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UC to Take Center Stage at VoiceCon San Francisco

The timing for this focus on UC couldn't be better. As covered in recent issues of UC eWeekly, UC tools are tailor-made for helping you do more with less, to collaborate more quickly and reduce expenses. It sounds ironic to recommend traveling to VoiceCon to learn how to reduce your overall travel budget, but it works!

Here are highlights from the menu of the UC-focused sessions at VoiceCon:

MONDAY, NOV 10: The entire day is devoted tutorials, and in the morning, there are two terrific sessions to choose from: A comparison of IBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Office Communications Server, presented by Brent Kelly from Wainhouse Research, or a session on Building Business Cases for IP Telephony and UC by Irwin Lazar and Robyn Gareiss from Nemertes Research.

In the afternoon, there also two UC tutorials: I'll lead a 10-vendor review of "UC: Who's Offering What?" or a session led by Mark Berg and Dave Stein from PlanNet Consulting entitled "Organizing for UC, IP Telephony and Converged Networks.

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY, NOV 11-12: There will be 10 breakout sessions that cover all aspects of Unified Communications and Collaboration. These include a UC Market Update presented by Blair Pleasant, followed by a panel of senior UC executives giving their take on the status of UC and what's coming next. There also are sessions on the options for UC deployments, UC user interfaces, and on how to leverage VoIP investments for UC.

VoiceCon also will present UC customer case studies in a session called Comm-Enabled Applications, and Miercom will report results of recent UC-related technology tests from its test lab.

Other UC titles include Pricing and Budgeting for UC, and a panel of customer executives will discuss how they're organizing their IT shops for converged networks. There are some overlaps and some of these sessions will be going on simultaneously, but electronic copies of the presentations and MP3 recordings of the sessions are available for later reference and review.

RELATED TECHNOLOGIES AND SESSIONS: VoiceCon also is placing considerable emphasis on mobility and wireless networks, which are a perfect complement, because many UC applications are both dependent on and often the justification for wireless and mobility investments. The topics range from Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC), to case studies of how enterprises are migrating to mobility, to choosing from the expanding options for mobile devices (and related ecosystems) to managing wireless networks and cellular spending.

I also expect UC to feature prominently in the keynotes from Avaya, Microsoft and IBM, and there will be two important VoiceCon Summits on "UC and Software-based Architectures" (where you may hear more about interoperation of Microsoft and IBM presence engines) and "The UC-Enabled Mobile Enterprise."

And during the VoiceCon Exhibition, which runs Monday to Wednesday, there will be more than 80 exhibitors, many of whom will be featuring UC products and technologies in their booths. It's a unique opportunity to learn what's available and what's coming down the pike. If you would like a UC-focused tour of the VoiceCon Exhibition, just drop me an e-mail with the subject "UC Tour" at [email protected].

I'm a VoiceCon fan, and want to give an advance shout-out of appreciation to all those who contribute--the customers, the sponsors and exhibitors, my colleagues at and so many more! I hope to see you there.