4 Key Takeaways from Enterprise Connect 2014

Enterprise Connect 2014

This was my second year at Enterprise Connect in Orlando–always a major event for Avaya–and this year’s edition was no exception. We had a keynote by Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy, unveiled new Customer Experience Management solutions, launched new branding and ad campaigns based around customer stories–with an appearance by the “Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro.

While there were a lot of announcements, information sessions, and events at Enterprise Connect, here are my top four takeaways from this year’s event:

  1. Cloud is still in the hype cycle

    A number of cloud-enabled products and solutions were announced at Enterprise Connect, particularly by newer players in the market. Although many of those new players are presenting exciting concepts and generating lots of interest in cloud capabilities, many of them still lack significant proof points.

    Until there are quantifiable results from a variety of implementations, adoption levels will not keep up with the number of new products and solutions being developed. Cloud is real and here to stay, but if you are considering a cloud solution, beware of the hype cycle and choose a proven partner who has experience with driving real business benefits.

  2. Continued consumerization of IT

    We’ve been talking about the consumerization of IT for at least five years, so this is not new news, but recent survey data shows just how blurred the lines have become between the way people consume goods and services in their personal lives and how they make business purchasing decisions.

    If B2B companies aren’t taking the best of B2C capabilities and integrating them into their solutions, business customers will be turned off. Solutions must be easy, intuitive and reflect the 24/7 mobile world, where the difference between our work lives and our personal lives is almost nonexistent.

  3. True benefits of Unified Communications and Collaboration

    Another trend that doesn’t necessarily feel “trendy” is the ubiquity of unified communications and collaboration. The true benefits of these solutions are now visible in the way individuals expect to interact with one other: I expect to be able to get on a video call with my coworkers on my mobile device. I expect to collaborate globally and effectively make decisions that used to require face-to-face interaction. I expect my communications to be seamless and secure.

    As UC&C implementations become more prevalent, companies are now looking forward to “the next big thing” and how they can bring innovation into this growing market. Avaya Labs was able to showcase upcoming products and solutions and where we think UC&C is going in our Innovation Lounge, which was a big hit with attendees and analysts.

  4. Convergence of Unified Communications and Contact Center

    Why should we have separate communications infrastructures for different areas of our business? Why not use UC tools in a contact center or vice versa? These were the types of questions being asked at the various information sessions and panels dealing with innovation and evolution of enterprise communications.

    This is an important topic and one that could definitely have an impact on efficiency in contact centers as integrating real-time communications, presence, and other aspects of UC could significantly increase the speed of business and issue resolution.

For those who didn’t make it to Enterprise Connect in Orlando, we partnered with Enterprise Connect Online and No Jitter to produce a webinar that will enable participants to learn how to “Deliver Legendary Customer Experiences One Interaction at a Time.”

The webinar was hosted by Eric Krapf, Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect and Editor, No Jitter and features Sheila McGee-Smith, founder and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, reporting on the latest CEM and contact center trends. In addition, we presented the initial results and conclusions of the 2014 Avaya Customer Experience Survey.

Please visit us on this webcast page to watch the replay.

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