Annual training and networking conference brings together more than 800 people.
PDI, a global provider of enterprise software solutions to the convenience retail, wholesale petroleum, and logistics industries, hosted its 2018 North America users conference last week at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas.
The conference, which ran Aug. 19-22, was the company’s largest to date, attracting more than 800 attendees from the U.S. and Canada.
“Just like every other part of our business, our goal with this conference was to deliver the best possible value to our customers, and based on the preliminary feedback we’ve received, I think we succeeded,” said Jimmy Frangis, CEO, PDI. “We celebrated our 35th company anniversary this past June, and our customer family has grown quite a bit just in the last two years alone. This year’s conference was truly holistic, bringing together companies from all the industries we serve with a common goal of becoming better users of the software.”
Since its last users conference, PDI has acquired five companies—TelaPoint, TouchStar, Excentus, DM2 and FuelsPricing—adding significant wholesale and logistics, loyalty marketing and fuel pricing capabilities to its portfolio. The traditionally retail-focused conference curriculum reflected the growing and diverse customer base. In addition to the more than 110 training and networking sessions offered to attendees, PDI also shared its vision for a unified, cloud-based software portfolio during its general session update.
“This year, we really focused on building a solid foundation for success, and I think we’ve made excellent progress in our journey to the cloud, particularly in the areas of security services and hybrid cloud deployment,” said Chris Berry, chief technology officer, PDI. “From there, we’ll expand to include more capabilities. In fact, we’ll have an application live on Microsoft Azure next month.”
Patrick Abernathy, director of information technology for Jacksons Food Stores, is a longtime PDI customer and conference attendee.
“I’ve been coming to this event for 17 years, and I always meet new people and learn new things that I can take back home,” he said. “It was exciting to see how much the user base has grown and hear about the new products that are on the way.”
The conference also featured two well-known keynote speakers: best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning comedian, writer and TV host Ross Shafer and Maj. Dan Rooney, founder of Folds of Honor, a charity that provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen and disabled U.S. service members.
PDI will host next year’s conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn.