Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
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Dave Michels | December 16, 2014 |


Wanted for Enterprise Connect 2015: Innovative Team Collaboration Tools

Wanted for Enterprise Connect 2015: Innovative Team Collaboration Tools The 2015 Innovation Showcase aims to expand thinking about enterprise UC&C by highlighting a new breed of team collaboration solutions.

The 2015 Innovation Showcase aims to expand thinking about enterprise UC&C by highlighting a new breed of team collaboration solutions.

If you've attended Enterprise Connect over the past four years, then you most likely recognize the event's Innovation Showcase as the place to find fresh ideas about unified communications and collaboration from young startups. Innovation will once again get a top billing at Enterprise Connect 2015, but we're going to fulfill the mission a bit differently.

While our goal remains to highlight new ideas for enterprise communications, we're no longer restricting participation in the Innovation Showcase to startups. While collaboration is a central theme at Enterprise Connect, not all companies with collaboration solutions associate their products and services with communications. Some don't even include voice, which is common to UC&C platforms.

Indeed, team collaboration comes in many forms -- as specialized mobile applications, CRM add-ons, visual communications solutions, calendaring tools, content sharing systems, shared repositories, social sites. Collaboration comes in all sorts of new applications and from different industries. At the 2015 Innovation Showcase, we want to be sure attendees see some of the most innovative ideas in collaboration -- communications-oriented and not.

Toward that end, the 2015 Innovation Showcase will feature eight companies offering solutions that have not previously targeted the enterprise communications audience. We'll evaluate solutions for their ability to promote, stimulate and foster team collaboration. These can be stand-alone solutions or add-ons, products or services, software or hardware, available for free or on a paid basis. They don't even have to be new solutions -- as long they're new to Enterprise Connect and its audience. Our key criterion is that the solutions we select be new to the enterprise communications buyer, and our eligibility test is previous exhibition at Enterprise Connect. In other words, any firm that has not previously exhibited at Enterprise Connect is eligible for consideration.

We intend to highlight all of the solutions we select in a Showcase booth on the exhibit floor. In addition, we will feature four of the eight in a breakout session during the conference program.

If your company offers a solution you think belongs in the Innovation Showcase, send an email to that explains, in 750 words or less, how your product or service drives team collaboration. The deadline to submit your solution for consideration is Feb. 16, 2015.

From those entries, selected firms will complete and submit a formal questionnaire. We will announce the Showcase solutions the first week of March in advance of Enterprise Connect, which will take place March 16 to 19 in Orlando.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility rules and criteria:

    1. Product or service must be applicable to enterprise team collaboration.

    2. Applicant companies must not have exhibited at any previous Enterprise Connect/VoiceCon (2000-2014).

    3. Applicants must provide at least one reference customer at an enterprise organization (more than 250 employees) that is using the product or service in a production environment or pilot test. We require a brief summary of how the organization is using the product or service , and ask for a contact within the enterprise we can reach for verification. The customer need not attend Enterprise Connection; we will not be publicly disclose the customer's name or other information.

    4. If selected for the Showcase, applicants agree to pay the subsidized exhibit fee of $2,200 to cover show management's cost to create the booth; attend the conference; and staff the Innovation Showcase booth during exhibit hours.

    5. Applications for the Innovation Showcase must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. EST, Feb. 16, 2015. Completed questionnaires for selected companies are due Feb. 18, 2015.

    6. Eligible applicants selected for consideration as finalists must disclose any current or prior financial relationship or other support they have received from United Business Media (UBM), Verge1 or competition judges.

UBM reserves the right not to advance a submission to the finalist round at any time and for any reason. Likewise, UBM reserves the right not to issue an award at any time in the process if it determines to do so is in violation of any local, state or federal regulation or responsibility, or if additional information surfaces that would make an idea or candidate ineligible.

Do you have an interesting and innovative team collaboration tool? Tell us about it today!

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