Enterprise Connect 2017 – UC Integration, Migration, and Customer Success
Mike Frayne, CEO, VOSS Solutions
We had big plans for Enterprise Connect this year, and the show didn’t disappoint. With two product announcements (VOSS Assurance and VOSSBot), a diary full of pre-scheduled meetings with customers, prospects and industry analysts, and some exciting partnerships in the developmental phase, we were in for a busy week.
The theme at Enterprise Connect this year was "Communication & Collaboration Transforming Business", with a focus on helping organizations maximize their investments in communications and collaboration systems, software and services.
In my opinion, there were three themes that dominated conversations.
UC integration was frequently discussed by customers, prospects, and indeed by many of the analysts we met with; the consensus being that now is the time for integration. In fact, VOSS announced our integration capabilities at last year’s show and for the past 12 months we have been helping providers and enterprises transform the way they do business. VOSS connects an organization’s UC infrastructure to other business processes, which fundamentally changes the way they do business and allows them to attain the promised financial benefits of collaboration technology.
This becomes even more important when we consider recent Nemertes Research which shows that implementation costs were significantly up in 2016 - nearly tripling in one year - mainly due to the cost of integration. Nemertes reported that "Companies spend significantly more time planning and engineering their rollouts because there is so much more integration to consider. They also are doing more integration during the implementation (vs. months or years later when new needs emerge)."
UC migrations were a huge part of many discussions. It was impossible not to notice the amount of movement in the industry at the moment. There are many organizations looking to move away from legacy technologies and Avaya, but are still evaluating which platform to move to; there are organizations that – largely for security reasons – want to replace multi-vendor point products with a standard Cisco or Microsoft UC platform; and there are organizations hoping to find a way for multiple UC platforms to coexist without integration. VOSS can help with all of these scenarios, and we were pleased with the level of interest in our migration processes and tools.
I also saw a strong focus on "success driven by data" which linked customer success to UC product adoption and usage, and the ability to see, understand and report on UC data. Many vendors, not originally designed for this space, are extending their product capabilities to help customers gain better insight into adoption and usage of specific applications. For example, Plantronics is building its own management and reporting portal, and similarly, Microsoft's Skype for Business team has built its entire framework around customer success to improve product "stickiness." It’s very promising to see this evolution, as VOSS is also following a similar route to fuel customer success by providing an end-to-end solution to manage UC (VOSS-4-UC), measure UC adoption and success (VOSS Analytics), and diminish issues impacting customer experience (VOSS Assurance).
This was easily our most successful year at Enterprise Connect and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2018!