With the ITExpo East 2013 at the tail end of this month, the convention has been lining up keynote speakers, guests, panels, and more on its official site. While there are a number of executives, professionals,  and experts confirmed to be in attendance, there are even more panels that feature top industry professionals (past and present) tackling business, technology, and much more. Though there are a number of events throughout the 3-day event, it may be hard to catch them all. With that in mind, we have put together two essential panel sessions you won’t want to miss.

Pannel Session: The Future of Service Providers-Dumb Pipes of Global Leaders:
– When?
Thursday, January 31st @10 a.m.

This panel features industry professionals addressing the increasingly diminishing role of network operators in a data-driven world. As a part of this, each speaker will discuss potential solutions regarding how to keep network operators relevant, as opposed to becoming “dumb pipe” companies. In doing this, the panel speakers will discuss how to leverage and utilize a company’s unique assets- i.e. communications infrastructure, connectivity, market coverage, and customer relations-in order to help companies maintain steady footing. Additionally, the panel deals with the emergence of new capabilities and services, and how these developments also threaten network operators.

This panel gives companies a unique perspective that helps them to better prepare for a changing industry climate and landscape. By discussing experience and expertise,  as well as offering guidance, tips, and strategies, these speakers can help businesses in deciding whether they will secede to other companies, or if they will they progress and stride forward to succeed.

The panel features a variety of professionals including:
Peter Bernstein (Moderator): TMC Senior Editor and 35-year veteran of the telecom industry.
Michael A. Rouleau (Panel): TW Telecom
Craig Walker (Panel): Firespotter Labs/UberConference
David Tipping (Panel): Vice President and General Manager, SBC Business Unit—Sonus

Panel Session: Battle for the Cloud: The Future of Cloud Computing
When? Wednesday, January 30th @4p.m.

Similar to the Future of Service Providers Panel, the Battle for the Cloud panel session will discuss how cloud technology and application is changing the way many businesses think about, purchase, and manage technology moving forward. While the change is evident throughout the industry, what does it really mean? How will it affect the way users and providers handle privacy and security? Which Cloud model is the best choice/Which will do best? What does Cloud mean for local computing? The panel is designed to tackle each of these hard-to-answer questions thoroughly.

Another area of focus with this panel is the (continued) evolution of the cloud. Currently, the platform has become one of the main focal points of competition within the industry. As vendors, both big and small introduce cloud solutions; businesses are left to (re)evaluate their options; however, how does this affect the industry as a whole? There is no doubt that the cloud represents a tremendous shift in computing theory. But despite all the attention (both media and industry allot) the service is still relatively new and vast. The panel will discuss what the cloud will (potentially) do to the industry moving forward.

The panel features a number of professionals including:
Erik Linask (Moderator): Editorial Director TMC
Skip Chilcott (Panel): Senior Product Marketing Manager- Microsoft
Peder Ulander (Panel): Vice President of Product Marketing, Cloud Platforms Group- Citrix
Kiran Bellare (Panel): Director-Product Marketing- HP
Mike McCarthy (Panel): Vice President of Cloud Computing for IBM Global Technology Services- IBM
Lisa Pierce (Panel): Managing Vice President-Gartner
Roberto D. De La Mora (Panel): Sr. Director, Unified Communications- WW Collaboration Solutions Marketing- Cisco

The panels above ultimately tackle the same issue: the progression of the industry and how businesses should prepare/act moving forward. Aside from these two panels, there are a number of other conference sessions, keynotes, guests, and speakers that will be in attendance. Spanning three days, the expo looks set to cover every area of the industry. For a full schedule of sessions, speakers, and keynotes head to the ITExpo East 2013 official website.