Enterprise Connect – Day 3

    Today we wrapped up our last day at Enterprise Connect here in Orlando. It has been a busy, fast-paced three days – however every minute was enjoyable.

    The last session of the day was one of the sessions that I was holding out for. You could say, in a way, they saved the best last. Today’s session was about hosted cloud solutions vs. premises-based solutions – or a mix of both. There was management on the panel from 8×8, Mitel, NEC, and ShoreTel. Representing Mitel was its CTO, Jim Davies.

    There were a number of different topics covered during the panel discussion; however the majority of them revolved around disaster recovery should the cloud provider run into technical issues. One audience member even questioned what would happen if the hosting provider was to go bankrupt – “what would happen to my voice network? It’s mission critical!” Many vendors talked about how their cloud solution was based on their “hardened call control” from the PBX days, but there was nothing mentioned about mixing the two environments. The overall tendency was “we have cloud- or premises-based solutions, either is available.” There seemed to be no common ground on providing a blend of hosted and premises-based. That was, until Jim Davies spoke…

    I was truly impressed with Jim’s responses – as I always am when he speaks. This topic was not new to Jim and he came well prepared. As Jim explained, with cloud offerings from Mitel’s NetSolutions operating on a VMware infrastructure, it is very simple for Mitel to give the customer direct access to the Virtual Mitel Communications Director (vMCD) instance, but also the virtualization itself which contains the vMCD.  With this, the virtualization can be easy and quickly moved around – which could be back to the customer’s network (a premises-based solution) or to another hosting provider. The flexibility that Jim mentioned was truly impressive and Mitel was the only one that had all the bases covered.

    All around, I would say, again, Mitel was leading the pack on the discussion panel.

    With another year of Enterprise Connect now past, I can say that there were a lot of great things happening at the event. Mitel did not fail to deliver at Enterprise Connect. From hosted / cloud offerings, to voice virtualization with VMware, to the latest in collaboration tools – Mitel came prepared and it showed.

    And I’m excited to know that Mitel will be at another great show this year, Cloud Connect 2013, where they’ll continue showing off the great things they’re doing with both hosted and premises-based solutions.