Day 1 Headliner: Alex Simons

Day 1 will be headlined by Partner Director of Program Management in Microsoft’s Identity Division, Alex Simons.

Alex is responsible for the vision, priorities and feature sets for Azure Active Directory, Windows Server Active Directory, the Microsoft account service and Microsoft Identity Manager.

A longtime Microsoftee, Alex joined the company as an intern in 1992. He has worked as a Program Manager in a wide variety of enterprise and consumer businesses, including starting and launching the Microsoft Dynamics CRM business and shipping Windows 7.

Alex joined the Identity Division in January of 2012 and is responsible for driving Microsoft’s business and consumer identity strategy and product plans. He also spearheaded Microsoft’s rapid shift to building cloud-based identity and security services, including creating the vision and direction for Azure AD Premium.

Alex is a vocal champion inside and outside Microsoft for supporting open standards and 3rd party platforms.

Profile picture of Microsoft's Identity Chief Alex Simons stood in front of a lake.

Day 2 Headliner: Stuart Aston

Day 2’s keynote speaker is Stuart Aston. Stuart is the National Security Officer for Microsoft in the UK.

Stuart has also worked as a strategy consultant to a variety of UK Government customers, mostly within the defence arena.

He has run a number of government programmes, including the Government Security Program, the Security Co-Operation Program and the Welsh Language Program. He still continues to run the UK GSP and SCP programs today.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Stuart worked as a consultant for ICL in their Power of 4 Consultancy, mostly focused in the defence and government spaces.

Before ICL he worked for Barclays Bank in a number of application development and IT infrastructure roles.

He has been actively involved in computer security related activities since the early 1980s.

The identity and security experts

Headshot of David Guest, Senior Architect at Oxford Computer Group UK
Dave Guest

Dave Guest

Technology Evangelist and Solution Architect

Dave’s identity expertise is panoramic. He has experience designing and implementing a broad range of identity solutions, adopting Novell, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft technologies.

As well as designing elegant infrastructure solutions, Dave is a gifted communicator. At OCG, he’s a frequent presenter at events and webinars, whilst our customers appreciate how he delivers technical expertise and business insight in simple to understand terms.

Dave has a talent for truly understanding individual business requirements, whilst building strategies and roadmaps that take advantage of the latest technologies.

Headshot of Mat Richards, Enterprise Mobility Practice Lead at Oxford Computer Group UK
Mat Richards

Mat Richards

Head of Mobility and Security Solutions

Mathew Richards brings a wealth of experience of System Center and device management – and a real passion for technology. If there’s a new device, Mat will be wearing, testing or using it!

Mathew spent seven years with Microsoft as a consultant, providing support and consultancy services. His experience and capability has helped spearhead our successful move into mobility and device management. An evangelist and positive thinker, Mathew’s enthusiasm knows no bounds.

Mat has a BSc (hons) in Computer Science from the University of Glamorgan. He regularly presents webinars for OCG on subjects related to enterprise mobility management.

Headshot of Marcus Idle, service lead for customer identity and access management and IP development at Oxford Computer Group
Marcus Idle

Marcus Idle

Head of Customer Identity and Access Management

As a Practice Lead at OCG, Marcus spends much of his time creating or learning about new technologies. Combining that with a wealth of knowledge gained over 20 years in the IT industry, he is interested in bringing the most appropriate technology to bear on each customer’s problems.

Marcus taught Computer Studies and Mathematicss in Argentina before his first industry job back in the UK in the mid-90s, building CRM and CMS systems. He went on to build e-commerce websites and work on larger scale Identity projects such as Government Gateway and other public sector initiatives.

Marcus has a talent for building bridges, both with people and software. At OCG, he leads a team of consultants and developers within the fast-growing world of Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM).

Headshot of Simon Veale, Senior Architect at Oxford Computer Group UK
Simon Veale

Simon Veale

Senior architect

Simon fell into IT almost by accident in 1979. When he applied for his first role as a Computer Operator, he had no idea what a computer was! He’s gone on to hold a number of high-level technical positions with the likes of IBM and BT, and has been working with identity management technologies since 1986 (before the internet).

At OCG, Simon is highly valued for his ability to clearly communicate with stakeholders at all levels. He gains an intimate understanding of customer requirements which enables him to develop solutions that truly make a difference.

Before joining OCG, Simon was the pre-sales technical lead for identity management solutions at Microsoft UK.

Professional headshot for Oxford Computer Group Head of Cyber Security Geraint Jones.
Geraint Jones

Geraint Jones

Head of Cyber Security

Geraint has 23 years of experience across a broad industry spectrum and understands the commercial, social and political challenges that shape secure technical solutions. 

