12 - 14 FEBRUARY, 2018, AUCKLAND


Microsoft Data Platform, Business Intelligence, and Analytics Conference

Difinity is the largest Microsoft Data Platform, Business Intelligence, and Analytics Conference in New Zealand. IT Decision Makers, Developers, Analysts, IT Professionals, BI Managers, BI Professionals, Database Administrators, Architects, and Consultants will gather for three consecutive days of learning.

There will be 50+ technical sessions delivered by speakers from all around the world, including Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, Microsoft Certified Masters, and Microsoft Corporate’s product teams. Sessions will be split into tracks for Data Platform, Business Intelligence, and Analytics.

40 Speakers; 10+ from Microsoft, 20+ Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP), MCMs and Microsoft Certified Architects (MCA). 10 pre-conference workshops at 12th of Feb. and 50+ sessions at 13th and 14th of Feb.

Who's Speaking?

Sergei Gundorov

Sergei Gundorov

The presenter, Sergei Gundorov, currently works as a Program Manager on the Power BI team at Microsoft. He has Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Sergei published numerous articles over the course of the last 26 years through multiple channels on various subjects that range from accounting and economics to in depth technical articles on MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network). Sergei’s most recent contribution was to the Security Whitepaper for Power BI published in May of 2017. He presented his most valuable technological advancements to worldwide developer audiences at TechEd, TechReady, and Office/SharePoint Developer conferences. He participated and contributed to numerous webcasts that focused on various technologies that he is considered to be an expert on. He is an inventor and filed several patent applications. Sergei runs popular technical “XLGeek’s Space” blog where his work is praised very highly by the readers and his apps users.

Reza Rad

Reza Rad

Reza Rad is author, speaker, trainer and consultant. He is the world well-known name in the Microsoft BI field. Reza Rad is invited speaker in world’s best and biggest SQL Server and BI conferences such as PASS Summits, PASS Rallys, SQLBits, TechEds, Ignites, Microsoft Data Insight Summit, and so on. He is author of books on this topic, and he has more than 15 years’ experience in the Microsoft BI technologies. 10 years of his experience focused on training and consulting to the largest BI teams in the world. He is also Microsoft Certified Trainer for years. He is Microsoft SQL Server MVP (Most Valuable Professional) focused on BI and Data Analysis, He has been awarded MVP from Microsoft because of his dedication and expertise in Microsoft BI technologies. He is author of Power BI online book; from Rookie to Rock Star;

Regis Baccaro

Regis Baccaro

Régis is a Senior Consultant working with databases and BI since 1999. He specializes in mentoring, performance tuning and scalable architecture of datawarehouses and bi-solutions. His background and work experience mixes technology and business, providing him a unique edge to contribute to datawarehouse and database projects, and effectively interacting with technical and business decision makers. Régis is a frequent speakers at SQL Server conferences around the globe and is a board member of the Danish SQL Server User Group and the founder of the SQL Saturday Denmark community event. He is also Recipient of an MVP award for Data platform for four years in a row.

Pinal	 Dave

Pinal Dave

Pinal Dave is a SQL Server Performance Tuning Expert and an independent consultant. He has authored 11 SQL Server database books, 21 Pluralsight courses and has written over 4000 articles on the database technology on his blog at a Along with 16+ years of hands on experience he holds a Masters of Science degree and a number of database certifications.

Leila	Etaati

Leila Etaati

Leila is a Artificial Intelligence Microsoft MVP, PhD, Trainer, and BI consultant. She is world well-known speaker in Machine Learning and Analytics topics, and spoke in world’s best international conferences in Data Platform topics, such as; Microsoft USA Ignite, Microsoft data Insight Summit, Microsoft NZ ignite, SQL PASS Summits, PASS Rally, SQL Nexus, SQL Saturdays and so on. She has more than 10 years’ experience in Data Mining and Analytics. She writes blog posts in RADACAD and also publishes YouTube videos in our channel. She also is an invited lecturer in universities such as University of Auckland, and Unitec, and some other universities. She worked in many industries including banking financial, power and utility, manufacturing, tourism, and so on.

Kenneth Nielsen

Kenneth Nielsen

Kenneth M. Nielsen currently work at Microsoft as Data Insights Architect, focusing on data services on Azure. Previously worked as managing consultant and teamlead for the company Rehfeld Partners in Denmark. He has worked at various consulting firms and worked on many small/large/very large bi installations in Denmark over the last 12 years. He really likes to advice the customers to take the right decisions, but also maintains a high technical knowledge, so he can act at both architect and developer.

Edwin Sarmiento

Edwin Sarmiento

Edwin M Sarmiento is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Microsoft Certified Master from Ottawa, Canada specializing in high availability, disaster recovery and system infrastructures running on the Microsoft server technology stack.  He is very passionate about technology but has interests in music, professional and organizational development, leadership and management matters when not working with databases.   He lives up to his primary mission statement – “To help people and organizations grow and develop their full potential.

Denny Cherry

Denny Cherry

Denny Cherry is the owner and principal consultant for Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting and has over a decade of experience working with platforms such as Microsoft SQL Server, Hyper-V, vSphere and Enterprise Storage solutions. Denny’s areas of technical expertise include system architecture, performance tuning, security, replication and troubleshooting. Denny currently holds several of the Microsoft Certifications related to SQL Server for versions 2000 through 2014 including the Microsoft Certified Master as well as being a Microsoft MVP for several years.  Denny has written several books and dozens of technical articles on SQL Server management and how SQL Server integrates with various other technologies.

