Hopes, Dreams, and Fears: UCStrategies Previews Enterprise Connect 2016

Hopes, Dreams, and Fears: UCStrategies Previews Enterprise Connect 2016

By UCStrategies February 19, 2016 Leave a Comment
AA_Industry Buzz Group 15
Hopes, Dreams, and Fears: UCStrategies Previews Enterprise Connect 2016 by UCStrategies

In this Industry Buzz podcast, Dave Michels leads a discussion about Enterprise Connect 2016, March 7-10, in Orlando. In addition to brief recaps of where you can see some of the UCStrategies Experts participating in sessions, they're asked what they're looking forward to, and what they expect from this year's event. Dave is joined by Simon DudleyPhil EdholmBlair PleasantMichael FinneranKevin Kieller, and Steve Leaden.

Refer to the time codes below for each speaker:

  • Dave Michels
  • Simon Dudley (2:13)
  • Phil Edholm (8:14)
  • Blair Pleasant (15:53)
  • Michael Finneran (20:04)
  • J.R. Simmons (24:09)
  • Kevin Kieller (27:48)
  • Steve Leaden (32:13)

(scroll to the bottom of the page for the podcast player)

UCStrategies Experts at Enterprise Connect

Jim Burton

UC Summit: Is the Path to UC Changing?
Monday, March 7
11:15 a.m. - Noon

Market researchers tell us that the global market for Unified Communications will be in the tens of billions of dollars and growing by double-digit percentages annually for the next several years. But at the same time, the industry seems poised for profound transformations: The appeal of the Cloud is making itself felt in the world of communications, with UC as a Service (UCaaS) projected for strong growth; mobility is only getting more important in the workplace; and integration of communications with business apps and processes is becoming more and more mainstream. So, is the path to UC changing?

Simon Dudley

Delivering Endpoint Video Services to the Masses: How and When?
Tuesday, March 8
8-8:45 a.m.

For a large enterprise with thousands of users, architecting a strategy for delivering video to many endpoints with quality, reliability and scale is a significant challenge. Options abound, from deploying a distributed architecture for real-time voice and video, to public and private clouds, to enabling live streaming. This session will explore different approaches to the problem and the benefits of each. You'll come away with a clear idea of the pros and cons of different strategies for providing large-scale video in the enterprise.

Phil Edholm

Microsoft vs. Cisco: New Issues & Decision Factors
Tuesday, March 8
2:45-4 p.m.

This session will start with the basics, highlighting the changes Microsoft and Cisco have each made in their UC offerings over the last year, and where they're headed strategically. From this foundation, you'll get expert guidance on the pitfalls and benefits of each, with pointers on how to evaluate each UC product for the particular tasks at hand. And you'll hear advice on how best to live in a dual Microsoft-Cisco world or plan an exit strategy that leaves your organization's UC program in the hands of one or the other vendor.

The Cloud & Your Costs: Understanding the Changing Business Model

Wednesday, March 9
8-8:45 a.m.

The cost of a communications seat has been relatively constant for a number of years, whether provided through Centrex, a premises-based PBX, a managed service, or today's cloud offerings. However, as the cloud communications market matures and enterprise acceptance of cloud-delivered communications services grows, the associated cost per seat is starting to drop. Just how low will it go? In this session, you'll learn about how the cloud is changing the communications business model and how this will affect the overall cost of services going forward.

EC Summit: Managing Communications in a Changing Environment

Thursday, March 10
10:30-11:15 a.m.

As enterprise communications become more software-centric and open -- and as focus shifts toward mobility, the cloud, and business applications -- your approach to systems management will have to evolve to keep up. In the new world, provisioning may be more complicated; service quality issues more multi-faceted and spread over additional media like messaging and video; and end users will be more diverse in their needs for different communications functions. Meanwhile, resiliency, uptime, security, and compliance will be, if anything, more important than ever. So as a communications/IT professional, how do you get your arms around all these challenges? This EC Summit will analyze best practices in operations and management, and give you a framework for coping with the new reality in communications and collaboration.

Michael Finneran

Mobility Summit: Does IT Need a New Approach to Mobility?
Monday, March 7
1-1:45 p.m. Oseola C

In this summit, a panel of enterprise mobility experts will discuss how this convergence is best managed, what each group can contribute, and what each can learn from the other. They'll go on to offer a strategic view of how to craft a mobility strategy that aligns with your business's focus and processes.