An advocate of a holistic approach to information security, Geraint firmly believes that technology should be used as a tool to aid the delivery of robust processes and policies.

He considers that today’s greatest challenge in combatting cyber threat is awareness and education. This can only be addressed through a coordinated effort between public and private sectors, making the subject of ‘cyber’ accessible for all.

Headshot of OCG's Head of Identity, Joe Liptrot.
Joe Liptrot

Joe Liptrot

Head of Identity

Joe has worked on numerous projects as an architect, strategist, technical design authority, trusted advisor, and trainer. An analytical approach and deep technical experience have resulted in extensive insight and a thorough understanding of business and IT processes.

Originally an electronics engineer designing military naval radar and sonar systems, Joe moved into IT when he was offered a job by his provider of software development systems (think 8-inch floppy disks and assembler language and you’ll be about right!).

Back in June 2003, as an MMS 2.2 consultant and trainer, Joe first ran into OCG at a Microsoft MIIS 2003 event. This led to the delivery of a MIIS 2003 training course (2731) at Microsoft Johannesburg in September 2003 – the first of many training and consulting engagements with OCG, before joining full time in March 2016.

Profile image of senior consultant Ian Bassi.
Ian Bassi

Ian Bassi

Senior consultant

Ian has been working in IT since August 2008. He started off fixing computers on the council’s service desk before moving into web development, SharePoint administration, and identity management. He has been working at Oxford Computer Group for five years and is focused on delivering identity management solutions using FIM and MIM.

A big fan of implementing test-driven development, Ian is keen to improve regression testing to maximise the quality of MIM environments. He is also dedicated to using the latest version of the product and is currently engaged with a customer who shares this vision.

Professional headshot of Oxford Computer Group's senior consultant Jamie Vaughan.
Jamie Vaughan

Jamie Vaughan

Senior consultant

Jamie is a senior consultant at OCG specialising in CIAM (Customer Identity and Access Management). 

He has an extensive background in the Identity field and has with many years’ experience analysing requirements and developing IAM solutions using Microsoft technologies.

Profile picture for OCG consultant Keith Rigby in the Enterprise Mobility and Security division.
Keith Rigby

Keith Rigby


Keith is a consultant in the Enterprise Mobility and Security practice at OCG.

His computer experience started when he was 7 years old with a Commodore Vic 20 that he learned to program using BASIC.

Keith has spent the last twenty years in various roles and has a passion for all thing Microsoft. He has delivered many technologies, including Intune, Advanced Threat Analytics, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, System Center Configuration Manager, Azure AD Connect, ADFS, Windows 10, Exchange Server 5.5 through to 2013, and managed migrations to Exchange Online.

He is involved in many different user groups and stays ahead of the curve by joining Microsoft preview programmes.

Profile picture for Bob's Business founder Melanie Oldham.
Melanie Oldham

Melanie Oldham

Founder, Bob's Business

Melanie Oldham is the founder and driving force behind Bob’s Business, an award-winning and leading cyber security awareness training and phishing simulations provider.

Melanie has racked up over ten years’ experience in the cyber security sector, and has become a reputable and well-respected force within the industry.

Bob’s Business has delivered awareness campaigns to organisations of all shapes and sizes, from 10 users through to 70,000 users. Last year, they educated 210,000 users.

Melanie is also the founder of the Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster, a collaborative group that works together to reduce cyber security within the region. The cluster brings together local businesses, academics, the police and experts to discuss, collaborate and educate on the key issues facing the region.

Profile picture of Microsoft's Steve Newby - Windows Defender ATP lead.
Steve Newby

Steve Newby

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection – Global Black Belt

Steve has worked in the IT industry for 25 years in a variety of roles, starting as a customer support engineer and then moving in and out of pre- and post-sales consultancy roles.

Having worked with Microsoft infrastructure for most of his career, it was a natural progression for Steve to move to Microsoft. In October 2011, he joined the Windows Client team, utilising an ability to pick up skills in a rapidly changing area of technology, in particular that of security which is a key focus in Windows 10.

This year, Steve moved into the role of Windows Defender ATP lead covering the UK, Ireland and Nordics. His focus is on driving adoption of this post-breach technology to ensure customers have the right technology in place to address the ever-changing threat landscape.

Headshot of Microsoft's identity and Azure expert Robert Jones.
Robert Jones

Robert Jones


Robert has over 20 years’ experience in identity management, directory services, and Unix and Microsoft infrastructures. Robert has been working for Microsoft for eleven years in the identity management arena, as well as covering technologies such as Azure and Enterprise Mobility. Robert has held roles such as Incubation EMEA Technology Lead for Identity.

Prior to Microsoft, Robert worked at Sun Microsystems, supporting their identity and access business solutions and brings that experience to the Windows platform. Today, Robert helps to define and drive Microsoft identity and Azure technologies, and the Microsoft partner landscape which supports them.

