I will soon arrive at Orlando for Enterprise Connect. What should you look for in the sessions?
The conference tracks are a good indication for what to expect and more importantly a good reflection of market trends.
Before diving into the tracks themselves, if you happen to be there, drop me a note.
WebRTC Conference within a conference
Starting with the WebRTC conference within a conference. This one day event revolves around WebRTC technology and standards, an area I cover regularly together with Dan Burnett as well as the business aspects of WebRTC.
One specific session I’m interested to hear is about the business values of WebRTC. This is mainly because the quest for business justification and revenue generating use cases for WebRTC is something many companies and service providers I speak with are engaged in.
In this regards it should be clear that WebRTC, as a technology, has no business value behind it, it is the service you build with it that has business value. In many cases, this service could have been built before using previous technologies but WebRTC has the potential to make user experience better and development easier.
The conference itself features 8 tracks.
UC and the Cloud
This is probably the most important market trend from business perspective. The move of UC (and contact center) to the cloud has passed the trend phase, it is a reality. Microsoft is pushing strongly towards this direction as well as other vendors. UC vendors that were traditionally selling their products to enterprises and service providers have exhausted their market and are forced to follow the shift in the market and provide their own service.
In many cases, these vendors would have preferred to remain in their comfort zone of selling products but not making this shift would be a clear path to the sunset for them.
The move to the cloud creates a problem for vendors (this is a general problem and not specific to a segment), if in the past they used to sell their products as on-premise supporting peak capacity per enterprise, selling to cloud providers means less total capacity as peak requirements are statistically averaged.
This in turn drives consolidation in markets.
As mentioned above, contact centers are also moving to the cloud, there is a session dedicated to that.
To me the interesting thing will be to see use cases and innovation in the area of WebRTC integration with contact center solutions both on user and agent clients.
Managing UC systems, Apps and Networks
This one has several aspects to it, some of which are related to the move to the cloud. I would look at 3 relevant topics here:
- Management – Optimization, reporting, SW upgrades
- Knowing the status of your network – quality of the service you are providing and identifying quality trends (e.g. every Friday at 3pm there is a quality problem)
- Pricing – especially with regards to the move to the cloud
I didn’t include mobile as a 4th item as there is a track for that but surely it is relevant and challenging.
I love video, I try to make all my business (and personal international) calls using video. I believe in personal video more than in the room systems though we need also the ability to connect a meeting room to a video call.
Given this, I hope this session will not focus on immersive video so much but rather on integration of video with services and applications.
This is a pretty diverse topic, something apparent from the different topics on this track.
Mobile for WebRTC is one of the topics on this track. This challenge is not an easy one to crack. I spoke about it on a conference in December.
A topic I believe is not covered on this track is mobility in contact centers. This is somewhat related to WebRTC because the interesting thing to my view is adding video calling capabilities into applications. Think of a retail application, banking, healthcare…
This naturally addresses, among other things, the shift to the cloud.
An interesting session is about the integration of UC with Google Apps. And there is a startup for that, Switch.
Communications Software Architectures
This should be mainly about the move from HW to SW systems and the move to the cloud.
By name this doesn’t sound like an exciting session but reality in the enterprise market today is that many of the businesses haven’t still made the shift to SIP Trunks.
Questions to ask are when will those “laggards” make the move to IP and how will this shift be done.