Enterprise Connect 2016 is Weeks Away #EC16

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Are you ready for Enterprise Connect 2016? It’s always a full week – lots of great sessions, lots of great people, lots of celery and shrimp, and of course the keynotes.

I always enjoy the keynotes. I think cutting them down to 30 minutes made them even better. I’d prefer back-to-back Keynotes, but there’s too much ego involved in who follows who – so they stick 30 minute breaks in between to create the illusion of a fresh start. The line-up this year looks like this:

Tuesday

10:00-10:30 Rowan Trollope, Cisco
11:00-11:30 Adam Swidler, Google
11:30-12:00 Douglas Suriano, Oracle

Wednesday

10:00-10:30 Zig Serafin, Microsoft
11:00-11:30 Gary Barnett, Avaya

The new kid is Suriano – the others all did keynotes last year. I dissected each of them in my Enterprise 2015 Keynote Series.

If we go by last year:

  • Rowan will take the crown for story-telling. He was awarded the Cicero Award for Speechwriting back in 2012, and he seems to take his keynotes personally. He will likely demo and deliver what Cisco previewed last December at CSummit.
  • Adam will no doubt provide an informed description of Google’s broad and compelling vision. Interesting yes, but beyond Hangouts and Android don’t expect it to be particularly relevant to enterprise communications. Nor will he likely include any announcements.
  • Zig is riding the biggest wave into #EC16, and he will probably make the most announcements. Problem is they may be fiction. Last year he announced a Polycom product that never materialized as well as the revolutionary Surface Hub (which despite its price increase) still isn’t shipping.
  • Gary will deliver the most complex keynote as Avaya’s portfolio encompasses the broadest set of components aimed at the largest segments of users. Pay attention to the EDP stuff.

I have no idea what to expect from Suriano. I hope it’s more than SBCs.

Once again I had to turn down a keynote slot with Enterprise Connect. I simply can’t do any keynotes until I find a more comfortable pair of shoes #hard2Find.

You can, however, find me in several sessions in rooms that have chairs. Not to toot my own horn, but I heard they will be pretty good.

  • Innovation Showcase: I love the Innovation Showcase. Though technically any size company can participate, Showcase companies tend to be small and young (<> arrogant). You can hear from all six of them at 10 AM on Monday.
  • WebRTC Locknote: There’s a full-day WebRTC track organized by Brent Kelly and Irwin Lazar – two of the smartest guys I know. I say that sincerely even though they have WebRTC all wrong. For some reason they (along with most) think it’s something when it’s not something. It’s nothing but a great idea which may indeed become something in many years. They invited me to participate on their Locknote panel to bring a little reality to the love-fest. Should be fun. Monday 3 PM.
  • The API Ecosystem: Getting what you Need. This is a powerhouse panel discussion with SIX top shelf companies. Geared to identify key issues in selecting a solution for communications APIs. A very broad topic with highly knowledgeable presenters representing extremely divergent solutions in 1:15 minutes. Tuesday, 2:45-4.
  • Once again I got the short straw with an 8 AM session on the last day of the conference. Contextual Communications: Coming of Age. This is different from the prior API session in that it’s aimed more at best practices in application creation. Thursday, 8.
  • Enterprise Connect Locknote Panel. The last session, and treat for the loyal that slug it out to the end. It’s a panel discussion of NoJitter contributors where we share our take in a Q&A format moderated by the show’s organizers. It’s quite likely the only panel without exhibiting vendors. Thurs, 11:15 AM.

By 2:15, I should be asleep on a plane.

Enterprise Connect is something like a 10 ring circus. There’s always more than one place to be at any given time.

Dave Michels