APEX TECH Agenda

Please join us for the next APEX TECH in Los Angeles on 28-29 February 2024.


Day 1 – Wednesday 28 February 2024

8:15 – 8:45 | High Speed Networking & Coffee

8:45 – 9:00 | APEX TECH – Day 1 Welcome

9:00 – 9:30 | Opening KeynoteDelta SYNC: A Leap Forward in In-Flight Connectivity
Ekrem Dimbiloglu – Managing Director of Customer Experience, DeltaStudio, & Wi-Fi, Delta Air Lines
Dr. Joe Leader – CEO, APEX

This session will delve into the innovative world of Delta SYNC, a groundbreaking initiative revolutionizing the in-flight experience. This interview will highlight the program’s high-speed, streaming-quality Wi-Fi, and personalized, multi-screen experiences, underscoring how Delta SYNC is reshaping industry standards and enhancing passenger journeys. Key discussion points will include:

  1. Delta SYNC Unveiled: A detailed introduction to Delta SYNC’s pivotal features, such as its complimentary Wi-Fi and the revamped Delta Sync seatback entertainment system, promising a digital experience akin to that at home.
  2. Elevating Passenger Experiences: A deep dive into how Delta’s top-notch connectivity and bespoke content choices are redefining in-flight entertainment, reflecting Delta’s dedication to customer satisfaction and brand supremacy.
  3. Technology at its Core: An exploration of the technological marvels and logistical hurdles surmounted in deploying Delta SYNC across Delta’s global fleet, spotlighting the concerted efforts of an elite team of engineers, developers, designers, and partners.
  4. SkyMiles Integration – Personalization at Its Best: An examination of how integrating SkyMiles membership with Delta SYNC delivers immediate benefits to customers, enabling customized experiences tailored to individual profiles.
  5. Fostering Customer Loyalty and Brand Preference: An analysis of Delta SYNC’s role in fortifying customer relationships and loyalty, thereby enhancing passengers’ preference for Delta’s services.
  6. The Future of In-Flight Connectivity: A forward-looking perspective on Delta’s ongoing commitment to innovation and the anticipated evolution of its in-flight services to meet the dynamic needs of modern travelers.

9:30 – 10:45 | Panel 1
How Does LEO Complement GEO and Vice Versa? What is the Best IFC Setup for Airlines in the Future?
Moderator: Mary Kirby, Founder and Editor, Runway Girl Network
Dermot Cahalan, Market Development Director, OneWeb
Bill Milroy, Chairman and CTO, ThinKom Solutions, Inc.
Brian Kirby, Senior Technical Product Manager, Telesat
Karthik Bharathan, Director – Aviation Terminal Product Management, Viasat
Patrick Walsh, Senior Vice President, Engineering
, Intelsat

10:45 – 11:15 | Break: APEX TECH Speed Snack – sponsored by Touch

11:15 – 12:30
| Panel 2
Elevating the Journey: Commercializing Advanced Connectivity in Aviation
Moderator: Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, APEX
Mike Pigott, EVP Connectivity, Anuvu
Bob Reiter, Associate Vice President Product Management & Development, DIRECTV
Tracy Trent, Chief Executive Officer, Stellar Blu Solutions
Edwin Edillon, Jr., Director of Content and Digital Partnerships, Viasat
Chris Insall, Head of Mobility Business Development, ST Engineering iDirect

12:30 – 12:55 | Workshop Overview

12:55 – 1:45 | Networking Lunch – sponsored by West Entertainment

1:45 – 3:00 | Panel 3
Most Promising Ancillary and Passenger Experience Use Cases and Their Dependency on IFC.
Moderator: Helga Bjarnadottir, Director, Products & Service Management, Icelandair
Ben Asmar, Vice President of Products and Strategy, Safran
Asif Khan, Senior Vice President – Entertainment, West Entertainment
Mark Smith, Sales Director, AERQ
Marco Dorjee, Program Director, LEO, AirFi

Maneesha Bhate, VP Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for Digital and IFE, Thales

