My 2014

By

2014 was a good year for the enterprise communications industry, certainly better than 2013. There were some big developments. It looks like WebRTC got unstuck and will resume its slow transformation of how we communicate. Unify and Cisco both launched revolutionary solutions that blur real-time and asynchronous communications. MIcrosoft’s has queued its big changes for 2015. ALUE is free from it’s anchor and poised for a tremendous year. Huawei moved its American focus North, and Mitel landed in the Leader’s quadrant with a new logo.

Tremendous activity taking place as the cloud continues to expand from from dialtone to UC to Collaboration. Watch, ShoreTel, Thinking Phones, 8×8, Switch, BroadSoft and Microsoft (not a typo). Collaboration is fascinating because it’s bringing into the conversation a slew of new players such as Evernote, Slack, and Google. Another big area to “watch” in 2015 will be video. Three big trends being video is replacing audio-only as the norm, it will break-free of communications and meetings into workflow, and WebRTC is going to enable both. Watch SMART, Cisco, Vidyo, and Microsoft (not a typo).

While the theme of 2013 was CEO and leadership changes – 2014 was all about branding and marketing. 2014 saw CMO changes at Avaya, BroadSoft, Interactive Intelligence, Mitel, and ShoreTel – to name a few.

Lots of change. I think we are mostly done with the transition from voice to multi-modal, now we seeing more focus with integration. Distance working, mobile working, and IM are all old news, and collaboration is transitioning from screen-share-listen to group-participate.

The Year in Numbers

Conferences

I attended 16 industry conferences in 2014. Last year is was 18 and I swore it was too many. This year I swear 16 is too many. I want to attend them, but it is bordering irresponsible in many ways (family, health, and financial).

  • ArrowS3 National Sales Conference
  • Wainhouse Research UC Summit
  • Lync Conference
  • CEDIA
  • Enterprise Connect
  • Unify Analyst Conference
  • UC Summit
  • BroadSoft Connections
  • MetaSwitch Forum
  • Mitel AR Event
  • NEC Advantage
  • Cisco Collaboration Summit
  • Interactive Intelligence Interactions
  • Voice4Net AR Day
  • Genband Perspectives
  • Avaya Engagement

I love the deep dives and new relationships that come out of these events. Conferences are a lot more fun than actually working. In 2015, I am looking forward to hitting some new venues. I wasn’t able to go Huawei 14 due to conflicts, but I hope to attend in 2015. I will be at the upcoming Avaya Partner event, and I hope to attend upcoming 2015 events for ShoreTel and ALUE. In addition to conferences, I made it to World HQ for Mitel, ShoreTel, and Microsoft in 2014.

Of all the events, Enterprise Connect is without question the most intense week of the year. In terms of the vendor events, I think Cisco probably does the best job enhancing my pre-con perception.

Writing

I normally ghostwrite several analyst reports, but this year I did none – Instead I actually authored 11 reports at Wainhouse Research. However, that agreement ended last week. It was a fun run, and I really do enjoy the Wainhouse team. The experience helped me realize that it makes sense to stay independent, and I hope to continue to freelance there (and elsewhere) in a less structured way.

Of the Wainhouse Reports, I think my favorite was the Market Presence Report. It was a first for Wainhouse and in some ways for the industry. We predicted which UC firms are likely to have a greater and lesser market presence in five years. I think we nailed it, but time will tell.

In all at Wainhouse, I wrote or co-wrote 11 reports and 2 white papers. I particularly enjoyed Google, Amazon, and WebRTC. I might just continue writing and publishing reports here on TalkingPointz, much like Zeus does on his site.

As result of the research with Wainhouse, I wrote less posts in 2014. Though I did see an increase in white papers, webinars, and dinner events in 2014.

  • I wrote 71 posts on TalkingPointz in 2014.
  • I wrote 36 posts at NoJitter
  • And at UCStrategies I did 10 posts and 20 podcasts.

Those numbers should increase in 2015.

I only had a handful of end user engagements, but they were fun, exciting, and highly educational. Unfortunately, I get most of my information from the vendors, so it’s always refreshing (and frustrating) to hear what real end users are doing.

2014 was a fine year, and I am excited about 2015. I would like to thank all you who are part of the TalkingPointz community – commenters, lurkers, and tweeters. Of course a big thanks to Colin Berkshire my highly opinionated, vocal yet silent and invisible co-blogger. We appreciate that you are a part of the community, that you too are passionate about enterprise communications.

TalkingPointz (and the original Pin Drop Soup Blog) have been around 5 years now. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.

Related: My 2013

Dave Michels