Enterprise Connect 2013: video is front & center

I had the pleasure to attend Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Florida last month.  And I have to tell you, it was exciting to think of all of the possibilities for growth.  Although the messaging was around “cloud” and “Unified Communications”, VIDEO is front and center!

Both Cisco and Microsoft used their keynotes to show video and demonstrate what is here today and the possibilities for tomorrow.  We are so very early in the adoption curve that, from my perspective, watching the market and advising our customers on market trends, I’m happy to say our “imaginations are our limits”.  There has been a focus on particular verticals of healthcare and education for the past 10+ years, but Cisco’s demo really moved beyond to encompass consumer/enterprise interactions. 

Cisco did a demo of a contact center with remote subject matter experts specifically to a Big Box retail environment, but the possibilities are endless.  Every business has customers;  every business is trying to build its reach and expand and improve its customer interactions.  Therefore, this conversation is for everyone to consider.  How might it improve your competitive positioning if you added click to chat and the ability to escalate to a video call? I see endless possibilities when we think of the billions of devices out there and yet to come that have embedded cameras.  We can do it today, but it’s just in the infancy.  Where will these new technologies take us, both as businesses and customers? 

I’m so excited about the next couple of years.  I think this will be a time where the creativity and genius of every person will show the power of unified communications at its heart.  There will be one or thousands of ingenious ways to look at a social problem, medical problem, research data and get the best of the best in virtual rooms to discuss and brainstorm.

Google’s attendance in the Summit on day 1 really showed the change about to happen in our landscape.   I missed the WebRTC breakouts, but will be watching as more information becomes available.  WebRTC and the future possibilities for advancements in browser technology could show us yet another path towards the vision of pervasive video, and add to the complexity in the short term for getting to a homogenous platform capable of supporting all possible devices and software platforms.  The good news is, a lot of us geeks love this challenge!

I would also like to end with a second round of applause for Rob Lloyd from Cisco and Derek Burney from Microsoft in their reminders that this is personal:  Technology isn’t just about improving productivity of big business…this is about touching people’s lives with distance learning opportunities that influence and direct our young folks’ aspirations to become their best.   It’s about improving our day-to-day lives with making tasks easier, getting help available faster, and not only obtaining more information just for the sake of having more information….but being able to understand, process and make better healthier decisions for our lives.  Well done.

This was a packed full agenda for the 3 1/2 at Enterprise Connect, so I didn’t visit every booth and couldn’t attend every breakout. I would love to hear what the conference left you thinking about.  Share your thoughts!



image © Kheng Guan Toh - Fotolia.com

Tammy Higgins

I've been an evangelist for new technologies for business process improvement for over 30 years.  I started in electronics with the US Air Force and have worked in pre-sales engineering and support for technologies like Token Ring, Ethernet, Frame Relay, ATM, TCP/IP, IPVPN, VoIP, wireless, WAN Acceleration, Unified Comms and most recently HD Video Conferencing.