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EC20: Strange Times Call for Going Digital


Swirled clock
Image: Anton Petrus -
Not that we’ve been rambling around anywhere but between the kitchen, bathroom, and rec room-turned-office in recent months, but at this point in time I can’t help every so often but to think about that classic Grateful Dead line, “what a long, strange trip it’s been.”
For us here at No Jitter/Enterprise Connect, our strange journey began in mid-March with the decision to postpone the annual Orlando event we’d planned for later that month to the safer confines of August in San Francisco. Surely by then, we naively thought at the time, we’d be well past this COVID-19 scare and ready to meet up in person for a few days of all-things communications and collaboration. But, as everybody knows all too well, the crazy days blurred into months, and with an in-person event no longer reasonable for the foreseeable future, we quickly pivoted — and for weeks have been planning our first-ever all-virtual EC, which kicks off today.
I hope you’re planning on taking part in our programming, as we think it’s going to be a great conference. We’re biased, of course, but we’ve taken plenty of care to assemble the same type of programming you’d expect from the live event, sharing perspective and guidance from the industry’s leading analysts and consultants and showcasing first-hand stories and strategies from enterprise IT leaders. Here are a few sessions you won’t want to miss — and don’t have to, since registration is still open and will be throughout the week (plus, the “being digital part” means you can listen in any time after the broadcast times I’ve included below):
  • Are Today’s Transformations the Model for the Long Term? – In this opening session, today at 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. ET, Jim Burton, of C-T Link and BCStrategies group; Zeus Kerravala, of ZK Research; and Melissa Swartz, of Swartz Consulting; take a hard look at technology topics such as CPaaS, video interoperability, and unified platform vs. best of breed
  • Developing a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce for Today & Tomorrow – A conversation and interactive video chat with Kari Mattek, a senior director at Northwestern Mutual, about how to encourage and support inclusivity and build diversity in and beyond IT; today at 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. ET
  • Women in Communications: Award Presentation and Discussion – Women leaders at Capital One, Cigna, MedStar, Pembina Pipeline, and Yum! Brands talk about their careers in enterprise IT/technology, discussing the roles they played in their companies’ COVID-19 response, sharing their accomplishments, giving voice to the challenges they face, and providing tips on what’s worked well for them; Tuesday, Aug. 4, 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
  • Enterprise Summit: Moving Forward on Communications & Collaboration – IT execs at Priceline, TD Ameritrade, and Walden University (Laureate Education) walk us through the initiatives they undertook to get employees set up for home work, and discuss what’s next on their strategic roadmaps; Wednesday, Aug. 5, 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
  • Fireside Chat: Balancing Distributed & Office Work – In a wide-ranging conversation, Melissa Marsh, a social researcher and workplace strategist, provides insight on the myriad issues companies need to think about in planning for a return to the office while continue to support a work from home, and then optimizing a combination; Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Locknote – EC GM Eric closes out the conference with top takeaways and impressions from Dave Michels, of TalkingPointz; Sheila McGee-Smith, of McGee-Smith Analytics; and Robin Gareiss, of Nemertes; Thursday, Aug. 6, 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Besides these broad-brushed discussions, the agenda includes a full slate of sessions on the most critical technologies today, from AI to video meetings. All told, our conference program comprises some 50 sessions, including our four premium-access two-hour seminars on CCaaS with Cheryl Helm, of Helm Communications; Cisco vs. Microsoft vs. Zoom, with analysts Brent Kelly, of KelCor, and Phil Edholm, of PKE Consulting; post-pandemic strategies for success, with Marty Parker, of UniComm Consulting; and communications and collaboration security, with Sorell Slaymaker, of TechVision Research; plus loads of sessions from our sponsors.
And one of the best things about being digital is the interactively it enables between speakers and attendees. Throughout each session, you can share comments, as well as ask and upvote questions. Our speakers will be at the ready!
Another plus to the digital environment is the quick hop from conference session to expo floor. Hear something interesting about some technology or a particular vendor, or need to explore your options for an upcoming project? Some 50 vendors, including all the industry leaders, are ready to meet with you and share product demos. Check out the exhibitors list here, and plan your visit!
And what’s an EC event without a little fun? Visit the Five9 booth for Yappy Hour, to “virtually pet your stress away with some lovable puppies,” and stop by the No Jitter/Enterprise Connect booth for a free digital caricature portrait.
This will be an action-packed and information-filled week over at our digital event platform. We hope you can join us! As Jerry Garcia would say, “Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.”