Hear from some of the brightest industry thought leaders as they discuss the latest trends and groundbreaking shifts in the unified communications and collaboration space. General Sessions also take place on the Enterprise Connect Keynote Stage, and are open to attendees with any paid Conference pass, as well as to Expo Plus pass holders.
Tuesday, March 28
Jens Meggers, PhD
Dr. Jens Meggers is Cisco’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Cloud Collaboration Technology Group (CCTG) at Cisco. He is responsible for managing Cisco’s cloud-focused collaboration portfolio which includes Cisco’s flagship platform, Cisco Spark, providing integrated messaging, calling and meetings. Additional responsibilities include managing the Cisco WebEx and Jabber engineering and product management teams. CCTG delivers a robust and scalable cloud infrastructure to millions of customers.
Before joining Cisco, Dr. Meggers was Senior Vice President at Symantec Corporation. There he was in charge of the Endpoint Protection and Productivity business unit which included all endpoint protection products, personal cloud, systems management and secure cloud collaboration solutions. Under his leadership, Symantec’s protection products reached record level net promoter scores and garnered many prestigious industry and customer awards.
Prior to Symantec, Dr. Meggers was in charge of engineering at a Silicon Valley startup that focused on mobile photo management and sharing.
Dr. Meggers has a Master and Ph.D. of Computer Science, from RWTH Aachen, Germany and also holds several patents in the area of data communications and security.
Jeff is a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years of entrepreneurial and product experience. Prior to Twilio, Jeff was Founder & CTO of NineStar, Founding CTO of Stubhub.com and Founder, CEO & CTO of Versity.com. He was also one of the original product managers for Amazon Web Services. At each of the companies Jeff started, he was frustrated by the inability of the slow moving legacy options to easily integrate communications into the software he was building. As a result of these experiences, he started Twilio to modernize communications for the software age.
Jeff grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, started his first company in middle school, and earned his BS in Computer Science & Film/Video from University of Michigan.
As a Vice President at Amazon Web Services, Gene is responsible for a variety of services in the enterprise computing space including, Amazon WorkSpaces, a cloud based desktop service, Amazon WorkDocs, a file management and collaboration service, Amazon WorkMail, a business email service, and EC2 Windows, Amazon’s computing infrastructure service for Microsoft workloads. Gene joined Amazon in April of 2012.
Prior to Joining Amazon he spent 20+ years at The Coca-Cola Company in a variety of sales, marketing, and general management roles. His last assignment was Vice President & General Manager of Coca-Cola Freestyle Worldwide in which he led the creation and commercialization of Coca-Cola Freestyle, an award winning new beverage dispensing technology that has been called the iPod of soda machines.
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Gene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Washington and a Masters degree in Business from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta.
Gene enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including golf, snow skiing, mountain biking, and water sports. He and his wife Helen and two sons Andrew and Greg live in Sammamish, WA.
Wednesday, March 29
Ron Markezich is a corporate vice president in the Office 365 marketing organization. His team is responsible for commercial go-to-market for the company's productivity portfolio, which includes Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Skype, Skype for Business, OneDrive & Yammer, in addition to running Office 365 deployment and usage programs.
He previously served as corporate vice president of Microsoft's U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group, where he led U.S. enterprise sales and marketing, including national and field sales, partner, marketing, operations and vertical industry teams and was responsible for $7B of annual revenue growing at >10% per year and increasing Contribution Margin faster than revenue growth.
Markezich joined Microsoft in 1998. Before that, he was at Accenture in the company's Electronics and High Tech Group. Markezich is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he was an All-American cross-country runner and captain of the track and field team.
Scott Johnston is a Director in Product Management at Google. While at Google he has launched Drive, Drive for Work, the Docs commenting system, Google Sites, and other such products. He is currently focused on transforming the team and meetings space for G Suite & incubating new products within Apps Scott was the VP of Products for JotSpot when it was acquired by Google in 2006. Prior to JotSpot, Scott was the Director of Engineering for Kintana, a start-up in the IT process automation space. Kintana was acquired by Mercury Interactive in 2003.
Scott graduated from Brown University with an Sc.B in Electrical Engineering and Computer Hardware Design. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and bleeds Maize and Blue. He currently lives in Connecticut.
What Role (If Any) Should Cloud Communications Play in Your Enterprise?
If the cloud is your communications future, how far off is that future, and what will it look like when it arrives? This summit will feature key thought leaders from two types of communications providers seeking to play strategic roles in that future: legacy CPE vendors that are shifting their emphases to the cloud; and challengers that have come to market strictly with cloud services. They’ll debate the merits of their various technology approaches, and explain why the differences matter to your enterprise.
You'll learn about the different ways these providers are approaching the hybrid cloud scenarios likely to work best for many enterprises. You’ll also get perspectives on how cloud offerings are evolving to better meet all of an enterprise's needs, from contact centers to integration with other cloud software and with business processes via communications platform as a service (CPaaS). Finally, we’ll press the panelists on issues of pricing and return on investment, to help you get a view of whether the cloud migration will save you money—and if it won’t, why you might consider doing it anyway.
You’ll come away from this session with a clear picture of the state of the art in cloud communications, a better understanding of what really makes up today’s cloud communications services, and what it all means for your enterprise today and going forward.
APIs and Embedded Communications: The Wave of the Future?
The rise of communications APIs is among the hottest topics in the industry right now, and for good reason -- there are plenty of real-world examples of how enterprises, from Uber to Nordstrom, are opening up new ways of doing business using API-enabled communications. So are we headed for a world where communications becomes a feature that simply plugs into whatever applications or services enterprise users work in to get their jobs done? Does an API-centric approach to communications compete with the traditional platform-based model, or are they complementary? And, despite some great early examples of companies benefiting from the use of communications APIs, is this functionality really ready for prime time in all scenarios? What technical challenges must be solved, both by the vendors/service providers in this space and by enterprise communications teams?
