Friday, March 1, 2024
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First Timers Enterprise Connect

Entering further into Unified Communication

For someone who likes to attend trade shows, you would think I’d have already experienced the UCC (unified communication and collaboration) spaces premier gathering. Alas, such is not the case. Since COVID hit and the world turned on its head, I figured there would be no time like 2022 to experience all the things I had been putting off; including Enterprise Connect.

Enterprise Connect is a bit different than other shows I’ve attended. The three-day format is similar but education is handled on the front end. The show floor doesn’t open until noon. The later start is nice but so is having the opportunity to go to keynotes and education sessions. At some shows attendees have had to choose between the show floor or education.

Hybrid

The overarching word of the week was Hybrid. This should come as no shock to anyone in the UCC or audiovisual (AV) space. Employees were sent home en masse in the Spring of 2020 and sort of just figured out how to get work done. The team members who had been the outcasts working remotely suddenly were the wisened old uncle with all the answers.

Fast forward two years and every person who took the keynote stage was talking about Hybrid work. Zoom, Ring Central, Google, and Poly all had presentations surrounding work from anywhere.

Show Floor

Highlights of the show floor was the realization that I knew most of these companies. It may not be the same exact people that I’m familiar with but Biamp, Shure, DTEN, Poly, AtlasIED, Sennheiser, and GoTo were all there. Certainly there were companies we’ve had very little interaction with in the AV space exhibiting. The nice part was the familiarity and how those AV companies fit into the UC space.

Neat was a particular bright spot. The brain power behind Neat has a long history in the AV and UC space. That legacy know-how shines through. The Neat Frame is a personal device positioned like a portrait mobile device. Neat has had the Frame for Zoom for a while. During Enterprise Connect they announced Teams certification and integration. Though that won’t be available until third quarter this year.

Call Centers

Zoom and others released either new or updated products in the call center space. These solutions allow for companies, integrators included, to bring together CRM, ticketing, and call mangagement into one interface. In that way you and your service team can see logs and data on speed and efficiency of service teams.

Though it was my first time at Enterprise Connect it won’t be my last. This show has demonstrated a unique view of the “AV/IT” convergence that those of us on this side of that divide have talked about for twenty years. As it becomes ever more clear these two industries are more related than not, you’ll see more AV companies at Enterprise Connect.

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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