Our first batch of sessions for the Enterprise Connect 2020 conference is complete and posted on the event website. We’ve got about 20 session descriptions up there now; we’ll be adding more continually through the month, and hope to have the full roster of 60+ online by the end of this month. So as our stalwart program committee pauses to catch our breath, I took a look back at what we already have, and the thing that struck me most was that the sessions have a strong practical focus.
We’ve always emphasized pragmatic information over techno-hype at Enterprise Connect, but the topics of discussion over the last few years were technologies and services that had yet to reach widespread deployment in the enterprise—so practical experience wasn’t always easy to come by. By now, deployment may not yet have reached the point where it can be called widespread, but there’s definitely enough real-world experience with cloud communications, team collaboration, and other emerging technologies for our expert speakers to have some real-world lessons to share. And that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
It’s kind of telling that we’ve reached this point in the adoption curve as we head into Enterprise Connect 2020. The year 2020 has some meaningful echoes for us at Enterprise Connect. For one thing, it’ll be our 30th anniversary, so this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the cycle of technology hype, deployment, and implementation play out in enterprise communications.
The year 2020 also resonates because it was three years ago, in advance of Enterprise Connect 2017, that we launched a stream of content at the show called “Communications & Collaboration 2020.” Our idea was that there was all this new technology coming at our audience, and while this emerging technology might not be something you would purchase in 2017, it was already becoming important, and within three years’ time it probably would be something you’d need to understand. Three years seemed like the right time horizon: long enough away so that you could develop some strategic perspective on the technology, but soon enough that our presenters wouldn’t be tempted to lapse into insubstantial visions of some blue-sky future.
Our Communications & Collaboration 2020 content was a hit, and so we’ve repeated this concept every year since. There’ll be a Communications & Collaboration 2023 track at EC2020, and our first posted session gives you a sense of how this strategic-vision content continues to evolve: Sheila McGee-Smith, our Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair, will lead a session on how the evolution of customer experience systems is driving a convergence of sales, service, and marketing systems on the backend—and shaking up the corresponding enterprise organizations in the process.
Still, I’m a little wistful when I think about the fact that we’re embarked on producing a show for 2020; three years ago, that date represented nothing more than a dot on the horizon, and one you had to squint to make out.
But it’s real: 2020 is coming, and I think we’re all bracing for it to be a hell of a year, one way or another. One thing I do know is that Enterprise Connect 2020 is happening March 30 to April 2 at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando, Fla., and we’d love to see you there. I hope you’ll check out the event website and plan to join us for the can’t-miss event in enterprise communications. As an EC Blog reader, you can even save an additional $200 off our Advance Rate simply by entering the code ECBLOGOCT at checkout!