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Keynotes & General Sessions

Hear from some of the biggest and 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 8

10:00 - 10:30 AM

Photo of Rowan Trollope

Keynote – Cisco

Rowan Trollope

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Collaboration Technology Group

Rowan Trollope is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, whose mission is to make collaboration simple. Trollope joined Cisco in 2012 to make a dramatic leap forward in the way people connect and collaborate at work. Since then, he has reinvented Cisco’s collaboration business and made design, affordability, and exponential improvement the guiding principles of product development.

Under Trollope’s leadership, the group has refreshed the entire collaboration technology portfolio, simplifying the product line from 65 to 17 SKUs, reducing the cost of video endpoints by 85 percent, and winning eight Red Dot awards for outstanding product design. To capitalize on mobile and cloud opportunities, the team also built a collaboration cloud platform and its first application, the business messaging service Cisco Spark. As a result, he has created a fast-growing $4 billion collaboration business for Cisco.

Prior to joining Cisco, Trollope led Symantec’s sales, marketing, and product development teams as the group president of the SMB and the business units. He was responsible for growing the company’s software-as-a-service strategy and expanding cloud-based delivery and customer support models. He also managed security product development and sales for the Norton line of consumer products and Symantec’s enterprise security solutions.

Trollope holds a variety of patents in computer security and operating systems maintenance.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Keynote - Google

Adam Swidler

Technology Evangelist - Google for Work, Google

Adam Swidler leads Apps Solution Strategy on the Google for Work team, helping customers and partners build innovative collaboration and communication solutions on the Google Apps platform. Previously at Google, Adam led the enterprise trust team, educating and evangelizing security and compliance with Google Apps.Prior to joining Google in 2007, Adam was the Director of Product Management for Vendavo, in charge of the Pricing and Margin Management applications suite. Adam was also with Ariba as the senior product manager for eProcurement solutions. He has more than 20 years of experience in enterprise technology. Adam is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and has a bachelor's degree cum laude in economics and mathematics from Fordham University.

Wednesday, March 9

10:00 - 10:30 AM

Photo of Zig Serafin

Keynote – Microsoft

Zig Serafin

Corporate Vice President, Skype Business Services

Zig Serafin is the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Skype Business Services Group. In this role, Serafin leads a global team responsible for the Lync and Skype PSTN business, including engineering, service operations, strategy, marketing, managing future growth, expansion and continued innovation. The portfolio includes voice, video, messaging services, software and devices that enable unified communications, video collaboration, conferencing, and mobility. The group is responsible for Microsoft Lync, Lync Mobile for iOS, Android and Windows, Lync Room Systems, Skype In/Out services, and the industry leading partnership ecosystem of communications solutions providers.

Prior to joining Skype, Serafin was corporate vice president of program management and design for Microsoft's services in geospatial data, aerial photogrammetry, speech/audio/vision processing, location/language understanding, and anticipatory computing. During this time he led the platform development of Microsoft’s artificially intelligent personal assistant: Cortana.

Previously, as president and general manager of Microsoft’s Tellme Networks Subsidiary, he was responsible for overseeing the company’s strategy, product development, and business in telecommunications services and applications.

In 2002, Serafin helped develop a broad strategy that led to the formation of the real time communications group. Microsoft's real time communications efforts received many technical and design industry awards. Serafin also oversaw worldwide sales, field marketing, business development and partner channels. Prior to that, he led new research and development investments, M&A and business development partnerships in Microsoft’s Corporate Strategy and Development Group.

11:00 - 11:30 AM

Photo of Gary Barnett

Keynote – Avaya

Gary E. Barnett

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Engagement Solutions

Gary Barnett is senior vice president and general manager of the Engagement Solutions business unit at Avaya, the leading provider of customer and team engagement solutions. In his current role, Barnett has responsibility for Avaya's customer engagement, team engagement and mobile engagement portfolios.

Gary joined Avaya in April 2011 and prior to his current role, he led the Collaboration Platforms and UC Applications team. Gary is also a domain expert who was a founding engineer at Octel, the founder and CEO of Prospect Software, and later served as president and CEO of Aspect Communications.

As executive vice president and Chief Technology Officer at Aspect Software, Gary was responsible for corporate planning, product architecture and lifecycle management. He directed strategic partnerships and long-term product integration plans in support of enterprise-level applications.

