ACA Blog

ACA Blog

March 2021


Tomorrow Starts Today: innovation never came this close

Stijn SchutyserStijn Schutyser

On Tuesday October 3 2017, ACA IT-Solutions organized Tomorrow Starts Today in the Van der Valk Business Hotel in Brussels. Tomorrow Starts Today featured 16 speakers, including various ACA employees and our CEO Ronny Ruyters. The event mainly targeted C-level Management, Middle Management, Executives and Leaders from all over Belgium and was packed with tangible innovative insights and best practices for businesses.

The event was a huge success and definitely exceeded our expectations with more than 100 attendees staying until late in the evening. Our Sales Manager, who recently joined the ACA family, shares the same feeling in his LinkedIn blog post.

Why we organized Tomorrow Starts Today

We decided to organize Tomorrow Starts Today because we value innovation and want to go further than vague innovative concepts. We wanted to offer practical innovation to a wide range of businesses and give them the feeling that they could actually get started with tangible innovation after our event. Innovation can seem like such a faraway concept for many businesses. Our goal was to prevent this and bring it close to them instead.

Tomorrow Starts Today Openers: Pol Hauspie & Tesla

The day started off with a warm welcome to our guests and speakers, who were immediately treated to a drink and a warm bite. Some guests even had the opportunity to test drive a Tesla Model S or Model X!

Pol Hauspie presentationAfter the hearty welcome, the crowd moved into the Main Room and attended two presentations. The first speaker was well-known entrepreneur Pol Hauspie, who told us the story of his company, Lernaut & Hauspie. The company rose to a multi-billion dollar enterprise,Lunch buffet but eventually had to file for bankruptcy after a large fraud scandal. Pol realized he had been a prisoner of his own ego. Once taken to jail, his real freedom and the road to happiness started. He understood that you always have a choice and that happiness is a conscious choice. Pol taught us that monetary and materialistic gains should not be the only goals. There should be a balance between monetary return and social return. He closed his inspirational talk by presenting his new organization: the Happiness-Web.

Ruben Evens presentationThe second speaker at Tomorrow Starts Today was Ruben Evens. He works at Tesla and is responsible for events and marketing in Belgium and Luxembourg. In his presentation, he explained Tesla’s mission, which is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. He also informed the crowd of the Tesla Master Plan and the future of cars in our society.

A short break followed these two interesting talks and after that, it was time for the break-out sessions. We divided the break-out sessions in three separate rooms (Technical Room, Management Room and Business Room), each with four different sessions. The audience was free to choose from these 12 options whatever session peaked their interest and which ones they would attend.

Technical Room

Yakup Kalin presentationFrom idea to innovation in just 5 days – Yakup Kalin

Let’s start with the four sessions that were given in the Technical Room. The very first speaker was Yakup Kalin from ACA Mobile. He told attendees about the advantages of STORM and how to get from an idea to a clickable prototype in merely 5 days!

Why technology isn’t the answer to better security – Philippe De Ryck

The second speaker, Philippe De Ryck, warned that we should not cover up the insecurities of web platforms with shiny new technologies. He even told us that these technologies, in fact, often make security worse! Luckily, Philippe also provided us with tips and tricks on how to improve the current security practices.

Tom Moors presentationDelivering value, as a team: key learnings from DevOps – Tom Moors

Atlassian Expert Tom Moors was the third speaker in the Technical Room. He introduced the crowd to the origins of DevOps and how it can be beneficial for organizations. Tom also provided some pointers that can be used to start a DevOps transformation in your own team, including best practices to get a kickstart.

The digital shift at CEPA – Filip Matton

Last but not least, it was Filip Matton’s turn to speak about the digital shift at CEPA. CEPA is responsible for organizing all activities in the port of Antwerp, such as shipping and staying in contact with trading companies and freight handlers. The port industry itself is moving forward at a fast pace. CEPA anticipates the future by investing in internal business innovation and realizing their digital shift.

Management Room

Hierarchy doesn’t fit us any longer – Christel Hofman

Meanwhile, in the Management Room, we started off with Christel Hofman, who gave a presentation on holacracy. Holacracy is the opposite of traditional hierarchy and improves innovation, since ideas from the workforce travel more easily to the management level. Moreover, the most important part of Holacracy is self-organizing. ACA is currently in the process of integrating holacracy in the organization, replacing the present podular approach.

Bart van Bouwel presentationHow the GDPR can drive innovation – Bart van Bouwel

The second speaker in the MGT Room was Bart van Bouwel. He was bent on changing everyone’s view on GDPR and stated that GDPR can drive innovation – not halt it. Bart compared GDPR to an earlier European law that compelled companies to put an energy label (A, B, C, …) on electric products. The law made companies invest more in research to be able to design more energy efficient products, therefore stimulating innovation. This was a perfect example of how a European law changed the behavior of companies. The same can be said for GDPR and it proves that innovation by restrictive legislation is possible.

Stijn Wijndaele presentationAn executive guide on how to steer your digitization – Stijn Wijndaele

The MGT Room’s third speaker was Digital Enabler Stijn Wijndaele. He presented an executive guide on how to steer digitization and talked about the transition to a digital business. This transition provides potentially huge opportunities, but also brings along significant strategic and operational challenges. Stijn informed the crowd on which digital and leadership capabilities were needed to successfully navigate a company through these digital times.

