Top 5 Takeaways from Cleo Connect 2020

Top 5 Takeaways from Cleo Connect 2020

It came and went quickly this time, but WOW! -- another Cleo Connect is in the books!

This year, faced with extenuating circumstances in the face of COVID-19, Cleo Connect 2020 shifted to an all virtual event. Yet the response has been stronger than we ever could have imagined. What a turnout! Our customers and partners never fail to amaze us.

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to join, and for those of you who would like a refresher on this year’s event, here are the top five takeaways from Cleo Connect 2020.


The theme of this year’s event was Emerge, and that is exactly what our customers and partners did when they signed up for Cleo Connect 2020. Companies everywhere are actively looking for ways to emerge stronger from the current economic downturn, and make their supply chains more adaptable and agile than they ever have been before. That means pushing old business models to evolve to newer, better ones, because in response to this pandemic, everything is changing fast.

Cleo Connect 2020 showed how it’s possible to reinvent and transform your business, no matter the industry. For example, our Solutions track was designed for attendees to explore the best approaches to the challenges that companies are facing in 2020. One of our sessions, Delivering True End-to-End Integration Visibility was hosted by Dave Brunswick, Cleo’s VP of Industry Solutions, and examined all the reasons companies need end-to-end visibility throughout their ecosystem. Within an organization, the operations team, integration team, customer service, and line of business all need different levels of visibility in order to deliver the best results with the greatest degree of confidence.

Creative Destruction

The notion of ‘creative destruction’ was the central theme of CEO Mahesh Rajasekharan’s Keynote at Cleo Connect 2020. Replacing old, outdated, and underperforming technologies with newer, better, more promising ones is the heart of what ‘creative destruction’ is all about. Relative to integration technology, it’s a call for strategically driving innovation and transformation because -- especially following a period of economic upheaval such as the one brought about by COVID-19 -- the opportunity to change the pecking order in your industry is highest.

The question posed to all attendees of Cleo Connect 2020 was: Which sort of transformation is needed to emerge a winner? Digital transformation is the answer, meaning taking into account your entire ecosystem, and leveraging an API-first strategy as your integration solution matures and expands in the rapid-paced age of the cloud.

Business today is changing and evolving by the minute, and embracing modern integration technology can help companies seize the moment to come out of this pandemic better than before. Integration technology is often viewed as a “set-it and forget-it” piece of your IT infrastructure. But this outdated way of thinking is likely holding your business back by restricting your ability to turn on a dime, no matter what the market serves up. Building a business case for an integration investment will pay dividends for years to come.

CIC Cockpit is Here!

Coinciding with Cleo Connect 2020, Cleo also announced Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC) Cockpit, a new and intuitive visual control panel of real-time integration dashboards and actionable insights. CIC Cockpit provides companies an easier approach to visibility, transparency, and direct control. CIC Cockpit increases value creation by extending end-to-end visibility across business processes and integrations beyond IT to technical or business users as well, so the entire organization can make better decisions and enhance revenue-generating operations.

CIC Cockpit is the “crown jewel” in Cleo Integration Cloud, overlaying all the other rich capabilities of the platform, including:

CIC AgentGround and Private Cloud Connectivity

CIC StudioRich Integration Environment

CIC Engine – Automation Integration and Orchestration Transformation

CIC Connectors – Packaged Cloud and API-Based Integration

Customer Panels Steal the Show

Two of the 32 sessions that we received extremely positive feedback on were our customer panels. The first, CIO Perspective Panel: Digitally Transforming Your IT Organization featured Neelu Sethi, SVP and CIO at Reddy Ice and Kenji Takeuchi, SVP of Technology Products at Mueller Water Products. The second, IT Perspective Panel: Supporting the Business Through IT Agility, included Jon Baker, VP of IT at Ripple Junction, and Trey Willis, CTO at CTSI-Global. Any  time our customers share their wisdom about trends in the market is genuinely appreciated, and these panelists did not disappoint.

Some of their more interesting observations:

“We want to disrupt the market before anyone else does.” – Kenji Takeuchi, SVP of Technology Products, Mueller Water Products

“Get the foundation right, get the basics right. Be obsessed, overly obsessed, and serve the customers right.” - Neelu Sethi, SVP/CIO at Reddy Ice

“The idea of agility, in the context of an overall business is really important in being able to take on new requirements, new features, in what the customer is trying to accomplish.” – Trey Willis, CTO of CTSI-Global

“IT could have been viewed as a necessary evil in the past, but moving from the cost center the profit center, the implementation with IT is a big shift.” -Jon Baker, the VP of IT at Ripple Junction

Learning to Gain Agility and Control

Whether attendees were on the Executive, Solutions, Growth, or Training track, one recurring theme was the need for agility and control across an ecosystem. As 2020 has shown, having control over your entire supply chain has never been more important, but it’s difficult to attain without the proper agility in place. So, how do you gain that agility?

As attendees learned at Cleo Connect 2020, embracing a modern integration platform not only provides end-to-end visibility, but also empowers users with more flexibility and control, so their supply chains can become more agile across their entire business ecosystem. As your customers change, you need to change with them.

WATCH AGAIN: All Cleo Connect 2020 sessions are available on-demand for registered event attendees, just re-input your email and view at your convenience. Browse our agenda and see which track better suits your interests, whether it’s the Executive, Growth, Solutions, or Training.

Thank you to all guests for making Cleo Connect 2020 such a memorable day! Stay healthy and happy and we look forward to hosting you again at our next Cleo Connect event in 2021!

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