Marty Parker
Marty Parker brings over three decades of experience in both computing solutions and communications technology. Marty has been a...
Read Full Bio >>

Marty Parker | March 28, 2017 |


Enterprise Connect 2017: Reflecting Major Industry Transition

Enterprise Connect 2017: Reflecting Major Industry Transition As can be seen in the keynote lineup and Best of Enterprise Connect finalists, the enterprise communications industry is at an inflection point.

As can be seen in the keynote lineup and Best of Enterprise Connect finalists, the enterprise communications industry is at an inflection point.

Enterprise Connect 2017, which kicked off yesterday in Orlando, Fla., highlights a major transition in enterprise communications and a turning point for the industry. We have seen this coming, but now it's here!

This transition marks the clear beginning of the end for the IP PBX and for those companies that depend on the IP PBX for their revenues. You can think of this as equivalent to the impact that cellular telephony has had on residential land-line phones or that Internet video streaming has had on the broadcast television industry. People are still communicating from home and are still consuming entertainment, but the legacy networks and device businesses are fading fast.

The Enterprise Connect keynotes are the biggest symbol of this transition. This is the first time in the history of Enterprise Connect, or VoiceCon before that, when not one of the keynotes is presented by a company that makes even 10% of its revenue from the IP PBX category. Just to review, the five keynote companies are:

  • Cisco, a carrier and enterprise IP networking company that earns only 9% of revenue from collaboration
  • Microsoft, a personal productivity and enterprise application software company that earns less than 5% of revenue from Skype for Business on premises or as part of Office 365
  • Google, an advertising company that earns almost nothing from communication technologies, which it offers primarily to attract audience
  • Amazon Web Services, its parent an online retailer that has just begun to offer conferencing technology to its customers as part of its entry into business-oriented supply sales through this entity
  • Twilio, a cloud company that offers telephony services, but makes its revenue from communications infrastructure as a service and communications platform as a service (CPaaS)

Meanwhile, Avaya, when including the Nortel acquisition, was once the sole provider of PBXs in North America but now is in bankruptcy and has decided not to exhibit at Enterprise Connect this year.

The other indicator of this transition is represented by the finalist companies for the 2017 Best of Enterprise Connect Award, to be announced in the general session on Wednesday, March 29 (full disclosure, I'm one of judges). The Best of Enterprise Connect competition is always a good indicator of where the industry innovators are putting their energies. Here's a recap of those top six (alphabetically by company name):

  • BroadSoft, for BroadSoft Business -- an enhancement of the widely used BroadSoft platform to deliver a fully featured business UC offer. Note that this is the only finalist that is offering an IP PBX enhancement, but focused on cloud delivery and partners, not the on-premises segment
  • Cisco, for Spark Board -- a high-definition touchscreen solution with embedded audio and video to redefine the conference room experience. Spark Board requires a Cisco Spark subscription
  • Genband, for Kandy Smart Office 3.2 -- a CPaaS client for a customized user experience that integrates communications with business applications
  • Plantronics, for Plantronics Manager Pro v3.9 -- a cloud-based service using information from PC-based Plantronics UC headsets to manage assets, usage, analytics, and audio quality
  • Polycom, for EagleEye Director II -- a new version of the Polycom audio/video room system that applies advanced software to the meeting experience, including participation and room usage
  • Vonage, for Nexmo Voice API -- CPaaS with advanced integrations, including for IBM Watson AI and speech recognition

Clearly the emphasis is on enhancing the user experience (three examples) and providing communications integrated with applications (two examples). The overall field of 53 Best of Enterprise Connect entries was similar, with 70% distributed in three categories of conferencing (30%), operational management of UC (22%), and application development/CPaaS (19%).

I hope you are at Enterprise Connect this week and that you can observe this transitional moment in person. If not, be sure to follow Enterprise Connect developments here on No Jitter, on Twitter at #EC17, and live streamed from the event (see the schedule of video interviews with industry thought leaders (see the schedule here).


October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.