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Best in Enterprise Connect Finalists Announced

The judges have finished the first round of voting, and we've got our six finalists for Best in Enterprise Connect:

* IVCi, The UC Room: A configurable, PC-based solution that allows an organization to extend its unified communications client into a conference room setting.

* Jabra, Bluetooth headset: Details to be announced before Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013.

* Siemens Enterprise Communications, OpenScape Mobile: A single mobile client that brings together VoIP, Video and comprehensive UC capabilities into a single next-generation user experience.

* StarLeaf, StarLeaf Call: A cloud-based service for open and secure video calling and conferencing.

* Voxeo, Voxeo CXP: A customer experience platform that enables creation, management, reporting and analytics of multi-modal self-service across interaction channels.

* Wow Vision, miniVeos: A platform by which any PC, Mac or iPad can transmit via the WiFi network to the platform for full in-room screen sharing on a local projector or panel.

I'll have to admit that I was struck by the judges' interest in solutions that help with collaboration in physical settings--both the IVCi and Wow Vision entries seem to emphasize this capability. I run the logistics for the Best in Enterprise Connect program but I'm not one of the judges, so I can't say what they were thinking there--other than, obvoiusly, they thought these were pretty innovatively done products.

Interestingly, one thing these products really have in common is that they're really sort of pure communications in nature--whether they're hardware like Jabra's or software like Voxeo's. In the past, Best in EC judges have been intrigued by some of the submissions that blended social with communications, but none of this year's finalists really fits that description. Again, I'm not sure this has a deep meaning, but it's interesting.

We had more than 40 entries this year, and again came out with a nice mix of big companies and small ones, broad solutions and point products. The judges will be conducting briefings with the finalists between now and Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013, and we'll announce the winner from the EC main stage on Wednesday, March 20, 9:00 AM.

Our judges this year are:

* Robin Gareiss, Executive Vice President, Nemertes Research
* Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst, ZK Research
* Marty Parker, Principal Consultant, UniComm Consulting and Co-founder, UCStrategies
* David Stein, Principal, Stein Technology Group