Apple in the Enterprise
Monday, March 7
|3:15-4:00 p.m. SUN A

In this session, a panel of end users and mobility experts will talk about the challenges of dealing with Apple as an enterprise supplier, the steps IT departments can take to provide the best Apple support, and the likely impact of Apple's new enterprise-oriented alliances.

Capitalizing on the New Mobile Pricing Plans
Tuesday, March 8
8-8:45 a.m. Sun C

In this session, a panel of mobile experts will discuss how the new plans work, the likely impact these changes will have, and most importantly, what buyers should be looking for in negotiating these new plans. You'll learn how to take advantage of the favorable buying climate for enterprise mobility.

Are Mobile-First Collaboration Platforms the Salvation of Mobile UC?
Wednesday, March 9
8-8:45 a.m. Sun B

The hottest mobile-first collaboration platforms are Slack, which has positioned itself as an over-the-top play independent of core enterprise communications platforms, and Atlassian HipChat, one of the earliest cloud-based team collaboration tools out there, but the major enterprise vendors are quickly moving into this space as well -- most notably with Cisco Spark, Unify Circuit, and the acquisition of Glip by RingCentral. So given the failure of traditional UC clients to catch on among mobile users, will these new platforms supplant the original UC clients in the mobile UC world? More importantly, will users find the new clients more appealing than they found the earlier generations of mobile UC clients? This session will take a close look at the mobile-first collaboration apps that are being released by the major enterprise vendors, and will evaluate their likelihood for success where their predecessors fell short. You'll come away with a better understanding of what these new applications can (and can't) do, and whether they're the answer to your management, cost, and feature/function needs for you in dealing with mobile users.

Meeting The Challenges of Real Time UC on Wi-Fi
Wednesday, March 9
1:30-2:15 p.m. Osceola B

In this session, a panel of Wi-Fi experts will discuss the challenges in carrying real-time traffic on Wi-Fi networks. They'll also identify current best practices and describe some important technical developments like UC SDN and the WiFi Alliance's Mobile Multimedia initiative. You'll come away with specific steps you can take to make your Wi-Fi infrastructure more real-time friendly.

Deep Dive: Key Mobile Technologies for the Next Five Years
Wednesday March 9
2:45-4:00 p.m. Osceola B

The market for smartphones may be saturated in the enterprise and the larger consumer market, but mobility developments beyond the device continue at a torrid pace. Some of these developments, such as the implementation of LTE-Unlicensed, will present direct threats to enterprise mobile systems, while others, including beacons and the Internet of Things, offer tremendous opportunities to enhance existing applications or to open up entirely new ones. Meanwhile, continued evolution in the cellular infrastructure offers the promise of significant service enhancements, vastly improved coverage and likely lower costs for enterprise buyers. This session will give you a look at the next set of mobility issues that you're likely to confront, and will help you understand how to minimize the risks, maximize the potential, and fit the ever-improving technology with the ever-growing mobility demands of your enterprise.

LockNote
Thursday, March 8
11:15 a.m.-Noon Sun A

To close out Enterprise Connect, join leading analysts and the EC program committee and join the conversation over the major issues covered during the event. We'll discuss and debate the progress of UC, mobility, and video; the prospects for WebRTC, cloud communications, and communications APIs; and the role of contact centers and SIP Trunking in the continued evolution of enterprise communications. Bring your questions, comments, and perspectives, and let us hear from you.

Kevin Kieller

Succeeding with Skype for Business: Decoding the Cloud, Licensing, and Hybrid Options
Tuesday, March 8
1:30-2:15 p.m.

Organizations interested in Microsoft unified communications and Enterprise Voice have an ever-increasing, and often confusing, number of on-premises, cloud and hybrid options from which to choose. In the first part of this session, a premier Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business strategic partner will help you understand the pros and cons of the various options and provide guidance for decoding the complex licensing implications so that you can choose the right solution for your unique situation. In the second part of the session, you'll learn about the technical, communications, training, and change management tasks you must undertake in order to succeed with Skype for Business (or Lync). The session will cover differences between Lync 2013 and Skype for Business, the new E5 CAL, differing mobile client features, Office 365, Cloud PBX, PSTN Conferencing, PSTN Calling, and Skype Broadcast Meetings.

Sponsored Session: Skype for Business: Overcoming the Biggest Migration and Management Challenges
Tuesday, March 8
2:30-3:15 p.m.

