Published: November 4th, 2015

Last week’s Telecom 2015 Conference, organized by Neotelis Inc., was an incredible event with more than 260 customers, consultants and vendors in attendance. The level of energy and engagement between attendees was outstanding!

Allstream, Avaya, babyTEL, Blackberry, BroadConnect Telecom, Calabrio-LOEM, Cisco, Digitcom, Fortinet, Interactive Intelligence, Introtel, Microsoft, Mitel, NEC, Nu Echo, Panasonic, Primus, ShoreTel, Solulan, Star Telecom, ThinkTel, Unity and Uptivity-LOEM, all made excellent presentations throughout the day.

FOX GROUP found the Nu Echo presentation interesting because they outlined the importance of testing and the opportunity for organizations to outsource all of their testing – not just application testing, but voice quality as well. They suggested that the best time to consider testing services is during the preparation of the RFP when the budget is being defined. FOX GROUP found the fact that the testing can be done remotely to be particularly noteworthy.

Mitel shared their recent expansion plans and focus on expanding mobile. Mitel continues to complete its vision of simplifying and supporting uniformity by ensuring that their client and management tools have the same look and feel whether at desktop level or mobile and whether on premise or in the cloud. It also positions itself to be able to support clients who want to embark on new trending Voice-over-LTE technologies and Omni-channel contact centers. FOX GROUP commends them on becoming WebRTC enabled. Mitel always seems to listen to industry feedback and stay ahead of the curve by acquisition and integration.

We tend to think of Blackberry as a device company first, but their presentation highlighted their enterprise security, which has grown even stronger through some of their recent acquisitions. They also emphasized their focus on collaboration and cross-platform capabilities beyond Blackberry. FOX GROUP was happy to hear that Blackberry is focusing on what they do best.

The Avaya presentation was titled “Disruptive Collaboration Technology,” and speaker Dave Petramala shared his vision for the need to disrupt the market you are in to grow market share. Disrupt or BE disrupted! He went on to emphasize the need to be in the cloud and focus on creating a frictionless user experience. FOX GROUP found Dave’s vision of a move away from email to real-time communication very exciting.

Day 2 of the program was The Telecom Forum, which featured seven presentations and panels by expert independent consultants focusing on topics important to ICT managers. This year the line-up included Karl Hentschel, MCCS presenting a “Primer on SDN and NFV;” Cheryl Odee Helm of Helm Communications, “Omni/Multi Channel, Premise-Based/Hosted: What is the Optimal Contact Centre Solution?”

Helga Egan, FOX GROUP, on “How To Do SIP Trunking Right;” David Crowe, Cellular Networking Perspectives, “When Industry Fads Fade and Prevent Progress;” Raphael Ly, KPMG on “New Opportunities From Emerging Mobile and On-line Behaviours” and Jon Arnold, J Arnold & Associates, on “Top 5 Trends Shaping UC for 2016.”

Emerging Technologies

In Karl Hentschel’s presentation on SDN and NFV we heard that SDN is not ready for prime time yet. The lack of standards means that different vendors have their own interpretation of SDN. Locations without legacy technology will find it easier to implement SDN and anyone considering an SDN implementation needs to keep the lack of standards in mind as this could have a financial implication down the road.

FOX GROUP Senior Consultant Helga Egan gave an insightful presentation aptly entitled, “How To Do SIP Trunking Right.” Helga has been consulting in this space for many years and shared her insights on both the challenges and opportunities that companies should consider when planning a move to SIP. FOX GROUP note: Unlike SDN in its early days, SIP is already prepared for prime time.

Raphael Ly, KPMG, shared the findings from a new KPMG Global Survey, which looked at mobile and on-line behaviours from a wide variety of perspectives. In this fast-paced and informative session, the key takeaway was around the behaviour of Millennials and how mobile is central to almost everything they do. FOX GROUP urges readers to take the time to understand what motivates this group so that they can adapt their hiring and retention policies to support the success of their new employees and their companies.

People, Technology, Work and the Future 

The two-day event ended with an executive-level panel discussion entitled “The Future of Work, The Intersection of Work, Technology and People.” This excellent senior panel was created and led by FOX GROUP’s EVP Susan Dineen. Based on the insights and panel discussions, work will be more collaborative and be able to take place anywhere, anytime with anyone!

This was the third year for the annual Toronto Showcase and Forum for Managers of Information and Communications Technology. The two-day event began with the Telecom Showcase, where participants had an opportunity to choose from 28 different 45-minute presentations given by key industry vendors.

The day finished with the Cocktail Expo where guests could enjoy drinks and snacks while visiting more than 40 industry exhibitors. During the Cocktail Expo, FOX GROUP was pleased to introduce our new FOX ePROcurement Advisory Services. To learn more about how ePRO can help put you in control of complex technology acquisitions and save you time and money, please visit our Web site – www.foxePRO.com.

Do not hesitate to contact Roberta Fox to discuss further. As always, I welcome your thoughts, feedback and comments. You can contact me at Roberta.Fox@FOXGROUP.ca or 905-473-3369 x 1001.