Gary has delivered outstanding leadership and stakeholder value as either a Chief Executive Officer or Chief Technology Officer for over 20 years and is recognized worldwide as an authority on contact center technologies and solutions. In 2006, Mr. Barnett was recognized by the contact center industry with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gary and Sharon Barnett have been married for 32 years and reside in San Jose, California, and Brentwood, Tennessee.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Keynote - Oracle Communications

Douglas A. Suriano

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Communications

As senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Communications, Doug Suriano is responsible for managing strategic planning, product development, sales, service, and support for Oracle Communications products.

Following the Tekelec acquisition, Suriano joined Oracle in 2013 as vice president of products for Oracle Communications. In this role, Suriano oversaw product development and product management for the network signaling and policy management product portfolio. At Tekelec, he served as chief technology officer and vice president of engineering. In these capacities he focused on developing Tekelec’s solutions for the mobile broadband era.

During his ten-year tenure at Tekelec, Suriano was responsible for product innovation, leadership in standards bodies and industry forums, and advocacy for innovative mobile data solutions. He successfully led initiatives to transition Tekelec from hardware-centric products to software-centric applications and to expand the market share of the company’s data and voice solutions. Suriano also headed the development of Tekelec’s Diameter Signaling Router (DSR), the first product of its kind sold to LTE network operators.

Prior to Tekelec, Suriano was the vice president of engineering at DynamicSoft, Inc. and chief information officer for QAD Inc. Before QAD, he managed the information technology division for the United States Marine Corps.

Suriano earned an MS in information technology at the US Naval Postgraduate School and a BS at the US Naval Academy.

General Sessions

Monday, March 7

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

UC Summit: Is the Path to UC Changing?

Market researchers tell us that the global market for Unified Communications will be in the tens of billions of dollars and growing by double-digit percentages annually for the next several years. But at the same time, the industry seems poised for profound transformations: The appeal of the Cloud is making itself felt in the world of communications, with UC as a Service (UCaaS) projected for strong growth; mobility is only getting more important in the workplace; and integration of communications with business apps and processes is becoming more and more mainstream. So, is the path to UC changing?

In this session, we’ll address the key challenges that enterprises face as they position their communications environments for the future: How do you protect legacy investments and guarantee business-critical communications today and tomorrow, while also starting to provide next-generation capabilities and putting in place a cost structure for your communications services that reflects the new world of software-driven, Web-based communications? And how should you view the emergence of the Cloud as a platform for delivering UC to your end users?

In this session, a panel of UC luminaries will debate which approaches make the most sense as enterprises seek to provide business-grade communications for users who increasingly are young, mobile, digital-native, and not necessarily oriented toward voice communications. You’ll come away with a sense for the roadmap you can follow, and what your communications environment might look like in the near, mid, and longer terms.

* As larger enterprises consider UCaaS, how must the providers of cloud communications services adapt their offerings to meet the needs of those companies? And how must legacy-CPE vendors adapt?
* Are we still in the era of “sweating the assets” when it comes to legacy communications equipment and software? What's the best way to get started, and what steps follow, in the transition from the legacy environment to more modern communications architectures?
* Are there new approaches to integrating collaboration with communications tools? How critical will the new generation of mobile-first team collaboration apps be in determining winners and losers in the vendor space, and in driving end user behavior within the enterprise?
* How should an enterprise build a budget that takes into account new UC technologies? How do you determine, and then quantify, the return on investments in UC technology?

Eric Krapf, General Manager and Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect; Jim Burton, President, CT-Link

1:00 – 1:45 PM

Mobility Summit: Does IT Need a New Approach to Mobility?

Most enterprises have split responsibility for mobility between the Marketing or “Digital Channels” group, which handles customer-facing (B2C) applications, and the IT department, which is responsible for employee mobility (B2E) from application, device, and network perspectives (with a healthy dose of BYOD/BYO-Application over which IT may exercise very little control). However, as enterprise mobility evolves, we are seeing use cases requiring a convergence of these two universes—for example, allowing customers to interact with company resources through their B2C mobile apps. So will this need for converged functionality force IT and Marketing to work more closely on enterprise mobility strategy—and what might be the results of such convergence? Furthermore, would IT benefit from emulating the Marketing team by taking more of a B2C approach to its internal customers—i.e., the enterprise end users? Conversely, what parts of the enterprise mobility strategy will require a continued IT-centric approach, remaining untouched by any greater convergence with Marketing or other business units?

In this Summit, a panel of enterprise mobility experts will discuss how this convergence is best managed, what each group can contribute, and what each can learn from the other. They’ll go on to offer a strategic view of how to craft a mobility strategy that aligns with your business’s focus and processes.