Matt Allington

Matt Allington

Matt Allington is a career data professional that has spent more than 30 years leveraging data to drive success. In 2014 Matt left the corporate world to start his own company (Excelerator BI) and now works full time to help others to use Microsoft BI products (Power BI, Power Pivot for Excel, Power Query for Excel). Matt is Microsoft MVP based in Sydney Australia, however has a global reach through his blog at

Workshops and Regular Sessions for Difinity 2018

1Evaluation Contexts in DAXMatt Allington TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
2DAX as a Query LanguageMatt Allington TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
3Things You Should Never Do In Microsoft SQL ServerDenny Cherry tbcLangham Hotel Auckland
4Table Indexing for the .NET DeveloperDenny Cherry TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
5Power BI Gateways as a solutionAnkit Patira TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
6 What are chat bots and why do we need them in Business Intelligence?Anupama Natarajan TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
7Analysis Services Data DNAÁsgeir Gunnarsson TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
8Impact of weather on English Premier League matches – Power BI analysisÁsgeir Gunnarsson TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
9SSRS and Power BI Report Server – What’s newCraig Bryden TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
10SQL Server in a multi-platform world – Windows/Linux/MacDavid Lyth TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
11SQL Server 2016 Query StoreDharmendra Keshari TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
12Troubleshooting Issues with Extended Events in real timeDharmendra Keshari TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
13Designing a SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups Topology Without Losing Your SanityEdwin Sarmiento TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
14What SQL Server DBAs Need To Know About Distributed Availability GroupsEdwin Sarmiento TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
15Power BI Row Level Security Made EasyGilbert Quevauvilliers TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
16Test Driven Development in SQL Server – it will make your database deployments betterHamish Watson TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
17Dynamic charts for browser and mobile with ExcelIngeborg Hawighorst TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
18An introduction to the magical world of BIML!Jonathan Stewart TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
19Performance Tuning for the BI ProfessionalJonathan Stewart TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
20Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Data Lake, Polybase, SSAS and Power BIKenneth Nielsen TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
21Data Lake Analytics – R, Python and Cognitive ServicesKenneth Nielsen TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
22Azure Database Migration – Choosing the Right TierManohar Punna TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
23Hybrid Distributed Architecture with Azure Data Sync 2.0Martin Cairney TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
24Split, Merge and Eliminate – An Introduction to PartitioningMartin Cairney TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
25Real life SSIS for PortMing Man Chan TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
26Database Monitoring and Reporting in 2018Patrick Flynn TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
27Why MDX cubes aren’t dead yetPhilip Seamark TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
28Performance in 60 Seconds – SQL Tricks Everybody MUST KnowPinal Dave TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
29Secrets of SQL Server – Database Worst PracticesPinal Dave TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
30Data Orchestration with Azure Data FactoryRaj Krishnan TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
31Azure Data Catalog – Do you know what you know?Raj Krishnan TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
32Big Data Ingestion and Analytics with Microsoft AzureRegan Murphy TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
332,4,8 & 16 – Journey of upgrading your data platform with SQL ServerSatya Jayanty TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
34Datawarehouse Lightning Performance with Columnstore!Stijn Wynants TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
35Realtime Analytics: OLAP & OLTP in the mix!Stijn Wynants TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
36Azure Cosmos DBVictor Isakov TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
37Secure your data at rest – on demand, now!Tobiasz Koprowski TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
38AD 2018. 2 AM. A New Disaster just began.Tobiasz Koprowski TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
39Performance Tuning with SQLSentry for SQL ServerWarwick Rudd TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
40Power Query and M Deep DiveMatt Masson TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
41SQL Server Graph DatabaseDave Dustin TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
42Power BI Sharing and Security All in OneSergei Gundorov TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
43Power BI Embedded; Developers GuideSergei Gundorov TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
44Azure Machine Learning algorithm accuracy enhancement, tips, and tricksLeila Etaati TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
45Power BI Visualization Best PracticesReza Rad TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
46Microsoft Solution Case Study for EnterprisesMyles Matheson TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
47Endless Possibilities: R and Power BILeila Etaati TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
48Custom Connectors in Power QueryMatt Masson TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
49Power BI Solution Architecture; DirectQuery, LiveQuery, or Import DataReza Rad TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
50Data Integration – preparing for the data challenges of tomorrowRobert Blaas TBCLangham Hotel Auckland
51Let’s start using Cognitive Services in our business apps!Gosia Borzecka TBCLangham Hotel Auckland

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Travel Information


Langham (Cordis) Hotel Auckland,

83 Symonds St, Grafton, Auckland 1010


Auckland International and Domestic Airport is just 30 minutes drive to the venue. There are a wide range of flights from many major cities in the world to Auckland.

Hotel & Restaurant

Langham (Cordis) Hotel Auckland is the venue for the conference. More hotels and  accommodation options will be announced soon.

Are you ready to join us?

Reserve your spot now before it's too late.



Hear best practices and learn about leading edge technologies and new features from our subject matter experts coming from the USA, Europe, UK, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Ask an Expert

There is no place better than Difinity to ask your questions of members of Microsoft Product Groups, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, and Microsoft Certified Masters all in one conference.


Network with other professionals in your area of expertise in here in New Zealand with our three day event: heaps of networking opportunities.

Explore Event

You choose: attending sessions, connecting with sponsors and exhibitors, socialising and networking with others. Learning and having fun at the same time.

$1195/2 days
2 day Conference Only
  • 2 days conference 13th and 14th of Feb.
  • Includes catering all day
  • Morning Tea
  • Buffet Lunch
  • Afternoon Break

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