3:00 – 3:30 | Break: APEX TECH Speed Snack – sponsored by Panasonic

3:30 – 4:15 | Workshop 1: IFC Deep Dive Workshop
Topic 1: How Do We Measure the Quality of Experience?
              Facilitated by: Mary Rogozinski, Director – Business Development, Netforecast
Topic 2: IFC Technology: Relevance and Readiness of ESAs, SW Defined Modems, and More
              Facilitated by: Bill Milroy, Chairman and CTO, ThinKom Solutions, Inc.
Topic 3: Portal or Not: Different Angles on a Seamless Passenger IFC Journey
              Facilitated by: Ekrem Dimbiloglu – Managing Director of Customer Experience, DeltaStudio, &
Wi-Fi, Delta Air Lines

4:30 – 5:15 | Workshop 2: Ancillary Use Cases – sponsored by Immfly
Topic 1: Inflight Advertising: What is the Potential and How to Realize It
              Facilitated by: Matthew Blay, Director, Inadvia
Topic 2: Relevance of e-Commerce Use Cases and Inflight Payment
              Facilitated by: Laura Ross, Managing Director, Immfly
Topic 3: How to Curate the Best Personalized Media Content Offering
              Facilitated by: Ben Fuller, VP of Global Sales, InFlight Dublin

5:30 – 6:00 | Workshop Results

6:00 | Closing

6:00 – 8:00 | Networking Reception – sponsored by The Hub Spafax



Day 2 – Thursday 29 February 2024

8:15 – 8:45 | High Speed Networking & Coffee

8:45 – 9:00 | APEX TECH – Day 2 Welcome

9:00 – 9:30 | Opening Keynote – Integrating the Future: Qatar Airways’ Pioneering Cabin Experience
Xia Cai – Senior Vice President of Product Development and Design, Qatar Airways
Dr. Joe Leader – CEO, APEX
In this session, Dr. Joe Leader, CEO of APEX, will conduct an insightful one-on-one interview with Xia Cai, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Product Development and Design at Qatar Airways. The discussion will revolve around Qatar Airways’ leadership in advancing the integrated passenger experience in cabin. It will delve into various aspects of the airline’s digital transformation, focusing on the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as the deployment of iPhones to cabin crew, collaboration with Google Cloud for personalized AI-driven services, the introduction of the Astrova IFE system from Panasonic Avionics, and the groundbreaking partnership with Starlink for high-speed internet connectivity. Additionally, the session will cover the expansive offerings of the Oryx One inflight entertainment system. Key discussion points will include:

  1. Personalized In-Flight Service via iPhones: Exploring how equipping cabin crew with iPhones and a custom app enhances personalized passenger service and operational efficiency.
  2. AI and ML Innovations with Google Cloud: Discussing the impact of Qatar Airways’ collaboration with Google Cloud on creating tailored passenger experiences using AI and ML technologies.
  3. Astrova IFE System’s Integration: Delving into the introduction of Panasonic Avionics’ Astrova system in Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777X fleet, emphasizing its cutting-edge features and passenger experience enhancements.
  4. Starlink’s High-Speed Connectivity: Examining the significance of Qatar Airways’ partnership with Starlink for providing unparalleled in-flight Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity.
  5. Oryx One Entertainment Experience: Showcasing the vast array of entertainment options available through Qatar Airways’ Oryx One system and its role in enriching the in-flight experience.
  6. Qatar Airways’ Vision in Cabin Experience: Discussing the overarching vision and future initiatives that Qatar Airways has in store for continuing its leadership in cabin experience innovation.

9:30 – 10:45 | Panel 1
“AI-Assisted” Smart Metadata in the Content Delivery Supply Chain.
Moderator: Rob Delf, CEO, Fabric
Michael Valdez, Manager, Strategic and Quality Initiatives, Panasonic
Andre Valera, Vice President, Business Development, TOUCH
Sam Allen, Managing Director, Stellar Entertainment

Hollie Choi, Managing Director, EIDR
Juraj Siska, Co-Founder
, IdeaNova Technologies, Inc.