Locknote/Town Hall
Thursday, March 10
11:15 a.m.-Noon

To close out Enterprise Connect, join leading analysts and the EC program committee and join the conversation over the major issues covered during the event. We'll discuss and debate the progress of UC, mobility, and video; the prospects for WebRTC, cloud communications, and communications APIs; and the role of contact centers and SIP Trunking in the continued evolution of enterprise communications. Bring your questions, comments, and perspectives, and let us hear from you.

Steve Leaden

What's the SBC's Future in a Changing Enterprise Communications Landscape?

Tuesday, March 8
8-8:45 a.m.

Session Border Controllers (SBCs) remain a critical part of enterprise communications deployments in which SIP trunking is an important component, as well as those where multivendor IP-PBXs serve the enterprise. They also remain an important security component. But in a world where cloud communications are increasingly becoming an option and IP-PBXs near retirement age, will SBCs continue to be as important? How will the role and capabilities of the SBC evolve as enterprise communications deployments evolve? And how should your procurement strategy for SBCs be affected by the larger changes in the communications environment over the next 12-24 months? This session will help you plan the future of your SBC strategy, and will provide valuable perspective on where the SBC is headed as an element of the enterprise environment.

5 Tough Questions to Ask Your (Would-Be) UCaaS Provider
Wednesday, March 9
1:30-2:15 p.m.

For all the growth predictions and new entrants in the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market, many enterprises remain wary -- just as enterprise IT has been cautious about migrating many other business-critical functions to the cloud. But as UCaaS gets more attention and providers begin to sign up larger customers with broader deployments, you may become more open to considering such a hosted service. But if you're going to hand over the keys to the kingdom, you'll want to know exactly whom you're entrusting them to, what they're promising, and -- most importantly -- what proof they'll give you that they can deliver on their promises. You'll leave this session with 5 specific, detailed, tough questions to ask any UCaaS provider who wants your business; and you'll hear an in-depth discussion of each question and how to interpret the answers you might hear from potential providers. This session will feature expert analyst/consultants delivering the questions, and a panel of UCaaS providers offering their perspectives on potential answers.

Dave Michels

Innovation Showcase 2016: Mobility
Monday, March 7
10-10:45 a.m.

To identify and spotlight companies bringing innovation to the enterprise communications industry, Enterprise Connect sponsors the Innovation Showcase program. In a breakout session and on the Exhibit Floor, we highlight companies and their unique, innovative product offerings. For 2016, the theme is Mobility.

Locknote: WebRTC -- Where Is It Really Heading? An Experts Reactor Panel
Monday, March 7
3:15-4 p.m.

Will WebRTC pull out of the trough of despair, or is it destined to continue languishing as the codec wars and browser challenges are worked out? Can WebRTC emerge triumphant by extending free UC platforms to any browser and, by extension, to any app? Will it disrupt the UC market and the revenue streams of UC incumbents? In this closing discussion we'll look to the short term and medium term future of WebRTC, debating these questions among a panel of experts who watch this technology and this market.

The API Ecosystem: Getting What You Need
Tuesday, March 8
2:45-4 p.m.

Contextual Communications: Coming of Age at Last?
Thursday, March 10
8-8:45 a.m.

As communications become more software-based and API-enabled, many people have hoped this could lead to greater "contextual" functionality -- that is, providing the hooks that let communications systems integrate information on user location, situation, and more, in real time. This could potentially help customer service reps, dispatchers, and others respond appropriately to users based on information that the system knows about them right now. While contextual communications never materialized in past generations, today three emerging technologies could help make it a reality: WebRTC, communications APIs, and advanced analytics.

Locknote/Town Hall
Thursday, March 10
11:15 a.m. – Noon

To close out Enterprise Connect, join leading analysts and the EC program committee and join the conversation over the major issues covered during the event. We'll discuss and debate the progress of UC, mobility, and video; the prospects for WebRTC, cloud communications, and communications APIs; and the role of contact centers and SIP Trunking in the continued evolution of enterprise communications. Bring your questions, comments, and perspectives, and let us hear from you.

Blair Pleasant

Cloud Case Studies: Experiences with Hybrid, Public, and Private
Tuesday, March 8
2:45-3:30 p.m.

In this session, you'll hear from such enterprise representatives, who will share their experiences in moving some or all of their communications systems to the cloud. The panel will be representative of a range of cloud implementation models, and their stories and lessons learned will help you determine what sort of cloud deployment (if any) makes the most sense for your enterprise. You'll walk away having received solid insight and best practices that you can carry over into your own enterprise's discussions about whether and how to use cloud-based applications and infrastructure to power your communications.

