Microsoft, AWS Keynoters on Tap for EC19

Among the myriad trends defining enterprise communications and collaboration of late are the shift toward persistent team workspaces and the redefinition of the contact center market -- both of which piggyback on the growing interest in and movement to the cloud. When we ask around about driving forces behind these trends, two companies persistently bubble up: Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS), respectively.

Let's first talk about Microsoft. Love or hate its strategy, the company is on a mission to make its team collaboration platform, Teams, the hub for teamwork for every worker. And this doesn't just mean for the typical knowledge worker within the enterprise, but front-line employees, too, as we've discussed previously on No Jitter.

While Teams is but one in a sea of team collaboration offerings, it comes with the might of Microsoft's Office 365 productivity suite and its widespread enterprise use behind it. That doesn't make Teams a shoo-in for enterprise IT decision makers evaluating this type of application for users, but for many, it does give it an edge that's hard to match, since Microsoft has wrapped Teams into the enterprise licensing plans for Office 365.

AWS, too, has that sort of posture. Amazon has virtually unparalleled experience as an online retailer -- hard to beat on customer experience. With that experience funneled into and made publicly available via the two-year-old Amazon Connect offering, AWS has indeed held the power to reshape enterprise thinking about cloud contact centers.

AWS no doubt caught the industry's attention with Amazon Connect, too. Since AWS jumped into the contact center fray two years ago, so, too, have a couple of other unexpected contenders: Google, with its Contact Center AI solution for improving the customer experience, and communications platform-as-a-service provider Twilio, which just last week announced general availability of its Flex platform -- with a couple of customers to boot: Lyft and Shopify, as covered here and here on No Jitter.

With this backdrop, I'm pleased to share these companies will once again this year be delivering their visions from the keynote stage at Enterprise Connect 2019, which will take place March 18 to 21 in Orlando, Fla. Our two initial keynoters for EC19 (more to follow) are:

  • Pasquale DeMaio, general manager of Amazon Connect -- credited with leading the effort to make Amazon's customer service tool a public AWS service offering
  • Lori Wright, general manager, Microsoft Teams and Skype Marketing -- a longtime industry leader whose mainstage presence leading a technology keynote at the company's recent Ignite conference led one regular No Jitter contributor to encourage me, "You should get her to keynote for Enterprise Connect."

In fact, Lori will be making a return appearance at Enterprise Connect. She participated last year during our team collaboration general session. But this year will be her first as a named keynoter -- a distinction made all-the-more significant by the fact that she'll be the first female vendor executive to deliver an EC keynote, or at least the first that the content team can recollect of decades past. Pasquale will be making his debut at EC 2019.

Stay tuned to this space for ongoing news on the EC conference program, including additional keynoters, and mark your calendars for Orlando in the early spring. We hope to see you there, and encourage you to register now to take advantage of our lowest rate. As a No Jitter reader, you can even shave an additional $200 off the price; simply enter the code NJPOSTS at checkout.