by Tim Dreyer on March 29th, 2012
“Everybody wants in ta da act.”
This was the famous go-to line of vaudevillian and golden-age-of-cinema actor Jimmy Durante when some star-struck member of the audience wanted to crowd the stage with him. It seemed metaphorical for this year’s Enterprise Connect event.
Case in point, on day two, rather than a VP of Vendor, Inc. or a high-priced motivational speaker, Tuesday’s program began with an end-user panel of decision-makers who voiced concerns, talked about their organizational challenges and willingly shared their insight on the most pressing issues in the industry: Cloud, BYOD, and interoperability. Among them were:
- Alan Levine, CIO at The Kennedy Center
- Barry Libenson, Sr. VP and CIO at Land O’Lakes
- James Druzbik, VP of Information Systems at Group 1 Automotive
- Stuart Shirai, Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawai‘i
- Donna Zett, CIO at AOT Bedding
They took that stage normally occupied by vendors and gave a rousing performance. End-users want in to the act because when they are, they are heard; they want contact and unified solutions that are designed with their needs in mind. They wanted in to the act. And we welcome them.
And look at everybody wanting in to the Cloud. As Sheila McGee-Smith noted on her NoJitter.com post, a good number of vendors introduced Cloud offerings at Enterprise Connect. More end-users express interest in cloud-based UC offerings in the past year, so vendors have heard the call, unveiling a variety of cloud services at the show. But too many choices make decision making difficult: Public or private? Hosted or Hybrid? And while the Cloud stage seems crowded now, audience members know the talented performers are always asked back for a curtain call.
Vendors want in to the cloud act and the industry seems to be welcoming them with rounds of applause.
And finally, look at Lync. One of the hottest performances at the show was the number of vendors making announcements for Lync-based solutions. It seems the Lync-based UC performance – once just a solo act starring Aspect – is now not only the hottest ticket in town, it’s also featuring an ensemble cast. And the stage is surely set to grow larger as the year goes by, making it big enough for multiple players. But even though everyone wants in to the Lync act, seasoned audience members know… there can only be one lead.