Wednesday, November 25, 2015

UC Summit - Three Takeaways - Searching for the Center

I was part of last week's UC Summit, and what really stood out for me was how fragmented this space is becoming. There seem to be several centers of gravity now, and tracking them all is, well, what we try to do at UCStrategies.

For those of you who weren't there, I've written up my thoughts, which are summed up into three basic themes. They all bring me to same conclusion that there may not a true center any more for UC, so you have to stay on top of a few trends to get the big picture.

Am not sure where this is taking us, but there are a lot of companies now vying for your business. However you define the pool of vendors to consider, it's only going to get bigger, and I hope my post helps make that clear. It's running now on the UCStrategies portal, and as always your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UC Summit - First Take

Wanted to get a quick post out and share some photos from the first full day of the UC Summit. The conference actually started on Sunday, and I spoke on the first session. I also moderated a session yesterday, and so far, the content has been consistently first rate. There's a healthy mix here of consultants, end customers and sponsors, and it's great to have access to all this in a vendor-neutral setting.

Aside from the familiar players - and most all the majors are here - it's great to have so many new ones that you wouldn't normally associate with the UC space, such as Google, Tata, Vonage and newcomer Redbooth.

The UC&C space is undergoing major disruption - and understanding that is the big takeaway overall from this event. To reflect that, we've adapted too, with the new name and logo being launched. Going forward, the UC Summit will now be known as the BC Summit - Business Communications.

I'll have more to say about this in my wrapup post, which will follow once I'm back from the summit. Until then, here are some photos from yesterday.

Jim Burton welcoming the audience, with the new BC Summit logo behind him
Vendor roundtable - well, looks more like a new offensive line formation - great session, but too short for so many people
Dave Michels talking about how disuptive the new messaging-based collaboration platforms are - totally agree
Blair Pleasant and Kevin Kieller talking about usage and adoption challenges for UC
Clark Peterson of Vonage Business explaining why they're in this business and how well they understand the changing needs of end users, especially Millennials

Friday, November 13, 2015

ITExpo Preview - Never too Early for Florida

It's getting chilly in Toronto, and am already thinking about the warm Florida sun. TMC's next ITExpo isn't until late January, but the conference agenda was announced earlier this week, so it's time to start talking about it.

The conference continues to evolve, and I've had a small hand in adding new topics to keep the agenda fresh. To that end I'll be moderating two sessions, and if others materialize, I'll post those later.

"Are You Communicating or Collaborating?"  This is on the UC track, and runs Wednesday at 2:30

"Making Video Easy - How Hard Can it Be?" This is on the Business Transformation track, and runs Thursday at 10am.

For some reason, the agenda page on the website doesn't provide specific links for each session, so to learn more, you have to go to the main agenda page and scroll down to the right time - or filter search by track or day.

Lots more updates to come, and it's not too early to be making plans for Fort Lauderdale!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Atos Acquisition of Unify - UCStrategies Podcast

This move last week came out of the blue for most of us, and with so little detail being made public, it's hard to know what's really going on. Atos is not well known in North America, and while Unify isn't a household word so much here either, they also bet heavily on Circuit. I've had my own reservations about Circuit, and one could view this deal as a sign that after a year, they've run out of time/patience/resources to realize its potential.

I'm just one voice among many, and if you're wondering what to make of the Atos/Unify deal, our latest UCStrategies podcast should be your next stop. The podcast was moderated by Dave Michels, and he engaged several of us in a lively discussion. It's been posted now, and I hope you give it a listen. We'd love to hear your thoughts as well!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

UC Summit - Starts This Sunday

Got a few conferences coming up now, with the next one starting on Sunday. It's the UC Summit, an event I've blogged and written about before. This post is a friendly reminder that we're just a few days away. I fly there Sunday morning, and presuming there are no travel hiccups, I'll be on my first panel at 2pm that afternoon. Slides are all ready, and am looking forward to La Jolla!

As per my last post, here's everything else you need to know about the summit, along with what I'll be speaking about.

As a UC Expert, I'm part of the UCStrategies team that is presenting great content on all things UC&C, and we'll have a solid mix of customers, vendors, consultants/analysts and channels. This year, I'll be speaking on two sessions:

Sunday at 2pm - Contact Center Update

Monday at 5pm - The Changing Role of IT and Shift in Technology Decision-Making

For more detail, here's the summit agenda, along with full details about the conference. We also issued a news briefrecently outlining how this year's summit will be structured.

Also, if you missed last week's podcast, we did a preview of the summit. I was away and couldn't participate, but there's plenty here to get you excited about what's coming.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Choosing a VoIP Vendor - New Buyer's Guide

I've been writing a few different series for TechTarget's Search Unified Communications portal, including one on VoIP for businesses. I contributed a series of three features on this topic, and have cited those here on my blog as they are published.

Another way to track these - along with the various other forms of content I write for them - is to view my profile page on the site.

Aside from being published on a serialized basis, these three VoIP features are also part of a more comprehensive buyer's guide, with additional content prepared by another contributor that profiles the leading vendors. This has all been pulled together under the title "Choosing a VoIP Vendor", and has just been published on their portal.

For anyone just starting down the path with VoIP, I think this will be a valuable resource, but I'll let you be the judge. Comments are welcome as always, as is any form of sharing.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Next Webinar: So, You Think You Can Collaborate?

This week's shout-out is for my upcoming webinar for Ziff Davis, where I contribute regularly to their VoIP News and portals.

The topic of collaboration is trickier than it looks, and I'll be exploring that during the webinar. I'll be presenting next Wednesday, November 11 at 2pm ET, and I hope you can join us. Full details and registration steps are on the landing page here.