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Enterprise Connect 2023 Is Seeking Innovation

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Every Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) pro knows what collaboration means. For modern enterprise collaboration, there are three essential tools: telephony, messaging, and meetings. There are some feature variants within these tools, with AI-powered features and whiteboards, but telephony, messaging and meetings comprise the core suite of enterprise collaboration. UCaaS enables communications and collaboration. I certainly don’t need to explain this to a No Jitter audience.  

But I do need to explain it to other audiences. That’s because people have been collaborating throughout human history. In the workplace, collaboration involves two or more people working together to share ideas, knowledge, and resources. Collaborative outcomes include problem solving, task completion, and ideation. 

Most forms of collaboration require involved parties to be in the same location. It would be pretty hard to play sports with some team members being remote. Enabling remote or distributed collaboration is where modern enterprise communications has become. It started with voice and messaging and meetings creeped into the solution.  

Of course there are other online tools as well, There’s specialized vendors that overlap with UCaaS, such as Slack and Pexip. There’s also entirely unrelated online tools, such as multi user document editors, various project management tools, and a new breed of workflow applications that offer everything from online signatures to online expense reports.  

When organizations sent their employees home during the pandemic, they had to reinvent how to collaborate. It was an extraordinary global pivot that not only involved using new tools, but adapting them in ways the vendors never imagined. The cloud, mobile devices, broadband internet, and more are changing everything about the way we work. This March, at Enterprise Connect in the Innovation Showcase, we want to see what’s new and exciting in collaboration.  We've got a great venue for spotlighting some of the technologies that are emerging in the field – the Innovation Showcase. 

The purpose of the Innovation Showcase is to highlight new innovations. Each year, the Innovation Showcase designates a theme, and this year it’s Collaboration Reinvented. We are encouraging new companies to apply for the Innovation Showcase (it’s free). When I say new, I mean new to Enterprise Connect. A key inclusion requirement for the showcase is the vendor has not exhibited at Enterprise Connect. (There are other conference programs for returning vendors, such as Best of Show.)  

The Innovation Showcase is juried. Companies apply and are evaluated by a panel of esteemed judges. This year, the judges are Jon Arnold, Venkat Kandhari, and Dominic Kent. They will be evaluating each application for innovation, enterprise fit, and business value. We will select about five companies for the showcase, and you can learn more about them during a session  -- date and time to be determined -- where each presents their solution with "Shark Tank"- style pitches.  

Communications and collaboration are always changing. When I started attending Enterprise Connect (I recall it being called VoiceCon), it was voice equipment-dominated, a far cry from the cloud-dominated event of today. Many of the communication industry's solutions, products, and vendors have changed.  

Many of the Innovation Showcase alums thrive and return to the show.  

To learn more about the Innovation Showcase for 2023, including how to apply, click here. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023.  

To see who was in last year’s showcase, click here.  

Dave Michels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz

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