Unified Communications Expo receives overwhelming response
Day one of Unified Communications Expo saw a number of high profile product launches and a strong turnout for the event’s seminar series. There was standing-room only for the day’s two keynotes, by Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer, Dave Coplin,and INSEAD eLab Associate Director Dr. Nils Olaya Fonstad.
In “Business Reimagined – The changing role of technology in the workplace”, Coplin explored the challenges and opportunities the web presents as it becomes ubiquitous across all of our devices and impacts upon every aspect of our social and professional lives.
Coplin said: “The office environment and our working practices haven’t actually changed significantly since the 1950s, we may have digitised the methods but we’re essentially doing the same things we’ve always done and in the same place. Technology can now empower businesses and their employees to work in the ways that are most effective. However, the culture of the business world needs to catch up to place greater emphasis on outcomes than processes.”
Dr Fonstad’s “How can Unified Communications Help Double Corporate Competitiveness” looked at research by the celebrated business school INSEAD and AT&T to examine how IT investment into UC, mobility and cloud has the potential to double an organisation’s cost-efficiency.
The event’s themed zones drew in large crowds; the Cisco Zone, focused on collaboration, the Siemens Enterprise Communications Partner Zone, brought together customers using its OpenScape open, standards-based architectures for business and the Microsoft Village showcased applications for UC platform Lync.
One emerging theme at this year’s event has been the evolution of the contact centre and there have been cross-platform product launches from multiple exhibitors. Among these is Aspect, exhibiting in the Microsoft Village, which unveiled its cloud-based solution Aspect® Social, and Enghouse Interactive introduced a unique Microsoft Lync development for its CTI Connect solution (CT Connect™).
Elsewhere, Inclarity unveiled a range of new products and services designed to help customers cut costs and boost the performance of their telecoms infrastructure. As well as revealing a new SIP solution and new connectivity products, the company announced support for Broadsoft v19.1 and a new partnership programme.
Sennheiser Communications, a major supplier of premium headset solutions, presented single line variants of its highly successful DW wireless headset series. This makes them a more cost-effective alternative for customers that do not require a switched connectivity option.
AT&T has made its cloud-based UC services portfolio available in the U.S. and 48 countries worldwide. The services AT&T is extending to international markets include a set of communication tools that combine presence with instant messaging, chat, voice calling, and web, audio and videoconferencing that allow companies to collaborate more fluidly across their organisations.
Unified Communications Expo is more than the latest solutions, it is about sharing ideas and innovative thinking. Attendees to the Google Enterprise Connected Business Think Tank came away with a wealth of ideas for improving business connectivity and collaboration. On The Graffiti Wall visitors shared their first thoughts on hearing the term “connected business” on an interactive whiteboard to provide an insight in to how numerous companies from across different vertical markets view the concept.
“As Europe’s biggest connected business event, it’s no wonder so many companies are using Unified Communications Expo 2013 to announce their latest technologies,” says Hugh Keeble, managing director of event organisers, Imago Techmedia. “But this year’s event is about much more than product releases. Thanks to our themed theatres, each with a specialist seminar programme, visitors can learn the benefits collaborative communications can bring to their business.”