Enterprise Connect – Day 2

    We have just wrapped up another successful day here at Enterprise Connect in Orlando.

    Today’s event kicked off with a panel discussion on virtualizing voice applications, hosted by folks from Avaya, Microsoft, Mitel, and VMware. Mitel was represented by its Cloud Technologist, Stephen Brown. Stephen had many great discussion points and definitely did not fail to deliver in his presentation. A lot of the discussion was around software application abilities in a virtualized environment and how certain hurdles are overcome by each vendor. Each vendor had a different way of handling those challenges, however Mitel proved to be the true leader of voice virtualization. I was impressed by the number of checkmarks Mitel has in its voice virtualization column. Each time a question came up from the moderator or from the crowd, Mitel stood up and said, “We do that, and here’s how…” Having sold many Virtual Mitel Communications Director (vMCD) deployments, I can stay that what Stephen talked about is very true.

    After the panel discussion on voice virtualization, I headed down to the Expo floor. Since Mitel had so much going on in their booth – and it was jammed with people – I had to go back and revisit a few things that I didn’t get an opportunity to before.

    Stopping by the Mitel booth today (Booth #1405), there was lots of action – great demos, discussions with leading industry analysts, and Mitel’s corporate management team were there as well. The booth was just packed with people – standing room only!

    With a number of new products from Mitel – including Mitel Unified Communicator® Advanced (UCA) version 5.1 and the Mitel UC360™ Collaboration Point – there was plenty to see. During my visit to the booth, leading industry analysts were checking out some of the cool functionality between UCA 5.1 and the UC360. With new SIP enhancements and integration between the two (UCA 5.1 and UC360), the functionality is truly impressive – as too is the great price point. I watched as some of the analysts tried UCA and the UC360 inter-op. I think they were pretty impressed to see how easy it is to escalate from a basic IM (instant message) chat, to a voice conversation, to a full video conference with the UC360. No matter if you are using a UC360 as a room-based or an office-based video collaboration device – or just running the video from your laptop with a web cam with UCA – it’s pretty seamless and easy to use.

    Just before I left the Mitel booth, I saw another great thing happen: Mitel’s senior management came down to the booth and met with Mitel end-user customers, potential new customers, and authorizedPARTNERs. This was the highlight of my day, getting an opportunity to chat with Mitel’s managers and tell them what I’m seeing in my marketplace and my thoughts on Mitel. Mitel has always used a “personal touch” when doing business, and it was great to see management on the floor engaging with customers and speaking to the leading industry analysts. It meant a lot to have that face time.

    Tomorrow is the last full day of Enterprise Connect, with the Expo wrapping up in the afternoon. I’m looking forward to hearing from Mitel’s Jim Davies. Jim will be speaking about “the right mix of cloud vs. on-premises.” Based on some of the conversation today amongst the crowd, tomorrow’s panel discussion on cloud vs. premises will be exciting!