The Virtuous CIO  

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March 1, 2011 — Enterprise Connect Day 2

It took a day to realize the true value of the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando. After struggling to stay awake through interminable presentations by self-interested industry visionaries, I then attended the vendor exhibition. The vendor floor was inhabited by aggressive denizens of the Unified Communications space, and they were interested in communicating the value of their offerings to the attendees – if I could generalize. Very useful.

To be honest, I attended some valuable presentations, which helped shape my opinion of the industry and guided my thinking about a UC strategy for my organization. This is where shows like this are helpful. This morning a session on the current view of the UC market was excellent. Perhaps the event that proved the value of the entire trip. At the lunch table I met a senior manager from a large cellular provider who had recently been involved in a Unified Communicating rollout covering multiple tens of thousands of users. Within the constraints of that brief conversation, I was able to grok the vision of which many of the attendees were singing.

So it was the chance meetings that have proved the value of this conference. My cohorts and I, in our extended conversations over dinner, are beginning to tell ourselves, yeah, this makes sense. This is where the unending web sessions, virtual rooms and conference calls do not serve the needs of business, and likely never will. This face to face, bad breath & body odor, limited restroom space & meal lines, and forced association with other technology professionals seeds the ideas that transform our businesses.

Yep, it's worth the trouble.