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When the Enterprise Connect 2020 Conference program kicks off at 8 a.m. sharp on Monday, March 30, one of the sessions will be, “Can You Kill Desktop Telephony and Eliminate Your Phone Bill?” presented by Phil Edholm, president of PKE Consulting. When the final set of breakouts kicks off at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, we’ll be featuring sessions including, “Conversational AI: Using Messaging, Speech, and Chat to Automate Customer Engagement,” presented by Brent Kelly of consultancy KelCor.

You can think of that as the two edges of the industry today: What do we do about all the old stuff? And, what can we do with the new stuff? Shoehorned in between will be three and a half days of information, analysis, debate, and insights about all the issues playing out between these two poles—everything from video to team collaboration to contact centers, and much more.

Just to touch on a few highlights: The aforementioned Phil and Brent, in addition to the sessions noted above, will once again team up for their incredible Microsoft vs. Cisco session, providing a wealth of detail about how the two industry platform leaders are approaching the market, and how that should inform your enterprise’s strategic decision-making. The program also emphasizes security, with sessions on challenges around phone numbers, UC software, and video systems. In addition, security software is also the focus of our Innovation Showcase this year; showcase leader Dave Michels of TalkingPointz will be spotlighting new companies that are focusing on emerging challenges that communications systems face (or pose, or both).

We’re also excited to roll out our first-ever WorkSpace Connect Summit, a one-day program where we’ll be looking at collaboration from a new angle. We’re finding that, among many enterprises, the vision of collaboration isn’t just about the software tools you use—Microsoft Teams or Slack or whatever—or the media like video or screen sharing. Enterprises increasingly want to look at collaboration in the most basic sense of the word: How do people work together to get the job done? That means not just the technology, but the spaces; if open design is going to be the default office layout, how do you configure that space to create areas where people can get privacy, or can meet in small groups, or have quiet surroundings? Then the technology will be embedded in those spaces, or—increasingly—be brought in by the workers themselves. The WorkSpace Connect Summit will address this need for a more holistic view of collaboration from the perspective of three enterprise constituencies: IT, Facilities/Real Estate, and HR.

I’m just scratching the surface here of what our Enterprise Connect 2020 program will offer. The industry is growing, and your choices are expanding. There’s never been a single communications strategy that would work for every enterprise, and today the variety of potential pathways forward is more complex than it’s ever been: Communications technology can be integrated into the unique systems and business processes that run your enterprise; end users have more choices and more power in acting on those choices than ever; and technology itself is promising massive change, whether from ubiquitous video, more capable Artificial Intelligence, or potentially massive increase in public wireless bandwidth thanks to 5G.

This is the most exciting time our industry has ever seen, and I’m super excited for the first Enterprise Connect of a new decade. I hope you’ll join us for Enterprise Connect 2020—and don’t forget to use the code ECBLOG1213 when you register to save $200 off the current rate!

Eric Krapf
GM & Program Co-Chair Enterprise Connect & WorkSpace Connect
Publisher, No Jitter

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