Post Wainhouse Summit Post

by Dave Michels

Last week was the Wainhouse UC&C Summit in Santa Clara, CA.

The Wainhouse Bulletin has information on the sessions, so I thought I would share a few observations on matters from off the stage.

First off, location. The event was located at the Hyatt Regency on Great America Parkway. Within a stone’s throw was Avaya HQ, Polycom HQ, Yahoo HQ, Citrix HQ, and many more. It was like being in a really BIG exhibit hall, but all the booths had armed guards. We know that Silicon Valley is where all the tech is, but it’s still odd to see it like that – and evidently they don’t eat much there – very few restaurants around. Also, right beside the hotel is Levi’s Stadium – the new home of the (near) San Francisco 49ers. It’s surprising that none of the high-tech firms sponsored the stadium (well, in a way I guess you can say BlueJeans did).

Wainhouse team celebrating successful UCC Summit over California cuisine at In-N-Out
Wainhouse team celebrating successful UCC Summit 14 over California cuisine at In-N-Out

Acano: I had a chance to speak with CEO OJ. I must say he seems much happier running Acano than Cisco Collaboration. My take is OJ is determined to finish what Tandberg started. I asked him about his exit plans and he looked at me as if I were speaking Swedish – nothing short of sector domination. Acano seems to be on a tear, so anyone saying the video business is flat needs to adjust their horizontal. I asked OJ about hybrid deployments because Acano is getting traction on-prem and with providers – so what about hybrid? OJ said that Acano’s co-cloud was likely a bit ahead of the market, but he (like me) is excited about the role hybrid will soon play. Være tålmodig!

AVST: The waves of knowledge kept crashing down from the podium – and where there are waves one finds Denny from AVST. This is one of those companies that thrives just below the UC glamour line. Unified Messaging may not be sexy, but it remains ubiquitious. AVST evolved past UM, and has become the Rosetta Gateway of UC – it has native integrations with every major premises-based and hosted UC system (except Lync). AVST is also the voice of UC , and ATOM kicks Siri’s ass. My speech recognition isn’t quite as good as ATOM’s, but I think I heard two very big announcements are soon coming from AVST.

gUnify: Jenni from gUnify was at the summit as well – I think this is the third conference this year where I ran into gUnify. It was great to have Jenni at my birds-of-feather table about enterprise Google Apps. A lot of interest as our group was one of the larger nests. The Google ecosystem continues to grow, and Jenni says UC providers are beginning to realize there’s gold in them thar apps.  I had my Chromebook at this conference, and I seemed to have hit a nerve with this related tweet.

Vidyo: Every interaction with Marty from Vidyo is a high caloric transfer of knowledge.  I believe I understand the recent news about Vidyo enabling the Internet of Things, so I was curious about Vidyo’s ongoing commitment to UC. Marty pointed out he was attending UC&C summit exactly because the company remains committed to the sector. I had my doubts, so I asked then what became of the preview of video over VDI thin clients from last March. He told me that soon I will stop talking about unreleased products.

Several take-aways were sent out to participants – here’s a few UC specific ones (condensed) from Bill and I.

  • Collaboration is a very confusing topic…The challenge now lies in adopting the technology and adapting our attitudes. Our modern tech tools go largely unused (adoption) and only a few attendees had changed their status that morning (adapting).
  • The cloud is all that will matter.
  • WebRTC will disrupt the space unlike anything else – probably still about two years out.
  • There are no more video conference rooms – only meeting rooms.  This observation, made by Dimension Data’s David Danto during a panel was as important as it was simple.
  • Lync is everywhere.
  • Bonus from Andrew Davis: Electronic collaboration can pay big dividends in reducing time to market, making meeting scheduling and coordination far easier, and in reducing travel…it isn’t just a “religious” belief.