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2017 Innovation Showcase: All About IoT

Each year the Enterprise Connect Innovation Showcase introduces new companies to the EC audience. The theme for 2017 is the Internet of Things (IoT), and the goal is to highlight solutions with horizontal enterprise applicability that can potentially impact enterprise communications and/or collaboration.

IoT refers to a world of smart, connected objects. The emerging IoT ecosystem includes products, services, and API-based cloud platforms, and it is experiencing explosive growth. The actual IoT products themselves are benefitting from decreasing costs of sensors and bandwidth. Connectivity is expanding, with direct Internet options as well as a variety of new radio technologies. On the back end, breakthroughs in big data and analytics, as well as cloud compute services, are driving growth.

IoT is on the cusp of completely changing our personal and professional lives with unfathomable new capabilities. Every aspect of this emerging/burgeoning ecosystem is within scope of the Innovation Showcase.

In this year's showcase, we are looking to highlight up to six companies with IoT angles appropriate and interesting to enterprises. This can include platform strategies that manage and centralize a network of devices, actual devices relevant to business or IT operations, solutions that analyze and or automate data for better decisions, and services that connect the ecosystem together. We also expect the unexpected, as that just seems part of the IoT spirit.

Companies interested in participating in the Innovation Showcase must apply for consideration (click here for more information). This year I am pleased to announce I will be joined by Art Schoeller, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, and Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research, as showcase judges. Art has extensive experience in both UC and contact center, and the contact center is one of the earlier benefactors of IoT-enabled communications. Maribel, a thought leader on digital transformation, focuses on wired and mobile communications with a concentration in IoT.

The three of us are searching for companies with innovative IoT solutions that deliver business value. Ideally, these are enterprise-appropriate solutions that can integrate into other relevant workflows or ecosystems, particularly for communications and collaboration purposes.

As I mentioned, the Innovation Showcase aims to introduce new companies to the EC audience. Participants must be new to Enterprise Connect, but not necessarily new or young companies. The Enterprise Connect audience largely comprises enterprise IT professionals seeking information on horizontal solutions for communications and collaboration.

Innovation Showcase companies will participate in a Shark Tank-like presentation session on the first day of the conference, Monday, March 27, and be available in a shared booth in the exhibit hall for taking questions from Enterprise Connect attendees.

To learn more about the Innovation Showcase, including eligibility and how to apply, click here. Deadline to apply is Feb 1.

Dave Michels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.

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