* Apple has become the dominant mobile platform within the enterprise, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has decried the lack of good enterprise mobile apps. Will his company’s alliances with IBM and Cisco have any impact on that?
* Why aren’t we seeing more activity on the B2E front, and are any specific industries leading the way?
* What are some examples of enterprise success stories stemming from the convergence between Marketing and IT? What made them successful, and what can enterprises learn from them?
* Will IT be the driver for B2E apps, or will the lines of business contract for them independently?
* Will the move toward the Internet of Things take enterprise mobility in yet a different direction?
* If a company truly did want to establish an initiative to put mobility first, how should it start that process?

Beth Schultz, Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect Program and Managing Editor, No Jitter; Michael Finneran, President, dBrn Associates

Tuesday, March 8

9:15 – 10:00 AM

EC Summit: How Should You Prepare for the Next Wave?

We’ve entered a transitional period for enterprise communications: The PBX may not be dead exactly, but few enterprises want to make new investments in this legacy platform, even if they’re unwilling to toss out their PBXs prematurely. At the same time, the pressure is increasing to deliver communications features and functions that are more useful, flexible, and that deliver more business value than traditional siloed voice--and to at least consider doing so via cloud-based architectures that many technical leaders consider the wave of the future. In addition, mobility may be a given for your users, but delivering the mobile communications that end users really want and need, within cost and management structures the enterprise can support, is not straightforward. Finally, integration of communications with business processes represents an opportunity, but one that may not be fully understood or supported across the different enterprise organizations that must get behind such initiatives.

Given this backdrop, how do you chart your course for the future?

This session will help you begin to develop a framework for your roadmap, one that takes into account investment protection as well as future technology opportunities. . A panel of senior IT executives from enterprise organizations will offer real-world experiences and hard-won insights that can help you understand the implications of the choices you must make as enterprise communications enters its next generation. You’ll come away from this lively, stimulating discussion with some clear ideas about what works and what doesn’t; how fast you can and should move toward new models; and where the stumbling blocks are that could trip you up. This discussion will set the stage for the rest of the conference, offering an enterprise IT perspective on the big issues.

Eric Krapf, General Manager and Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect; Beth Schultz, Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect/Managing Editor, No Jitter

Wednesday, March 9

9:15 – 10:00 AM

Cloud Summit: Is Cloud Communications Ready to Fulfill Its Potential?

The cloud is one of the hottest topics in communications today, but does the reality match the hype? Is UC as a Service (UCaaS) still primarily an SMB play, or are larger enterprises making the move? And will Microsoft’s strong push for Skype for Business in the cloud disrupt the cloud communications marketplace, as it did in the CPE world? Finally, what cloud architectures and service types are appropriate for different communications needs?

In this session, thought leaders from across the cloud communications ecosystem will discuss and debate the trends within the cloud space, as well as the speed with which cloud will (or won’t) overtake CPE as the dominant method for deploying enterprise communications.

* What models of cloud services are proving most attractive to enterprises -- hosted UC (UCaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or UC on public cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
* Is a hybrid environment, with some communications functions handled on CPE and others in the cloud, likely to be the dominant model in the near and midterm? What are the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid cloud for communications?
* Will Microsoft Office 365/hosted Skype for Business become the service to beat in cloud communications?
* How do cost structures, ROI, and TCO compare among different cloud options, and between cloud and CPE?

Thursday, March 10

10:30 – 11:15 AM

EC Summit: Managing Communications in a Changing Environment

As enterprise communications become more software-centric and open—and as focus shifts toward mobility, the cloud, and business applications—your approach to systems management will have to evolve to keep up. In the new world, provisioning may be more complicated; service quality issues more multi-faceted and spread over additional media like messaging and video; and end users will be more diverse in their needs for different communications functions. Meanwhile, resiliency, uptime, security, and compliance will be, if anything, more important than ever. So as a communications/IT professional, how do you get your arms around all these challenges?

This EC Summit will analyze best practices in operations and management, and give you a framework for coping with the new reality in communications and collaboration.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Locknote/Town Hall

To close out Enterprise Connect, join leading analysts and the EC program committee and join the conversation over the major issues covered during the event. We’ll discuss and debate the progress of UC, mobility, and video; the prospects for WebRTC, cloud communications, and communications APIs; and the role of contact centers and SIP Trunking in the continued evolution of enterprise communications. Bring your questions, comments, and perspectives, and let us hear from you.

Eric Krapf, General Manager/Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect; Beth Schultz, Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect/Managing Editor, No Jitter; Michelle Burbick, Program Coordinator, Enterprise Connect/Associate Editor, No Jitter