.  Businesses in possession of counterfeit or non-genuine software face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, years in jail, or both.

This is why your company’s computer software – and where you buy it – matters. By installing only legal Microsoft software, or purchasing a device on which it’s pre-installed, you get the experience you expect and deserve for your investment. For Microsoft software, always look for a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), which helps identify a genuine Microsoft product. Product keys can also be a sign of genuine software as no product key is ever sold separately for Microsoft. Also be wary of online auctions, peer-to-peer networks, and websites that appear legitimate but bear no sign of being verified Microsoft vendors and sell software at a price far below market value.

Some business owners are motivated into action by understanding the risks, but just as many are inspired by knowing how legal software creates an advantage for their companies.  Fortunately, I have plenty of that information to share:

  • Someone who has your back: With legally-obtained, -produced and -licensed software, businesses have access to technical support; ongoing improvements and updates; and unparalleled protection like that from Microsoft Security Essentials.  Legal software also includes full documentation to help you get the most from your computing experience.
  • An economic boost: Your support of local, legitimate technology businesses fuels local jobs and tax revenue, and helps level the competitive playing field. The protection of marketplace intellectual property and marketplace opportunities are invaluable to businesses of all sizes, including yours.
  • Peace of mind: With authentic, genuine software, you’re positioning your business to win, and ensuring your customers a consistent, secure experience. No amount of savings on software from a suspicious source compares to the confidence your business will feel knowing it’s simply doing the right thing.

Don’t jeopardize the success of your company in this thriving marketplace because of misinformed software purchasing decisions. Learn more about how to make wise technology decisions for your company, employees and customers, by visiting And may your business ride this wave of good news into an even more successful future!