My Enterprise Connect Awards

by Dave Michels

Enterprise Connect 2012 took place last week in Orlando. It was a very good and very busy conference. The mood was good, the products and services were great. Overheard too many times:

  1. We are not a technology company, we are driven by the market.
  2. Unified Communications? You must mean Collaboration.
  3. iPad = tablet = consumerization = mobility

On with the Awards

Best Keynote: Avaya. I enjoyed all of the keynotes this year. In a keynote, I look for: articulate vision, report card, announcements, flawless demonstration, and compelling presentation. Most unique keynote goes to Siemens Enterprise – more of a fireside chat.

Biggest Ticket: The Cisco Vpod. Reminded me of the EM50 Urban Assault Vehicle in Stripes. This instant video telepresence room within a room comes complete with HVAC, giant screens, lighting, and it offers a new walnut tabletop option.

Biggest Makeover: NEC 3C. remember those two key solution categories (appliance and s/w based), now it’s one solution that serves those categories, plus hosted.

Most Unique: Mitel. Just about every major UC solution has a variation on the single number capability, but most can’t maintain the charade with SMS/text – Mitel can.

Most Sneaky: Snom. Its backdoor strategy to Microsoft Lync endpoints seems to be working well.

Most Conspicuous: Vidyo. Judge us by our booth size, not our market share.

Most Invisible: Tie: Skype and IBM: Last year, Skype exhibited and delivered a keynote telling us that like it or not, Skype is used for business. Microsoft may have different plans for Skype now, but it’s still popular in business and we keep talking about consumerization. IBM delivered a keynote on collaboration and social business, it was very interesting and I wanted to learn more. Too bad.

Best Contradiction: Cisco. The company seemed quite clear and gleeful about the “Post PC Era” – mentioned it several times in the keynote, then proudly launched Jabber for Windows.

Newest Product: Aastra Connect in the Cloud. The ink was still wet on the brochure.

Biggest Disappointment: Tie: Siemens Enterprise re-brand and Lync 2012. Both remain theoretical.

Biggest Surprise: Avaya. Market leader jumps on cloud bandwagon.

Two Face Award: Sprint. Prominently featured as a new Cisco partner for hosted collaboration and prominently featured as a success story for internal conversion to Microsoft Lync.

Biggest Winner: Apple. The iPad was everywhere – every keynote, most booths, throughout the attendees.

Biggest iPad: Airwatch (probably 30′ tall).

Not a good week for Polycom. Video played a big role at EC12, but Polycom didn’t benefit from it. The Radvision/Avaya news got lots of attention. Lifesize, Vidyo, and Cisco had far larger and busier booths. Polycom was featured in the Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM keynotes – but neither Microsoft or IBM could successfully connect to the Polycom system.

Want to see some booths?