Transform your business with iOS – Yves van den Broek

The fourth and last speaker was Yves van den Broek from Apple, who gave us a talk about how to transform businesses using iOS. Choosing a mobile platform is an essential business decision for every company. Yves told us about the many advantages of iOS, such as the device enrollment program or the ability to develop custom apps without having to post them on the App Store.

Business Room

Jelle Van der Linden presentationDigital? Game over! Please insert coin – Jelle Van der Linden

The third room was the Business Room and it was Jelle Van der Linden who kicked off the sessions. Her presentation was about how investing in digital alone is no longer a guarantee for success. Jelle argued that, instead, constantly innovating and making new offers are what drives successful projects. She closed her presentation with 6 tips on continuous innovation.

Antoine Brochet presentationBe more secure with the cloud – Antoine Brochet

The second speaker at the Business Room was Antoine Brochet, who talked about security in the cloud. In this session, he presented how AWS Security foundations, best practices and services help businesses move and innovate faster while keeping a strong control over their security.

Be more secure with the cloud – Antoine Brochet

Next up, as the third speaker, we had Christopher Verhulst on call. He presented how ACA IT-Solutions has been working according to Lean and Agile principles for over 10 years now. Christopher explained those principles, looked at how they affect the way ACA works today and how they will influence the future of our company. He also underscored how Lean and Agile principles have produced added value for our customers.

Kurt van Eck presentationAudience targeting & Agile approach in portals –  Kurt van Eck

The last speaker was Kurt van Eck, who gave a presentation on audience targeting and Agile approach in portals. With the help of audience targeting, his company, Securex, successfully obtained a faster time to market and increased conversion rate. Agile project management on the other hand, made sure that they could benefit from a targeted approach and effective, valuable communication between business and IT.

Final presentation on UX

Various snacksAfter the break-out sessions, there was a short break with food and drinks. Many attendees happily obliged to grab a drink and some food and to relax for a bit! After this much-needed break, the crowd moved into the Main Room again. They were ready for Lucie Buisson’s presentation and an inspirational closer from our CEO Ronny Ruyters.

How user experience makes brands highly valuable for their customers – Lucie Buisson

Lucie Buisson presentationVP Product Lucie Buisson from ContentSquare talked about how user experience makes brands highly valuable for their customers. She stated that, in this world, the interface (UX) is the new salesperson. An interface can therefore be used to create very loyal customers if you have the right user experience formula. Lucie argued that one user should be presented with different interfaces, depending on their mindset. She gave two examples of this: the Vestiaire Collective website and the French railroad website interfaces.

Ronny Ruyters inspirational closerInspirational closer by ACA IT-Solutions

We ended the day with an inspirational presentation by ACA IT-Solutions CEO Ronny Ruyters. He thanked everyone for their contribution to the event and was proud that Tomorrow Starts Today had been the largest ACA event up to now. He briefly introduced ACA’s podular structure and explained how a new pod, such as the ACT pod, is established. He also talked about ACAs longstanding experience with Lean and Agile methodologies and innovation within ACA, such as the first Ship-it Day and the purchase of 22 Tesla Model 3s.

No, we do not want to go home yet!

Discussing the eventThe night ended with plenty of time to do some networking. Everyone was happy to take some food and a refreshing drink, while talking the day over with colleagues and peers. Remarkably for an event like this, a lot of our guests stayed until the very end of the night. They chatted for a long time before decisively going home. Even at closing time, at 10:30 PM, the room was still full of people who were discussing the topics covered during the day.

One thing was repeated throughout all conversations: the Tomorrow Starts Today event had been organized very professionally and had been a huge success!

Relive the talks and register for our webinars

As you could read above, we had many interesting talks and speakers at Tomorrow Starts Today. The sessions were a success with all rooms brimming with people! Some guests were disappointed, however, that they sometimes had to choose between 2 or 3 great presentations. Additionally, other people wanted to attend, but were not able to come because of other obligations.

We have some very good news for both groups! In the coming months, you’ll be able to follow webinars on some of the sessions that were presented at Tomorrow Starts Today.

Speakers that have already confirmed:

Click the links to register for the designated webinar.

We’ll keep you posted on other speakers willing to present their knowledge on innovation in the future!

Presentation downloads

Alternatively, some speakers have decided to put their presentations up for download. You can download the following presentations from our website:

What’s next?

Factory visitIf you’re hungry for more, you are welcome to register for a factory visit. During such a visit, you are free to explore our offices while we explain our software building process. We will talk about our culture and agile methodology and answer any questions you may have.

We are also organizing a Product Kick-off week from 4 to 8 December 2017. ACA IT-Solutions has over 10 years worth of experience in Lean and Agile methodologies. We would like to share our knowledge and experience with you and provide coaching for best practices to start a project. Since we’ve learned from our own experiences, we are able to give strong recommendations on which tactics to use for your specific project. During the Product Kick-off week, we will give workshops and hold seminars about the best practices on how to get started on projects and get from idea to MVP. If you would like to attend, you can register here.

Huge thanks to our sponsors!

Last but not least, we want to give our wonderful sponsors a special thanks again! We hope you had a great time at Tomorrow Starts Today. During the entire day, we’ve seen many guests visiting your booths to have a talk about what your business could mean to them.

By the way, we loved all the goodies you sent us for our guests’ goody bags!

Axway logo CloudHealth logo Liferay logo Vasco logo


Stijn is a copywriter and content marketer for ACA IT-Solutions and manages the blog website. He's interested in writing persuasive content, web content and graphic design and likes to challenge himself with new insights.