One of my favorite activities each year are those related to the Innovation Showcase taking place for the third time at the 2013 Enterprise Connect conference. Enterprise telecom isn’t exactly the hotbed of entrepreneurial activities, nonetheless there are some real exciting and interesting developments. If you know of any – tell them to apply – only four companies will be selected.
There is no shortage of problems to solve in enterprise communications today. The need to be connected is greater than ever, and what we connect is also rapidly changing. In many cases, it’s new companies that provide the innovative solutions that meet these newly-emerging needs–in categories and use cases that may not even have existed a few years ago: SoMoClo (Social+Mobile+Cloud), or possibly consumer oriented apps that are pivoting into business. New solutions tend to create new opportunities–in areas such as BYOD, big data, and WebRTC.
Today’s enterprise environments are very open to solutions that come from smaller vendors. It’s a culture of “solve the problem quickly”–be it cloud or consumer-grade devices and applications. Also, as the AppStore concept expands to more ecosystems, larger vendors are searching for partners too.
That’s why, once again next year, Enterprise Connect will present the industry’s premier venue for displaying and recognizing innovation driven by small companies. The Enterprise Connect Innovation Showcase is the place to be seen in 2013. The Third Annual Innovation Showcase will recognize up-and-coming innovations in business communications.
We started the Innovation Showcase program because big innovations often come from small companies–companies so small that they might need a little assistance in being noticed by large companies.
That assistance is provided in Innovation Showcase. No more than four companies are selected, invited, and awarded the opportunity to share their story. The selected firms will do a pitch in a session. The showcase is also a designated booth in the exhibit hall–just like the big vendors.
But there’s a sticky detail: Only companies that apply for consideration can be selected. If you know of any great ideas out there, tell the people behind them to apply. All the rules and information are posted here at the Enterprise Connect website. The deadline to apply is February 11.
What are we looking for? Basically a new product or service that facilitates business communications and collaboration. It might have to do with voice, video, presence/IM, messaging, conferencing, or something entirely new. Past winners have included tools for mobility, conferencing, collaboration, and more. The product or service can be standalone or potentially an applet that fits into a specific ecosystem. It can solve an old problem, or a problem few realize they even have.
Featured vendors in past Innovation Showcases have included:
* Fonolo: Web to Contact Center Integration.
* Harmon.ie: Formalized collaboration thru email.
* Proton Media: Virtual Avatar conferencing for Lync
* Radish Systems: Push images to mobiles
* Hookflash: Real-Time visual communications for LinkedIn on the iPad.
* Nuvixa: Virtual green-screen using Kinect-like 3D camera (now Personify).
* Wrike: Cloud based collaboration and task management
* Vidtel: Cloud-based video conferencing bridge and gateway service.
Which names will be added to the honor roll in 2013?