10:45 – 11:15 | Break: APEX TECH Speed Snack – sponsored by West Entertainment

11:15 – 12:30 | Panel 2
The Integration of IFE & C: Edge Caching in the Content Delivery Supply Chain.
Moderator: Phil Watson, Chief Systems Engineer, Panasonic
Estibaliz Asiain, SVP, Media & Content, Anuvu
Sigfried Luft, Co-Founder & CEO, Netskrt
Jim Nelson, CEO, Siden
Esdra Lamy, Senior Vice
President, Warner Bros. Discovery
Jeremy Desmauts, Director Sales Engineering NAM, Broadpeak


12:30 – 12:45 | Workshop Overview

12:45 – 1:45 | Networking Lunch – sponsored by Panasonic

1:45 – 3:00 | Panel 3
From Data to Destination: Optimizing Passenger Journeys with Environmental, Personal, and Behavioral Insights
Moderator: Haley Meidell, Principle Analyst, zeroG
Vincent Campana, Chief Revenue Officer Crew & Passenger, HRS Crew & Passenger Solutions
Benny Retnamony, Founder & CEO, Neuron
Kate Groth, President
, West Entertainment
Paul Colley, Chief Technology Officer, Spafax

Richard Kroon, Director of Technical Operations, EIDR

3:00 – 3:30 | Afternoon Keynote – Emirates 4K Evolution and Beyond: Elevating Sky High Entertainment
Patrick Brannelly – Senior Vice President of Retail, IFE, & Connectivity, Emirates   
Dr. Joe Leader – CEO, APEX 
This session will feature a compelling one-on-one engagement between myself, Dr. Joe Leader, CEO of APEX, and Patrick Brannelly, SVP Retail, IFE & Connectivity: Service Delivery at Emirates. Our conversation will revolve around Emirates’ groundbreaking advancements in in-flight entertainment, focusing on their pioneering shift to 4K content. We will explore Emirates’ collaboration with content providers and the evolution required of Content Service Providers (CSPs) to meet the demands of high-quality 4K content, delving into how these advancements are reshaping passenger experiences and setting new industry benchmarks. Key discussion points will include:

  1. Emirates’ Journey to 4K: Insights into the strategic decision-making and implementation process behind Emirates’ adoption of 4K in-flight entertainment.
  2. Collaboration with Content Providers: Exploring the partnerships with Hollywood studios and others for optimizing and delivering 4K content.
  3. Adapting to 4K Demands: Discussing the challenges and solutions for CSPs in transitioning to 4K content provision.
  4. Technical Milestones and Challenges: Understanding the technological innovations and obstacles encountered in incorporating 4K technology onboard Emirates flights.
  5. Enhancing Passenger Experience with 4K: Examining the impact of 4K content on customer satisfaction and engagement during flights.
  6. Future Trends in In-flight Entertainment: A visionary discussion on the evolving landscape of in-flight entertainment and Emirates’ role in shaping future trends.

3:30 – 4:00 | Break: APEX TECH Speed Snack – sponsored by Panasonic

4:00 – 4:45 | Workshop 3: Content Delivery               
Topic 1: How Far Away are we From an Industry-Wide Migration for Content Encoding and Technical Services into the Cloud?
              Facilitated by: Michael Stattmann, CEO and Founder Cast Labs
Topic 2: How to Speed Up Media Content Integration and Fix the Last Mile
              Facilitated by: Dirk Ottens, Head of Content & Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems
Topic 3: Smart Metadata: Leveraging EIDR, LMT and Ad-ID
              Facilitated by: Andy Beer, VP Technical Engineering, Spafax/The Hub & Wilson Capitao, Product
Manager, Touch
Topic 4: 4k Content in IFE
              Facilitated by: Patrick Brannelly, Senior Vice President of Retail, IFE, & Connectivity, Emirates

5:00 – 5:30 | Results Presentation

5:30 | Closing