This session will feature a lively discussion among the companies that have led the way in providing communications APIs. The panelists will discuss the prospects for API-enabled communications, and debate the best technical and business models for advancing those prospects in ways that help enterprises move forward. You’ll come away with a clear sense of the lay of the land in this important emerging market, and leave with an understanding of the next steps for your enterprise as you seek to leverage these capabilities to your best advantage.
Enterprise Summit: Moving Communications & Collaboration Forward
Enterprise communications decision-makers face a series of critical choices as they move their environments into the future. How do they: Leverage the cloud? Enable mobility, video, and team collaboration most effectively? Incorporate new technologies such as analytics and Internet of Things? Understand what the business needs from communications, especially as it transforms itself digitally, and translate that into features and functions for end users? And while they're grappling with these tough next-generation choices and determining how best to move forward, they must continue executing on the near-term requirement of maintaining existing capabilities cost-effectively.
Given all these pressing issues, how should an enterprise decision-maker plan for the next 12 months? What are this year’s pain points, and what opportunities might there be for significant wins via new technologies? In this session, a panel of key communications decision-makers at leading enterprises will share their stories and advice to help you bring the current landscape into focus. You’ll come away from this session with a clear idea of what some of the leading enterprises are doing to move their communications environments forward.
Messaging & Team Collaboration: Overhyped, or the Next Platform?
Slack popularized the team collaboration app, but enterprise vendors are moving quickly to co-opt the employee/team-driven spread of such applications. Nevertheless, we still don’t really know where team collaboration apps fit in the larger enterprise communications picture. Are they the next client, a sort of amped up instant messaging? Are they the new platform, pulling together API-driven integrations of everything from document management to video? Or are they just another messaging system for end users and IT to manage—driving a proliferation of notifications that threatens, at scale, to annoy end users far beyond anything they’ve confronted when they open up their email inboxes?
In this session, representatives of companies with a range of different approaches to team collaboration will take the stage to debate the future of this technology (and trend) and what it portends for enterprise communications. They’ll discuss the different approaches to deploying, integrating, and building on the early versions of these applications that are available today. You’ll come away with a better idea of whether team collaboration apps are moving from shadow IT into the mainstream, and where they fit into the overall UC story. We’ll also help you understand what you need to do to prepare in the next 12 months to respond to user demand for these applications, and to ensure that the use of such applications meets enterprise standards for compliance.
Summit on the Lawn: Cognitive & Contextual: Can AI Disrupt Enterprise Collaboration?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been the stuff of science fiction and the super high-tech research lab, but it’s quickly becoming a fixture of everyday life – look no further than automated personal assistants like Alexa and Siri for an example. But the potential of such digital virtual assistants and chat bots pales beside the impact that AI could have when it’s integrated with communications and collaboration back-end systems, like we’ve been seeing IBM do with its cognitive computing platform, Watson. This is about more than intelligent searching, smart scheduling, and automated messaging. This is about being able to pull data out of digital systems, apply advanced analytics to it in real time, and then immediately infuse that learning into the ongoing communications stream. It's also about combining the cognitive power of AI and big data analytics with intelligence gathered via the Internet of Things (IoT). All of these inputs could help AI deliver the contextual communications and collaboration experience that's long been envisioned.
That’s the promise, anyway. But we’ve been talking about contextual communications for several years now. Is the prospect of applying AI and cognitive capabilities to enterprise collaboration just futuristic thinking that we’ll still be talking about in five years—with no actual progress toward making it a reality?
Join us for this, our first-ever Summit on the Lawn, to hear from industry luminaries who are working on ways to harness the power of disruptive technologies like AI, bots, IoT, and deep data analytics to improve the way we communicate and collaborate. You'll come away with an understanding of these potentially disruptive forces and the opportunities for contextual communications and collaboration they'll deliver—and you’ll learn how close they are to becoming a reality for your enterprise.
IoT & UC: Connecting Things to People in Your Enterprise
In many instances, the “Internet of Things” must also connect to people for their connectivity to be of value. Within the enterprise, that means integrating IoT devices, applications, and platforms with communications systems. How is this happening today, and what opportunities and pitfalls lie ahead?
This session will bring together thought leaders with experience in developing and deploying IoT-communications integrations. They’ll explain the drivers and the benefits, risks, and challenges of bringing IoT and communications together. You’ll get insight into how to understand your enterprise’s broader IoT strategy and the role communications can play within it, as well as guidance on implementation challenges, success metrics, and roadmap planning. You’ll come away from this session with a better strategic understanding of how the Internet of Things may fit with your enterprise’s communications environment.
Moderator: Michelle Burbick, Associate Editor, No Jitter; Program Coordinator, Enterprise Connect
Trends in Systems Management: How You (and Your Tools) Can Get Smarter
Systems management for Unified Communications continues to be a work in progress. The job grows in complexity with the ever-evolving mix of media traffic over the network, the rise of hybrid cloud-premises deployments, and the constant changes in end user behaviors, choices, and demands. To support the end users of today and tomorrow, as well as the systems that they depend on, you need best practices and tools that fit the realities of modern UC.
In this session, a panel of systems management experts will discuss the latest trends in network monitoring, management, implementation, and support. You’ll learn which problems aren’t going away, what new challenges are emerging, and what new approaches, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are being applied to systems management in order to help you deliver the service quality that your users require.
Moderator: Beth Schultz, Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect and Editor, No Jitter