Enterprise communications is no longer a silo, and that means that old ways of building a strategic vision and plan need to change. The pace of technology change is also speeding up. Now is the time to start building your plans for keeping up with and even leveraging the strategic transformation that’s coming in the next 3 years. You need to be ready for the evolution of today’s communications/collaboration systems, and their potential integration with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, 5G cellular, Internet of Things, voice recognition/speech synthesis, bots, and more.

The sessions in this conference-within-a-conference reflect the key technology streams that Enterprise Connect covers: Core Communications/Collaboration; Cloud Communications; Video; Contact Center; and Mobility. Forward-looking experts and industry watchers will head up these sessions, delving into the emerging technologies that promise to shape the next wave of strategic decisions that leading enterprises will have to make in 2021.

The purpose of this conference-within-a-conference is to deliver the information that enterprise decision-makers need to understand today about the technology elements that will likely be commercially available and enterprise-ready by 2021. This day is not about painting futuristic, pie-in-the-sky scenarios that may happen “someday.” Instead, sessions will comprise carefully considered discussions that provide a realistic look at the technologies likely to drive enterprise communications decision-making in 2021.


8:00 - 8:45 AM


What—if anything—is the communications platform of the future?

Today’s core communications platforms—the PBX and its related CPE—will only continue to diminish in importance over the next three years. So what, if anything, will take its place at the core of enterprise communications? Are today’s Team Collaboration platforms, with their extensive integrations, being positioned as the new center of gravity for all modes and media? Or is the concept of a central platform itself passe? And how will the planning for communications’ future fit in with enterprises’ broader imperatives around digital transformation? In this session, a leading analyst will discuss how far we’re likely to travel in the next three years, from today’s world of legacy CPE and basic hosted UCaaS to the platform of the future—whatever it may be.


* Is a central, core platform necessary in order to ensure “enterprise-grade” communications? Within three years, how might our definition of “enterprise grade” communications have changed?

* How will trends like open interfaces, multimedia integration, and new technologies like AI and speech interfaces affect the ways that enterprises architect and build their next communications systems?

* To what extent will there be an affirmative case for replacing legacy core systems, as opposed to just “sweating the assets?”

* How will organizational changes within enterprise technology groups affect the communications/collaboration teams? How directly will the evolution of communications/collaboration be integrated into the broader digital transformation initiatives?

9:00 - 9:45 AM


AI, IoT, and omnichannel show great promise—this session tackles the question of how widely they’ll really be deployed within three years.

New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are already emerging in contact center systems—so three years from now, how far will they have spread and what impact will they be having on infrastructure deployments as well as on customer service metrics? This session will focus on the impact of technologies including: AI/analytics; IoT; omnichannel integration; speech technologies; sentiment analysis; and more. The leading market analyst will discuss prospects for deployment of these technologies, and how their emergence may impact—and be impacted by—the broader trend toward cloud-based contact center infrastructure. She’ll be joined by a panel of professional services experts from leading vendors, who will give a ground-level view of what’s really going on—and where it’s heading.


* How will the vendor landscape evolve over the next three years in response to emergence of new technologies?

* Will omnichannel contact centers be the rule within three years, or will omnichannel be more hype than reality?

* How extensively will AI/analytics, IoT integration, and speech technologies be incorporated into contact center systems within three years, and how will enterprises access these capabilities?

* Will CRM vendors be handling a large proportion of digital contact center interactions?

* Will the trend toward cloud-based contact centers continue to grow, or is there a natural limit?

10:15 - 11:00 AM


The video space is changing rapidly—find out how to plan for the new technologies and work styles that will drive the change.

Next-gen work environments. Telecommuting. Remote workers. Dynamic and distributed work teams. Open work spaces. These are just a few of the trends and opportunities many enterprises are dealing with. And notably, each of these concepts depends heavily on a company’s A/V and videoconferencing estate for success. So what will the A/V and video world look like in 20201 and beyond?

