Best of Enterprise Connect: Announcing Our Finalists
This year, our Best of Enterprise Connect Award program is bigger and better than ever. Not only did we have more companies participating than ever before -- nearly a third of all exhibitors slated to participate in the Enterprise Connect 2019 Expo in March -- but we have more finalists to spotlight, thanks to an expanded program that features the addition of four Category Awards.
From machine learning-based enhancements to existing solutions to products fostering improved customer interactions and collaboration, the 62 companies that submitted entries for this year’s Best of Enterprise Connect Award showcase the explosion of innovation taking place in enterprise communications and collaboration.
Among this record pool of entries, some stood out above the rest to our judges, who have narrowed down their choices to seven finalists for the overall award. The companies and products -- some publicly announced and others still under wraps -- competing in the final judging round are:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): A machine learning-based solution addition to the Amazon Connect contact center service
- Cisco: The AI-driven Cisco Webex Room Kit Mini for huddle spaces provides "cognitive collaboration" intelligence that optimizes how Webex Meetings participants interact and form relationships, available to all through mass scale deployment
- CounterPath: Bria Teams is a subscription-based cloud service that unifies team communications and collaboration on desktops and mobile devices
- Microsoft: Microsoft Teams for firstline employees and new workspaces
- Mio: Mio synchronizes real-time messaging between Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex Teams for seamless workplace communications
- Plantronics-Polycom: Polycom Studio is a plug-and-play video bar that marries high-quality audio and video with USB connectivity for video collaboration
- Talkdesk: The Enterprise Cloud Contact Center Winter 2019 release adds omnichannel, enhanced analytics, a visual routing flow designer, mobile support, and a self-service SDK, all powered by a new AI layer, Talkdesk IQ
To determine the overall award finalists, our four Best of Enterprise Connect judges individually rated entrants based on factors like technology advancement/innovation/differentiation, scope/reach, relevancy for large/midmarket enterprises, pricing, and business impact. This year, the judging panel comprises:
- Phil Edholm, president and founder, PKE Consulting
- Robert Harris, president, Communications Advantage
- Irwin Lazar, vice president and service director, Nemertes Research
- Melissa Swartz, founder, Swartz Consulting
Breaking Out the Categories
In addition to selecting an overall Best of Enterprise Connect Award winner, this year we’ll be naming winners of four Category Awards for which exhibitors could submit their entries for consideration. These are: Best Application of AI, Best Innovation for Collaboration, Best Upgrade to an Existing Product, and Best Communications/Collaboration Device.
We have five finalists for the Best Application of AI Category Award. In addition to AWS’s submission for a machine learning-based addition to its Amazon Connect contact center service, as noted above, the four other finalists are:
- Optanix: The Optanix Platform uses advanced analytics and intelligence to provide predictive and proactive full-stack monitoring and management of IT infrastructure and services
- Noble Systems: Noble Conversations Analytics Now applies real-time speech analytics to live customer interactions and provides immediate feedback to agents and managers
- Omilia: Version 9.0 of Omilia's Natural Language Understanding and Dialog Management Platform provides customer care voice and chatbots with conversational user interfaces for enterprise contact centers
- Voximplant: For automated customer service, Dialogflow Connector integrates telephony with a machine learning-powered backend built with Google Dialogflow
For the Best Innovation for Collaboration Category Award, the two finalists are Microsoft, for its Teams solution for firstline employees, and Mio, for its product synchronizing real-time messaging applications. These products also are in contention for the overall Best of Enterprise Connect Award, as noted above.
Finalists for the Best Upgrade to an Existing Product Category Award are Microsoft, AWS, and Talkdesk, for their respective entries under consideration for the overall award.
Finally, for the Best Communications/Collaboration Device Category Award, we have four finalists. In addition to overall award finalists Cisco, for its Webex Room Kit Mini with intelligence, and Plantronics-Polycom, for its plug-and-play video bar Polycom Studio, the two others are:
- Kaptivo: When attached to conference room whiteboards, the Kaptivo device captures and digitizes content in real-time for simultaneous sharing in video conference calls
- Lifesize: The Lifesize Icon 700 video conferencing system offers 4K video quality and full-motion 4K content sharing with ultra-clear audio
Join Us at Enterprise Connect
Following the final judging round, we’ll be announcing winners of the overall Best of Enterprise Connect Award, as well as the winners for the individual Category Awards, from the mainstage at Enterprise Connect, on Tuesday, March 19, following the Chairman’s Welcome Address.
Join us at Enterprise Connect, where these and roughly 180 other enterprise communications and collaboration companies will be on the exhibit floor. And don’t miss out on the learning opportunities available in the Enterprise Connect conference program, which comprises more than 60 sessions across nine topic tracks -- AI & Speech Technologies, Cloud Communications, Contact Center & Customer Experience, Embedded Communications & APIs, Management & Security, Strategic Leadership (new!), Team Collaboration Tools & Workspaces, Unified Communications, and Video Collaboration & A/V -- as well as our one-day, forward-looking conference-within-a-conference, “Communications & Collaboration 2022,” back by popular demand for the third year running.