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One company has just emerged from Chapter 11 and is making a fresh start in an industry it dominated for years. Another company is an Internet giant that’s also a leader in advanced technologies like machine learning. Another is one of the biggest forces driving industry consolidation, as well as pushing the transition to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). And, speaking of UCaaS, three of the companies are among the innovators and fierce competitors that have shifted the landscape for enterprise communications by driving UCaaS upmarket.

What all these companies have in common is that they’ll be bringing these and other elements of their visions to the Enterprise Connect main stage the week of March 12. After seeing this half-dozen companies deliver what we’re calling Industry Vision Addresses, our audience will have a much clearer idea of the forces behind the most important trends impacting enterprise communications.

Our six Industry Vision Address speakers are:

  • Bryan R. Martin, chairman and CTO, 8x8
  • Laurent Philonenko, SVP and GM of Solutions & Technology, Avaya
  • Diane Chaleff, G Suite, Office of the CTO, Google Cloud
  • Joshua Haslett, VP, Strategic Innovations, Mitel
  • David Sipes, COO, RingCentral
  • Alan Masarek, CEO, Vonage

Each of these individuals will give a 15-minute talk outlining their vision on the industry issues that they’re confronting. Our aim here is to give you a sense of how these important companies view the biggest trends and challenges in the industry. Each will bring a unique view and come from a unique perspective:

Avaya’s huge installed base meant that its 2017 bankruptcy was a critical moment not just for the company, but for the industry. Having weathered that storm, Avaya can move forward and its customers can take a fresh look at the future of that installed base, and where new technology could lead it.

Another company that comes out of the legacy world, Mitel, has been aggressive in positioning itself as a consolidator, acquiring enterprise communications assets from Ericsson and Toshiba, as well as its acquisitions of Aastra and ShoreTel. The ShoreTel deal in particular fuels Mitel’s rise in the UCaaS space, where it’s ranked among the market-share leaders.

But that UCaaS space is highly competitive. Not only are companies like Avaya and Mitel making their play for cloud communications, but new entrants like RingCentral, 8x8, and Vonage have made great progress in moving upmarket. And each of those companies is taking a different tack when it comes to the vision it holds for what the cloud can do for you and how you can best leverage it, both now and in the future.

Finally, we’re glad to welcome Google to the main stage, where the company’s topic will be machine learning. We’re hearing more and more about artificial intelligence (AI) and its cousin machine learning; these technologies power many of the developments that are becoming increasingly important for communications, such as speech technologies (a topic about which we’ve got a new track this year), and contact centers (about which we’ve had a track for years, growing in popularity each year).

I’m excited about these talks. I’m hoping they’ll help you compare competing visions of the future, as well as get a pulse on what some of the movers and shakers have in store in their particular areas. You can register for Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018 here, and now’s a great time to do it: We’ve extended our Advance Rate, the lowest rate we offer, which now expires on Friday, Jan. 19. I hope to see you in Orlando.