NEW YORKOctober 19
CHICAGOOctober 26

2016 Conference Program

Program Schedule

8:30 – 9:30 AM: Registration opens; Breakfast and Networking

9:30 – 10:15 AM: Preparing Your Users to Succeed with Skype

Ultimately, the success of your Skype for Business implementation will depend on whether your end users actually become more productive by using this tool. In this session, Kevin Kieller, an independent expert and veteran of many Skype for Business deployments, will help you understand the key elements of a strategy for end user adoption and utilization. Some of the topics Kevin will cover include:

  • Understanding your users’ real needs (developing use cases)
  • Selecting the right endpoints for the right user types—desk phones, headsets, meeting room phones
  • How to build a training program that users will embrace and truly learn from, both initially and on an ongoing basis
  • Equipping your users to succeed in meeting rooms: Skype Room Systems, Surface Hub, Video interoperability

You’ll come away from this session with a detailed blueprint for putting Skype for Business into your users’ hands and making it work for them.

Speaker: Kevin Kieller, Partner, enableUC

10:15 – 11:00 AM: 15-minute Tech Talks

As Skype for Business becomes more widely deployed and utilized for desktop video, enterprises are faced with the challenge of connecting their users with their existing H.323/SIP meeting room systems.  There are a few different ways to achieve the face-to-face collaboration experience between your legacy video systems, and the options provide varying degrees of interoperability. No one approach fits all--your options today include:

  • investing in more infrastructure
  • subscribing to conferencing bridge services
  • cloud registration services
  • cloud interoperability services 

So how do you choose what best fits your needs? This session will address the technical challenges, risks and rewards of the different approaches available. 

Speaker:  Jeffry Swetz, Technical Engineer, StarLeaf (for NYC event)

Speaker: David Ward, Technical Engineer, StarLeaf  (for Chicago event)

How To Go Beyond Infrastructure to Build a Great Skype for Business User Experience

The path to a successful Skype for Business deployment is riddled with complex decisions—from architecture and infrastructure to integrations and endpoints. As you sort that out, you’ll also need to know how to fix issues related to real-world implementation across many types of meeting spaces:

  • How to specifically define your key performance indicators for UC: It’s more than just a “better telephony experience”
  • Room configuration: Room size, shape, acoustics, and surfaces, background noise, reverberation
  • Schizophonia: Optimal placement of mics and speakers to reduce stress and fatigue created by poor deployment; This fatigue costs your business actual dollars

Ultimately, the user's meeting experience determines how successful the deployment has been. Get it right in every room for every meeting, and your users will become the biggest advocates for your deployment.

Speaker: Alan MacLeod, Vice President of Product, Revolabs

Enterprises are trending towards the "open office" environment, which offers benefits in terms of opportunities for cost savings and increased employee interaction. But the challenges are equally clear, chief among them distraction. Employees need tools that allow them to focus and to communicate effectively with those outside the office space. This session will discuss the trends, challenges and solutions to increase productivity, performance and employee satisfaction within open offices. You'll learn how the choices you make in UC endpoint devices can either help or hinder your efforts to make the open office experience a productive one for your end users.

Speaker: 

Paul Jamieson, Partner Alliance Manager, Sennheiser  (New York)

Doug Bowersox Business Development Manager, Sennheiser (Chicago)

11:00 – 11:30 AM: Refreshment Break

11:30 – 12:30 PM: Lunch Keynote | Skype for Business Update from Microsoft

New York Keynote Speaker: Vik Kolli, Competitive Strategy Lead, Americas, Microsoft

Chicago Keynote Speaker: Darryl Rowe, Communications, Collaboration and Cloud Technologist, Microsoft

12:30 – 1:00 PM: Refreshment Break/Networking

1:00 – 1:45 PM: Your Planning & Deployment Checklist for Cloud and CPE

Eventually all paths lead to the cloud; the question is "When?" You need to be preparing for the cloud, since this is clearly Microsoft’s direction for the future of Skype for Business. At the same time, you’ve got to proceed with your plans for on-prem rollout in order to deliver results and functionality this year. This session will help you understand the most critical issues in making sure that your Skype for Business rollout…

  • stays on track
  • or, gets off to the right start, if you haven’t yet started
  • or, gets back on track, if you have encountered obstacles

Kevin Kieller will update you on the latest announcements out of September’s Microsoft Ignite event, as well as providing detailed technology and licensing information that will help you deal with the problems you may face now, and steps to take now to make sure your ongoing Skype for Business strategy is a success.

Among the key pain points and challenges Kevin will address:

  • Why your network will almost certainly cause you problems
  • How to manage moves, adds, changes, DIDs and extensions
  • How to keep your environment healthy
  • How to deal with end user complaints

You’ll come away with an arsenal of information and best practices that will help you make your Skype for Business deployment pay off.

1:45 – 2:15 PM: Networking Reception