Mitel Forum 2007 - Highlights

For the most part, going away to conferences and industry events is a good thing. It's the best way to stay current, to gain a deeper understanding of companies and technology, to meet with clients, to network with others, and to meet new people. No argument there. The downside to going away is the disruption for everyday stuff, and no matter how much multitasking I do on the road, it always takes a few days to catch up.

Last week I was at the Mitel Forum 2007 in Las Vegas - nothing wrong with that, right? It was a really worthwhile event - for all the reasons cited above - but it's taken til now for me to blog about it. Don't ask why - some things just take a while, especially with Canada Day and July 4 coming right after.

So, this is another better-late-than-never posts, and it's mostly photos anyway. Mitel's event wasn't on the scale of Cisco - and that's a good thing. It was really nice to have a series of updates from Mitel's leadership team in a close, informal setting. They were very accessible, and open to two-way dialog. We were a group of about 25 analysts, and we had our own track of sessions that was separate and different from what the majority of attendees did. This was the broader Mitel community - distributors, technology partners and customers.

The only drawback was that the analysts were sequestered in one session room the whole conference. We hardly saw the light of day, and really only got to mingle with everyone else during the exhibitor showcase at the end of each day. The upside is that Mitel had our undivided attention - which is by design of course - so I think everyone got their money's worth. That said, it never fails - some analysts couldn't help themselves to ask Mitel execs questions about Inter-Tel. C'mon - we all want to know these things, but really, what can you expect Mitel to say with the deal still pending? Not all analysts are created equal....

All told, though, it was time well spent, and kudos to Mitel for putting on a well run event. My only complaint - and I'm not alone - was the lack of WiFi and Internet access. This was a big reason why I didn't blog last week - but the food sure was good.

As usual, photo highlights courtesy of my Nokia N93.


Mitel's favorite people - us analysts...


Exec roundtable - Jim Davies, Simon Gwatkin, Don Smith


Paul Butcher, Dan York


Exhibitor showcase




The fabulous Bellagio lobby ceiling - $13 million worth of glass. That's oversimplifying things, right? Gotta see it to believe it...


Sunset view from my room


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