Paresh Nhathalal

Paresh Nhathalal is a Senior Program Manager in Get-To-Production team in the Identity Engineering Division of Microsoft. He works closely with enterprise customers to help maximise the value of their investments in Azure Identity solutions.

Paresh has been part of Microsoft’s identity and security fields since 2002. During this time, he has been a technical lead and author of multiple identity technical workshops and webcasts, and has also presented at many worldwide technical events.

Tim Purkiss

Tim Purkiss is a Senior IAM Analyst at University of London.

Tim has worked in the HE sector since 2001 in a number of roles involved with identity and access management.

He joined the University of London in May 2017 as technical specialist to support the implementation of a new IAM platform and lead on developing an IAM strategy.

Laura Hunter

Laura is a Principal Program Manager in Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise Security division. She tries to make the internet a safer and more usable place.

Laura has previously been an Identity Management consultant, Active Directory architect for a global engineering firm, and other sundry IT pursuits.

She has a BA and MS from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS from the University of Washington, and is an unrepentant technology zealot who likes to talk about herself in the third person when providing autobiographical information.

She Twitters (tweets? She’s not cool enough to know the verb form of Twitter) @adfskitteh, and is a competitive West Coast Swing dancer in her spare time.

Jonathan Neal

Jonathan is Technical Director, EMEA at Saviynt.

Jonathan has more than 25 years IT industry experience and has spent the last 16 years specialising in the identity, access and governance space.

Prior to joining Saviynt, he held senior pre-sales and consulting positions with Oblix, Oracle and CA Technologies.

Burak Agca

Burak is a Sales Engineer for Lookout in the UK & Ireland.

Burak started his career in Sales engineering 7 years ago with LANDesk (now Ivanti) focused on systems management.

More recently, Burak was a senior sales engineer for Citrix leading enterprise mobility management opportunities in the U.K.

Yaniv Avidan

Yaniv is the CEO and co-founder of MinerEye.

Yaniv has over 15 years of experience in the data analytics domain. He led several business units and corporate innovation teams in business intelligence, machine learning, big data and cyber security analytics.

Previously, Yaniv led data scientists and cyber threat analysts teams at Intel in a corporate scale program and managed an advanced battlefield simulation program for the IDF partnering with Lockheed Martin and Cubic Defense Systems.

Yaniv holds a BSc in Information Systems Engineering from the Ben-Gurion University in Israel.

Mark Brinsford

Mark Brinsford is an experienced IT professional who has worked for Companies House since 2004.

His current role includes responsibility for the design, build and support of the infrastructure that underpins all Companies House internal user services. These services include the corporate network, the windows virtual and physical server estate, all end user devices, telephony, line of business applications, Office 365, finance and HR services, e-commerce applications, management reporting, Microsoft Azure services, 3rd party SAAS and IAAS, internally written applications, business partnership services, identity management, security and information protection.

Previously he worked at Reuters for 15 years where he was responsible for the support of internal services across 70 countries and 17,500 users.

Damon Rands

Damon Rands is an experienced cyber security expert, with over 25 years working in the information technology industry.

Having worked in development, support and management he has helped companies across the United Kingdom build secure systems and implement best practices in order to protect their intellectual property and private information.

He is a prominent figure in the Welsh cyber security ecosystem, working to improve closer ties between industry, education, government and law enforcement through his work as co-founder of the South Wales Cyber Security cluster and as organiser of Digital Leaders Wales.

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is Director of Partner Enablement at STEALTHbits Technologies.

Mark has 20 years’ experience working in virtually all technical support and consulting roles across both public and private sectors in the UK, EMEA and Globally.

Marks data governance centred career brings a wealth of experience on what it takes to implement complex, compliance-led technology projects.

Yossi Basha

Yossi Basha is Senior PM Manager, Azure Information Protection Customer Success EMEA Lead.

Yossi Basha joined Microsoft’s AIP team via the Secure Islands Acquisition. Yossi has worked with Secure Island’s customers as a Solutions Architect helping them plan and execute Classification and Protection projects.

Upon joining the AIP team, Yossi has been working as a part of the Customer Success team, helping customers adopt AIP. As a part of the product group, Yossi is able to provide insights and drive towards product changes as well as best practices.

Prior to Secure Islands, Yossi had experience working as a security solutions consultant and as a member of security IT.

Join the conversation

summit-twitter-logoTweet your questions and comments to @OCGUKOfficial using the hashtag #OCGSummit

Book your place

Thank you to everyone who attended 2017’s Identity-driven Security Summit.

We are busy preparing to make 2018’s Summit even bigger and better! Please keep checking back as we’ll be posting details soon.