ITExpo: StartupCamp, Smart Grids, & UCIF

by Dave Michels
On October 4th, I’m heading to ITExpo in Los Angeles. I attended my first ITExpo last January in Miami. It’s a pretty unusual show, kind of a circus but with more than three rings.

You’ve got the ITExpo show itself which has four tracks:

  • Business Solutions
  • Service Providers Solutions
  • Open Source
  • Conferencing and Collaboration

Then there are two concurrent summits taking place:

  • Social CRM
  • Cloud Communications

But wait there’s more! There are also these “Co-Located” events taking place.

  • 4GWE (4G Wireless Expo)
  • Smart Grid Summit (hosted by @ArnoldJon, see below)
  • M2M Evolution
  • Channel Vision Expo
  • Lightwave’s Optical Networks Conference
  • MSPWorld
  • SIP Tutorial
  • Voice Interconnect and Peering (VIPeering)
  • StartupCamp (hosted by Larry Lisser, see below)
  • Smart Prodoct Ecosystem
  • App Time

I will be hosting three panels this year at the regular ITExpo part of the program:

CC-04Videoconferencing QoS: Removing Barriers to Entry
MON 10/4, 2:15-3:00pm

VC-01Virtualizing Communications
WED 10/6, 8:30-9:15am

CCS-17 Cloud Communications and its Impact on the Future of VoIP and UC
WED 10/6, 3:45-4:30pm

Last year, one of the high points for me (besides my sessions) was StartupCamp. I wrote about it here which got picked-up by several sites. This year it looks like another impressive line-up.

The presenting companies are:

  • VAL9000 is a cloud-based system that lets physicians and nurses access clinical information systems using natural-language spoken conversations to help practitioners get things done instantly.
  • AdelaVoice blends voice with state-of-the-art recognition technologies to create an innovative and interactive relationship between consumers and their smart devices.
  • Vokle provides a virtual townhall platform that enables anyone to broadcast live to a virtual auditorium, assign remote co-hosts on the fly, and take live video and text questions from the audience.
  • GroupMe founded just this Spring,enables you to instantly organize and communicate with the groups of people in your life that are important to you, by SMS and voice.

What is so fun about StartupCamp is the (youthful) energy. For most of my career, telecom has been mostly giant equipment makers and carriers exemplified by Lilly Tomlin’s operator character. That’s all changing, and start-ups, free from the cynicism a career in telecom can create, are renewing the energy. The keynote speaker will be Jeff Bonforte of XOBNI (Inbox for dyslectics). Jeff’s background also includes prior real time start-ups.

Friend and colleague Larry Lisser is the chief organizer of this event and said “Companies that power their applications with the tools of telecom are sprouting everywhere, and not just in the United States.” Listen to Larry discuss the event on the VUC non-radio show. Thanks for the “power” segue Larry…

The Smart Grid Summit is also of personal interest to me. I indirectly wrote about this topic here, and that was before I knew of all the progress taking place. I’ve never really understood power plants and distribution, but I get smart grids (as a concept). I live in Boulder, where they were installed in a huge pilot (not at my home). So instead, I’ve put solar panels on my roof that upload performance information every hour, and I use a Current Cost real time whole house power monitor too. My meter is smarter than average (it runs backwards on sunny days), but its by no means a smart meter.

My stuff is all consumer level, but friend and colleagueJon Arnold is hosting this event from commercial AND telecom perspectives. Everyone agrees on the need for Smart Grids, but that’s just where the debate gets started. It’s amazing to see two giant economic sectors (power and telecom) working together… ah another segue.

Not officially on the ITExpo program, the UCIF also has a few things planned. The UC Interop Forum was created just a few months ago in May. The group is actually having is first face to face meeting in LA on October 5 (closed to the public). Note, this isn’t its first meeting, just the first face to face meeting. The member companies usually meet by audio conference since none of their video systems interoperate [sic].

The UCIF was in the news just last month with its ad hoc interop testing. The tests provided a baseline of numerous UC interoperability successes and failures (particularly around international issues).

The planned meetings include a Board of Director meeting, a few task group sessions, and a recruitment social. If you want to meet or interact with UCIF members, the recruiting session on Tuesday evening is probably the best way to do so. RSVP is required – see the UCIF site for additional information. Editor’s note: Cisco and Avaya executives are encouraged to attend the recruitment event.


I will be in LA all three days. If you plan to be at the event, please find me and say hi. Two bits of advice to attendees; plan your schedule. Don’t expect to find a master agenda anywhere. Secondly, book your hotel through the ITEXPO site. Evidently, the downtown LA area is not experiencing a recession.