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Surviving and Thriving as Communications Evolves

The enterprise communications industry has evolved from a pure telephony play to unified communications. The next step is business communications, which includes cloud and hybrid solutions delivering team collaboration, or as UC expert and No Jitter blogger Dave Michels calls it, "workstream communications and collaboration."

While the UC vendors deliver more tightly integrated solutions, the process of evaluating and implementing those solutions has become much more complicated. For example, people within lines of business are now frequently involved in the discovery and decision-making processes as they seek solutions for their organizations. At the same time, solution providers' channel partners are moving from a reseller business model to a solutions integrator (SI) model, which impacts the types of employees they hire and their financial models. And, the consultants that help enterprise customers need to understand it all.

In order to help the channel and consultants grasp the rapid changes taking place, UCStrategies will be convening its annual UC Summit, Nov. 15 to 18 in La Jolla, Calif. As always, the UC Summit will feature a series of sessions and presentations designed to help attendees prepare for the future, touching on important industry trends like cloud, social business, WebRTC, communications-enabled business processes and software-defined networking (SDN). The agenda covers a broad range of topics and issues that address the challenges and opportunities that SIs (resellers, VARs, system integrators, etc.), end-user consultant attendees, and -- for the first time, enterprise customers -- will face in the months and years ahead.

One of the challenges enterprise customers face during the evaluation process is selecting a platform, a decision made more complicated as cloud services become an option. All the major UC vendors have announced cloud strategies; this includes UC Summit sponsors Cisco, Interactive Intelligence, Microsoft, Mitel, NEC, and ShoreTel. Among other cloud-related vendors you'll find at the summit are AVST, Google, Redbooth, Tata Communications, and Vonage.

As the industry shifts to the cloud, the business models of companies delivering these solutions need to change. Over the past few years, SIs have found they can no longer make money selling hardware or software, and have begun building a future based on providing professional and managed services. SIs face many challenges, and are desperately in need of tools to help them navigate the changing landscape.

With an eye toward the future, the UC Summit will focus on the changes brought about by the cloud, mobility, multivendor environments, and technologies such as SDN, the Internet of Things, videoconferencing, biometrics, and big data. With a mix of sessions from the UCStrategies team, vendor sponsors, as well as special guests such as Eric Krapf, No Jitter publisher and general manager of Enterprise Connect, the UC Summit will help attendees better prepare for the evolution to business communications. These sessions are aimed at helping SIs understand how to survive and thrive, while helping consultants and enterprise customers learn what's in store and how to prepare.

The future of communications is changing -- are you ready? If not, check out the UC Summit 2015.