What I’m Looking for at Enterprise Connect

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Story by Eric Krapf

Google’s role in communications, Skype for Business, WebRTC… Enterprise Connect 2015 promises to deliver the latest thinking on these and many other topics.

One of the ways I try to prepare myself for Enterprise Connect each year is by stepping back and coming up with a list of questions that I hope the show will, if not answer definitively, at least offer some insight on. Here’s some of what I’ll be keeping my eye out for when the show opens this morning.

The Role of Software
This is a big, somewhat amorphous topic; obviously there’s been software running on communications systems forever. But the last few years have made it clear that the dynamics and cost factors of software are in the process of overtaking an industry in which hardware had been the dominant influence. We’re trying a few things at Enterprise Connect this year to help enterprise communications decision-makers deal with the changes that software dominance brings. The popularity of these topics will be a clue to me as to how fast the transition is actually happening within enterprises.

Specifically, we’ve created an entire track on communications software architectures, and we’ve baked software issues into several other tracks. The aim is to explore some key aspects of the transition, including: integration with business applications; pricing and licensing issues; patching and version control; interoperability; and the role of outside experts — to name just a few. We’re also examining how the legacy platform vendors are trying to be more software-centric, and how new companies are using software architectures to challenge them.

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