UC Summit 2013 Day Three
The best metaphor for the UC Summit is to describe the event like a Smörgåsbord. It’s just a veritable buffet of information, analysis, relationships, and of course food and drink. When the conferenced ended on Wednesday, everyone left full.
The day three keynote presentation was by Microsoft, which seemed appropriate as “Lync” kept popping up throughout the event. Dave Derwin ran with the “elephant in the room” theme established with by UC Expert session of the same name that opened the conference. The theme of the keynote was about making communications more collaborative; both within the enterprise and beyond. Kudos to Microsoft for performing the demonstration from a FireFox browser instead of the client.
Prior to the keynote were two final sessions by UC Experts on Mobile Device Management (MDM) and SDNs. MDM presents an emerging channel opportunity for trusted advisors due to the rapid adoption (88%) of BYOD. Only a small number of organizations have implemented an MDM solution, but interest is very high and there are plenty of options. Michael Finneran pointed out that despite hundreds of MDM solutions being available, only a handful are separating from the “peloton.” Since the leadership role in anything mobile seems to be a 2-3 year gig, he advises careful management of MDM solutions (MDMM?).
Phil Edholm provided insights on the nascent SDN opportunity. Clearly, SDNs will have a significant relationship with unified communications, but how and when this technology unfolds is still a bit unclear. SDNs got some play yesterday as well within HPs keynote. HP seems to be enjoying a tight relationship with Microsoft, but several UC vendors make their own network gear including Cisco, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Alcatel-Lucent, and Avaya. Phil also demonstrated an overview of the new UCStrategies ROI tool being provided to attendees.
Overall, there were several recurring themes at this year’s Summit. Certainly the cloud – implications and opportunities. NEC got a lot of attention with what is probably the first branded end-to-end UC cloud solution (NEC servers, applications, software, endpoints, and management services). NEC and Cisco talked-up hybrid cloud solutions.
Perhaps the most diverse session was the Success Stories presented on Day 2. This was a fantastic barrage of back-to-back UC technology and channel victories. Voted most compelling by attendees was the solution presented by AVST. Each case study was widely different, and several delivered an unexpected punch.
Video came up regularly in discussions and demonstrations. Regarding private clouds, virtualization and security were the common threads.
The vision of UC is maturing. Most vendors now seem to agree on the UC scope (voice, IM/presence, mobility, and video). That came out clearly in the vendor round-up presentation (Dave and Blair) that showed how functional product differences are narrowing. Now the vendors (and service providers) are turning their focus to making communications more intuitive and effective.
There was a palpable positive vibe among attendees, maybe even a feeling of “collaboration” as the SIs, consultants, and vendors are aligning toward this common vision. Many organizations continue to struggle with TDM, but as these “slow to adopt” enterprises replace baby boomers with millennials, they are being pushed into UC benefits and not looking back.
A final observation is this rate of change and disruption (transformation) isn’t showing any signs of slowing. Welcome to the new normal.
Also on UCStrategies.com on this topic: