Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>

Dave Michels | March 04, 2013 |


Innovation Showcase 2013 Announced

Innovation Showcase 2013 Announced Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013 will spotlight four small, new companies that are doing exciting new things in communications.

Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013 will spotlight four small, new companies that are doing exciting new things in communications.

The third annual Innovation Showcase program takes place at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013 later this month. The mission is simple: identify and recognize young firms with innovative approaches to enterprise communications. This year a record 20 companies applied.

The submissions tell a broad story. Some of the applicants were geared more toward the CMO than the CIO. Some seemed to be inspired by science fiction shows, and others were highly targeted toward specific platforms such as Lync or Google Apps. A few were aimed at at specific verticals. A few innovations were in the area of management tools, and a fair share were cloud solutions. Of course, as always, a heavy share of solutions focused in the core areas of voice, conferencing, and mobility.

Each year, four companies are selected to be in the Innovation Showcase. As always, the four selections are unranked within the Showcase. This year's Innovation Showcase includes the following four companies:

* Nexistant: Offers a product called the Virtual Attendant, an interactive video kiosk solution for service applications like lobby reception, hotel concierge, retail store assistance, retail banking, etc.

* Plivo: Plivo enables enterprises, service providers and web developers to rapidly deploy carrier-agnostic voice, SMS, and WebRTC applications that can be fully integrated into websites or any telephony endpoint, fixed or mobile.

* Scoop: The Scoop Application is a mobile-first solution for multi-modal interactive collaboration among team members.

* ƜberConference: ƜberConference offers a fresh take on audio conferencing, using a freemium model without PIN codes and incorporates a visual dimension, along with analytics, and social integration.

it is always difficult to select just four companies for the Showcase. Judges review and evaluate the applicants with three criteria. The first is innovation; that's the hardest, as innovation is a slippery concept. It isn't as simple as being the first, it is more subjective than that. For example, The iPad is largely considered a highly innovative product, but really offered little more than a larger form factor than the previously available iPod Touch. The goal is to find new approaches and angles--which sometimes involves older technologies. The innovation category is given the most weight in the scoring.

The second criterion is enterprise fit. There are other venues to better spotlight innovative consumer and SMB solutions. The Enterprise Connect audience won't be satisfied with highly innovative solutions unless they potentially apply to the unique needs of enterprise organizations.

The third and final category is how well the product or service fosters communications and collaboration--the heart of the Enterprise Connect conference. Innovation and enterprise-appropriateness by themselves still represent too broad a set of criteria; Showcase companies must foster communications. That means it is either a communications solution, or fosters communications via management or other associative relationships.

The judges relied on additional subject area experts to facilitate final scoring. The judges included end users, analysts, and consultants. In some cases, the applicants were required to provide additional clarifying information or perform demonstrations. The evaluation process took about three weeks.

The four companies will each do a short presentation on Monday, March 18 at the Enterprise Connect conference. Two will present prior to the UC Summit at 11AM and the remaining two will present just prior to the Mobility Summit at 1PM. Additionally, all four will be featured in the Innovation Showcase space on the Enterprise Connect show floor during exhibit hall hours.

Congratulations to all four teams, and a big thank you to all applicants for applying.

Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and Analyst at TalkingPointz.

Follow Dave Michels on Twitter and Google+!
Dave Michels on Google+


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.