Will meeting rooms go the way of the dinosaur? If not, what will those rooms look like? What devices (if any) will remain, and how will they be purchased, deployed, used, and managed? Will virtual reality/augmented reality take the place of large shared displays? Will ideation (a.k.a. advanced collaboration, teaming, etc.) take over as the next wave in collaboration? Will artificial intelligence bring new ease of use and accessibility?

And last, but certainly not least, how will your organization and network handle the future A/V-video conferencing environment?

This session will provide information, insight, and informed projections about the future of the enterprise videoconferencing, conferencing, and A/V environment. You’ll come away with a clear idea of what questions, topics, and plans you should pursue as you plot the next three years for your video and A/V estate.


* Will your organization have more or fewer meeting rooms in the future?

* What technology will be in your A/V rooms of the future, and who will install and manage the technology?

* Will videoconferencing play a more or less important role in 2021 and beyond?

* What new functions and activities will your users need and expect to maximize productivity and effectively compete?

* How will services empower the communication environment? Will there still be a place for on-premises technology?

* What can/should IT and network managers do to prepare for the next-gen video and A/V estate? Can one even prepare for what’s coming?

* What new technologies will permeate the meeting room--and how will they change (and hopefully improve) the impact and effectiveness of user meetings?

2:15 - 3:00 PM


Cloud communications start with UCaaS, but they don’t end there. What role will cloud-based services be playing in communications by 2021?

Communications, collaboration, and contact center systems are all being delivered from the cloud, to a growing number of enterprises each year. And the cloud is likely to play a broader role in enterprise communications over the next three years: Many of the capabilities that enterprises want to integrate with communications—such as AI, IoT, and speech enablement—reside principally or exclusively within the cloud. So there’s very likely to be a cloud in your communications future. The question is what you use it for, who you get it from, and the costs and benefits for your enterprise. This session will address all those questions, so that you take away a clear picture of what the cloud will be able to do for you in the next three years.


* How will the competitive environment look for cloud-based communications? What will characterize the leading players and their respective value propositions?

* Will cloud-based communications features and functions grow more similar to their on-premises counterparts, or more different?

* What varieties of hybrid cloud architecture are we likely to see?

* How should you think about Cloud Communications holistically, in the context of your enterprise’s broader move to the Cloud? How might communications fit into your broader Multi-Cloud strategy?

* What’s likely to be the state of the art for the advanced technologies that will rely on the cloud, like AI, IoT, and speech enablement? Will they be enterprise-grade and suitable for deployment in your service environment—or will the technology still be maturing? How easy or difficult are the integrations likely to be?

Watch a 30-Minute Preview in advance of this session, presented by Zeus Kerravala.

3:15 - 4:00 PM


As important as the past several years have been in making mobility a dominant mode of communications, the next few years will be at least as consequential, if not more. Users will only grow more dependent on their mobile devices, while the cellular operators--facing market saturation on the consumer side--will have new incentive to come up with enterprise-focused offerings. And emerging technologies will be arriving to enable those new offerings—on the technology side, everything from 5G to small cells to continued WiFi improvements; and on the application side, uses ranging from customer service to Internet of Things (IoT).

In this session, a leading Mobility analyst will describe the emerging mobile technologies that will be in play by 2021, and how their availability and adoption will affect your enterprise communications environment. You’ll come away with an understanding of what new technologies are likely to be generally available within three years, and what you’ll be able to do with them.


* How widely deployed will 5G networks be by 2021? What impact will 5G have on my enterprise, and what should we be doing now to prepare for it?

* How might increased use of team and social collaboration tools impact enterprise mobile usage? Will more enterprise video traffic be running at least partially over wireless networks?

* Is it safe to assume IoT adoption will be widespread in many enterprises by 2021, and if so, how will IoT transform my communications environment?

* Will the demand for mobile substitution drastically reduce the number of desk phones and PC-based softphones my enterprise needs to support? What do I need to know to be prepared to support mobile substitution?

* What new developments can we expect in Wi-Fi? What will the next generation of 802.11 standards enable?


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