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Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
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Beth Schultz | February 23, 2017 |

 
   

3 Biggest Public Cloud Providers to Keynote at Enterprise Connect

3 Biggest Public Cloud Providers to Keynote at Enterprise Connect Google rounds out the agenda, which also features speakers from cloud giants AWS and Microsoft, plus Cisco and Twilio.

Google rounds out the agenda, which also features speakers from cloud giants AWS and Microsoft, plus Cisco and Twilio.

Being in the public cloud business today means so much more than building out a global infrastructure of always-available, ready-for-the-taking compute and storage capacity -- no matter how massive that might be. The biggest public clouds of today are as much about databases and big data; advanced analytics and machine learning; networking and security; and, yes, business application services; as they are about computing and storage.

This piling up of capabilities on top of core infrastructure isn't a new trend, but it is one that is increasingly touching the world of enterprise communications and collaboration. As I wrote in last week's newsletter piece, "What Might AWS UCaaS Play Mean for the Enterprise?," the latest evidence we have of this is AWS's move into a video-based team collaboration with a service it calls Chime.

But as UC analyst Dave Michels, of TalkingPointz, made note of in a No Jitter post on Chime, what AWS is doing with business application services is not much different than what Microsoft has done with Office 365, or Google with G Suite. Each of these public cloud providers -- the biggest of the big -- offers email, shared drives, and productivity apps, plus lets users chat and host video meetings, too, as Michels mentioned. Microsoft goes one better, with the cloud PBX functionality available in Skype for Business Online enabling voice calling from within O365, too. Will the others follow suit?

Out there in the cloud, things are getting interesting for enterprise communications decision makers. As the use of public cloud generally becomes more prevalent in the enterprise, the cloud providers themselves are ratcheting up their abilities to provide enterprise communications and collaboration services. You might be tempted to say, "Big deal. Sure, Microsoft I can see with Skype for Business, but what large enterprise is going to jump ship from its mainstay vendor and go full-steam ahead with Google or AWS for UC&C apps?"

I have one rather compelling answer, which came to me last week in talking with a UC director at a global fast-food company. Like many enterprises, this one has both Cisco and Microsoft UC platforms in place. And while the company has a go-forward strategy with just one of those UC providers, this IT executive made it quite clear that the company would no longer lock itself into any vendor relationship. It has a plan, yes, but it is making sure it can pivot away from that plan if need be -- and everybody, including other providers that want its UC&C business, knows it. Unbidden, he told me, "And we're investigating Chime, too."

And why not? With the openness and flexibility that cloud brings, the enterprise mindset has to change to match it.

We're hoping to spark some of that new thinking at Enterprise Connect 2017, starting with our keynotes. I am pleased to announce that this year at Enterprise Connect we will have each of the three biggest public cloud providers -- AWS, Google, and Microsoft -- on stage and sharing their visions for enterprise communications and collaboration with our attendees. We'll also hear from Cisco, which no doubt has its own cloud story to tell, as well as Twilio, a first-timer to the Enterprise Connect keynote stage, with its unique twist on communications around the API economy. The full lineup is:

  • Gene Farrell, VP of enterprise applications at AWS
  • Scott Johnston, director for real-time communications, G Suite by Google Cloud
  • Jeff Lawson, founder, CEO, and chairman, Twilio
  • Ron Markezich, corporate VP, Microsoft Office 365
  • Jens Meggers, SVP and GM, Cloud Collaboration Technology Group, Cisco

So come, join us at Enterprise Connect and hear what these thought leaders and the many other voices we've assembled for this year's conference program foresee for the future of enterprise communications and collaboration. Check out the full Enterprise Connect conference program here, and register today using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or get a free Expo Plus Pass. See you there!

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