Check Out the Enterprise Connect 2018 Program!

Take even the quickest of glances at the No Jitter posts that have appeared in the last few days, let alone over the course of the year, and you'll no doubt come away with an inkling of the big changes ahead in communications and collaboration. This week, for example, you'll read on topics such as Star Trek-style collaboration via virtual reality, contextual intelligence, communications platform as a service (CPaaS), and the rise of artificial intelligence and voice control. And from the industry perspective, you'll find word on continued consolidation and newfound partnerships.

We are on the brink of profound change in how we deliver enterprise communications, as UC consultant Marty Parker wrote in his post, "Which CPaaS Do You Use Now?" Many enterprises find themselves in need of supplanting or supplementing traditional PBX-delivered communications with cloud services, a la UCaaS or CPaaS. Team collaboration tools provide another option, as they quickly morph into the center for all communications and collaboration, including calling and conferencing. And line-of-business applications increasingly come with communications embedded right in their workflows. Finding the right mix, optimized for different constituencies, will take some work.

If you find yourself pondering how to prepare your enterprise for this "era of transformation," as Parker calls it, then consider attending Enterprise Connect, where you're sure to get the in-depth, objective, vendor-neutral guidance you need. We've been busy planning the 2018 event, coming to Orlando March 12 to 15, and think we've got a great week planned for you.

While we're also hard at work planning fun networking functions and jazzing up the exhibit floor (more to come on that later), I'll focus here on our conference program, which will feature keynotes and general sessions with industry and enterprise thought leaders, as well as more than 60 breakout sessions across nine tracks. You can begin building your schedule, but check back often as we'll be fleshing out the program with new sessions and additional details over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are a few highlights to help get you started:

  • As announced last week, Slack will join us for the first time at Enterprise Connect. Cal Henderson, co-founder and CTO, will take the keynote stage on Tuesday, March 13, at 10:45 to 11:15 a.m., to share the company's enterprise vision. Stay tuned for more of our keynote lineup, coming soon.

  • New to our track roster this year is Speech Technologies. Attend this track for a tech tutorial, a peek at innovative speech-related companies, and an answer to the question: Are speech technologies ready for the enterprise? Other tracks are: APIs & Embedded Communications, Cloud Communications, Contact Center & Customer Experience, SIP/SIP Trunking, Systems Management & Network Design, Team Collaboration, Unified Communication & Collaboration, and Video Collaboration & A/V.
  • Chart your journey through the Enterprise Connect program using our new Hot Topics option available in the left-hand column of the schedule builder. Discover sessions across tracks on any of the following hot topics: AI and analytics, decision support, digital transformation, mobility, organization and management, SD-WAN, and security/compliance.
  • Based on attendee feedback from our 2017 event, Enterprise Connect 2018 will feature more in-depth, interactive programming. In "Ask the Expert: An Interactive Session on Network & Systems Management," for example, you'll have the opportunity to bring your toughest challenges and most vexing questions for discussion among Terry Slattery, principal consultant with NetCraftsmen, and a panel of experts. (You can even get them thinking ahead of time by emailing your questions to [email protected].)
  • And, in a supreme example of interactivity, Enterprise Connect has once again teamed up with TADHack organizers for TADHack-mini Orlando, which will run over the preceding weekend, March 10 and 11 (register here). This is a great opportunity to dabble with communications APIs in a friendly, no-pressure learning environment -- and potentially to share your hacks and applications at Enterprise Connect in a post-hackathon session, "Hackathon Spotlight: Programmable Communications is for Everyone."

    Also in the APIs & Embedded Communications track, you can hear from one of 2017's TADHack-mini Orlando participants, Justin Haefner, who is a collaboration architect at Medtronic. In an interactive session, Haefner will share his real-world experiences running and participating in internal hackathons, discuss necessary new skills, and lead a discussion on the shifting communications landscape. Check out his session, "Why You Should Embrace the API Movement."

  • Back by popular demand is our forward-looking one-day conference-within-a-conference, "Enterprise Communications & Collaboration 2021," as well as perennial must-attend sessions such as "Cisco vs. Microsoft," contact center market report and executive forum, and SIP trunking tutorial.

I hope I've whetted your appetite, and that we'll be seeing you in Orlando next March! Register now with code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Advance Rate or get a free Expo Plus pass!

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter!
@Beth_Schultz
@nojitter