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Enterprise Communications, From Premises to Metaverse
You want to talk about extremes: As I write this, the top-trending article on No Jitter is about the persistent appeal of premises-based PBXs for at least a slice of the enterprise communications market. The second-highest trending article is about the Metaverse.
I could say it’s a sign of the times, but really, enterprise technology has always been this way. It’s axiomatic that legacy technologies rarely, if ever, die a quick death. As Dave Michels writes in his No Jitter post this week, “The PBX market may be shrinking, but it’s not small and has less competition.” And as someone once told me about I-forget-which-technology, “It’s a dying technology, and it’s going to be a dying technology for the next 20 years.”
At the same time, the Metaverse is coming on fast. Microsoft is promising that the avatar technology it displayed at Ignite earlier this month will roll out to Teams in preview next year. Does that mean your end users will be avataring it up by this time in 2022? Maybe not, but one thing we’ve seen over the course of the pandemic is a tendency by the biggest collaboration platform vendors to try and one-up each other on splashy features that purport to make remote collaboration less painful and, at least in some cases, more fun. Will Metaverse avatars be 2022 or 2023’s answer to the virtual backgrounds of the early pandemic period?
In between these two poles is where you’ll find most of the rest of us. We’re studying just how to migrate to UCaaS and CCaaS; how video should be deployed in offices that are likely being re-imagined for post-pandemic usage patterns; how to use AI to improve customer experience in the contact center; and lots more. The technology is, in many respects, leading edge, but it doesn’t get rolled out without an ROI or at least a business case that probably derives from larger enterprise strategy around the future of work, be it in the office or on the front line.
And of course that’s where Enterprise Connect lives, in this zone where enterprise communications/collaboration professionals are making decisions and recommendations within an environment that’s still full of uncertainty. The technology trends described above are just a sampling of what we’ve built our program around for Enterprise Connect 2022, which takes place March 21–24 at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando — and online in a virtual environment.
I’m also excited to announce our first two keynoters for EC2022:
- Jeetu Patel, EVP and General Manager, Security & Collaboration, Cisco
- Gary Sorrentino, Global Deputy CIO, Zoom
We’ve also got most of our conference program sessions online, with the remainder to be posted over the next few weeks. We’ve added a new track on Security & Compliance and will be running our popular strategic-technology conference-within-a-conference, this year dubbed Communications & Collaboration 2025.
It’s worth noting that we’ve been running this “Communications & Collaboration 20XX” theme for five years now, each time pushing the date out so that we’re always projecting three years into the future. Despite its focus a few years ahead, we’ve always considered this a very practical endeavor; the idea was to take emerging technologies like AI, the cloud, and video (which when we started were in a completely different world) and look just far enough into the future to help enterprise decision-makers prepare for what realistically was coming.
Three years goes by a lot faster than it used to; I’m discovering that as I prepare to attend my daughter’s college graduation. Still, nothing changes overnight, and it will be interesting to see what happens to the pace of change if and when enterprises finally settle into a new hybrid-work model. However, it goes, Enterprise Connect will be there to help you make sense of it, so I hope you’ll join us and consider registering for the 2022 event.