Driving End User Adoption for UC
Wednesday, March 9
8-8:45 a.m.

Many UC capabilities continue to be underutilized as a result of insufficient planning, a lack of understanding of both business goals and end user needs, and improper end user training. When adoption is low, organizations don't get the ROI and benefits they expected.

In today's tech-savvy world, it is easy to adopt the mindset that any application or device that requires user training is not worth the effort. With the rise of smartphones and flurry of mobile apps, many people naturally assume that all applications must be intuitive and easy to use. While ease of use is critical, this is not the only factor to ensuring end user adoption.

This session is aimed at helping you ensure that the business decisions you make around UC drive end user adoption. You'll learn why a good approach is to understand business goals and what you are trying to achieve, and work backwards from there.

J.R. Simmons

Apple in the Enterprise
Monday, March 7
3:15-4 p.m.

In this session, a panel of end users and mobility experts will talk about the challenges of dealing with Apple as an enterprise supplier, the steps IT departments can take to provide the best Apple support, and the likely impact of Apple's new enterprise-oriented alliances.

The Cloud Licensing & Pricing Conundrum
Wednesday, March 9
2:45-3:30 p.m.

There are no industry-wide generic models to accurately estimate hosted / cloud UC solution pricing. Even with quotes in hand, it is hard to compare every provider has multiple user licensing levels, not counting add-ons for things like call center supervisor, call recording, etc. This session will use marketplace data to draw comparisons between several of the major providers and illustrate how to determine the right user licenses and the appropriate budget. The bottom line: Cloud pricing and licensing does not track with the CPE licensing you may be familiar with this session will help you learn what you need to know to avoid surprises and control costs when considering an investment in a cloud UC solution.

Dave Stein

A UCaaS/Hybrid RFP: What Can Cloud Providers Deliver?
Monday, March 7
2-5:00 p.m.

This year's Enterprise Connect RFP workshop will be dedicated to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offerings, in "pure" form and in a hybrid with premises systems. Workshop leader Dave Stein of Stein Technology Group consulting will once again craft a mock RFP for communications service for a medium-sized enterprise, but this year will seek responses from UCaaS providers, so as to provide a deep dive on the state of the art in UCaaS features, functions, and pricing. Enterprise Connect Orlando 2016 attendees will receive both a detailed view on how to write an RFP for UCaaS services, and will see the responses provided by major players in this space. You'll come away from this workshop with a rich supply of documentation, as well as a detailed description and discussion that will help you understand how mature today's UCaaS services are; how they stack up against each other; to what extent they may transform your communications environment; and how providers can support migration and hybrid strategies.

Team Collaboration Shootout: How the New Breed of Apps Stack Up
Tuesday, March 8
8-8:45 a.m.

Team collaboration applications are the hottest new offering from newcomers like Redbooth, as well as from established players like Cisco

(Spark) and Unify (Circuit). But how do these cloud-centric, often mobile-optimized applications compare to one another? What features and functions are most common, and what key ingredients might be missing from some or all of the contenders? In this session, a leading consultant will detail the results of an in-depth study of some of the most prominent contenders in this emerging space, focusing on a set of specifications for a 50-user team collaboration software suite -- from pricing model to conferencing support, to file sharing and task management. You'll come away with a comparison chart and detailed explanation that will help you understand the best path for you to pursue -- stick with an application from a legacy vendor, or adopt a different course.

Melissa Swartz

Top 4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Implementing SIP Trunking
Wednesday, March 9
1:30-2:15 p.m.

SIP trunking can bring many benefits to your organization, but implementation can often be tricky. Offerings and capabilities vary considerably between providers, making it difficult to identify the best solution for your enterprise. Much of a successful implementation depends on the correct configuration of SIP services, but this is too often done improperly during the initial setup. Further, while many providers will hype their failover and disaster recovery capabilities, the importance of this aspect and the conditions that trigger failover action have likely not been fully explained to you.

In this session, you'll hear from an experienced telecommunications consultant who has taken many businesses through their conversion to SIP Trunks and has identified some of the traps along the way. To help ensure your business's successful implementation, she will present four pitfalls to avoid, and explain how your business can work with vendors and maintain some control throughout the conversion process. You'll walk away from this session armed with knowledge about: pricing, facilities, configuration and features, and failover and number re-routing.

Unified Communications Strategies

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