Are You Operating in the VoiceCon or Enterprise Connect World?

I recently attended the Enterprise Connect trade show in Orlando, FL and left armed with a vision of the apparently infinite future for technology. After many conversations, I also returned with a much better understanding of the difficulties buyers are experiencing when they try to adopt and integrate many of these solutions.

What is Enterprise Connect?

164569217Enterprise Connect has morphed from being a telephony show, formerly known as VoiceCon to encompassing the merging of many different communications technologies – UC, telephony, video, networking, etc. It does a very good job of identifying technology trends and showcasing marketplace options. The name change happened in 2010, to reflect that the “communications” industry could no longer focus on voice only and still be relevant. Things like SIP trunking, interoperability, mobility, video conferencing and more, changed the landscape of “connecting”. The new focus includes all types of technologies.

Are Organizations Keeping Up and Adapting to the Changing Possibilities in Connection Technology?

One of the many benefits of attending a technology trade show is the mix of sellers and enterprise buyers looking to the future, while making sure their recent technology spend retains value.

Sitting in one of the main tent sessions, I started chatting with my neighbour, Bob, who turned out to be a head of technology in a well recognized American company with a 100 plus years in business and serving the global market.  He remarked how his company, having 50,000 plus employees and with recent acquisitions, had created a smorgasbord of interoperability issues.

The two things that struck me most from this casual conversation:

  1. His biggest concern was what technology he didn’t need
  2. His title

The Technology He Didn’t Need

After visiting booth after booth of hardware and software vendors, it was evident that they all had chimed the same message. We have the ideal technology and solution to grow your customer base. Interestingly enough, after 25-plus years in the industry, I marveled at the thought that after all these years, these communication companies are all still jockeying to define a permanent standard with their own hardware and software. They are still trying to establish capital and operating expenditures for customers, and if networks should be shipped, or simply activated.

What need remains unaddressed is how do these incredible advances work together? For all of these great and sudden improvements in technology on display, customers still need a considerable amount of help navigating, choosing and digesting these innovations.

The Dilemma of Multi-Vendor Environments

Several organizations can relate with the position my neighbour found himself in. All the vendors could paint a picture of the future with their technology, but Bob had a multi-vendor environment. Bob needed someone to take the time to understand his business and processes, tell him what he didn’t need and make the pieces he was left with make sense and work well together.

As my colleague likes to say, he needs someone to help him turn “the patchwork of technologies into a tapestry of technologies.”

What Does Your Title Say About You?

Moving from the world of VoiceCon to Enterprise Connect is a journey that all organizations will have to undertake at some point.  Some are there, some are well on their way, and others are still operating in the VoiceCon or teleconferencing world.

Bob asked me if it was easy to tell where a company was on that journey.  I told him there were some quick and easy indicators and he wanted me to try them on him.

First off, I asked him what was his title and the answer was, “Vice President of Telephony”.  I smiled at him and he smiled back – he knew his organization was still operating in yesterday’s connection paradigm.

Moving to the Connection Tapestry

With all the collaboration solutions currently available, there is an even greater need for technology providers to review and consult with organizations. Enterprise Connect has made it glaringly clear that organizations must identify and establish a roadmap with a view and perspective on what interoperability will mean for their organization going forward. By bringing a cohesive approach to the technology roadmap your organization requires, you can turn the patchwork of technology found in most organizations into a tapestry.

If your organization needs assistance with their communications roadmap, ET Group has a solid track record and can help you.  Please contact us.

A special thank you to our guest blogger Colin Marcelline. Colin is a Corporate Development Officer for Merchant Banker Canada, and brings change to organizations that require growth. His acute focus is on supporting technology solution providers, in order to identify and implement a shared solution and measured result to: capturing new markets, reducing operating costs, and building profitability.

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