ITExpo 2013, Las Vegas - Day 1

Yesterday was Day 1 of this year's ITExpo West, being held for the first time in Las Vegas. Much bigger here in many ways than Austin was last year. Too early to tell how this location plays out, but there are definitely lots of people here. Just sharing a few high level thoughts from what I saw yesterday.

Things kicked off with a roundtable panel on tech trends, with voices from TMC, analysts and consultants. There were a lot of good ideas and food for thought, and the hour flew by fast. Topics covered included M2M, white spaces, WebRTC and the need for IPV6. Bigger picture, a key theme was the idea that our personal identities have value - as we better understand that, the relationship between buyers and sellers will change, and this has implications for everyone in the room - both as consumers and as businesses trying to make money in telecom.

Moving on, I moderated a well-attended session on how technology can be used in the contact center to improve the customer experience. Lots to talk about there, and it's clear that things like social media, mobility and multichannel communication are presenting big challenges for contact centers. It's also worth noting that almost everyone in the room was a first-time ITExpo attendee. This happened as well in the panel I ran this morning on hosted PBX. I'm sure the Las Vegas location has something to do with that, and maybe TMC is tapping into a new audience - time will tell.

Otherwise, yesterday was full with briefings and from there, everyone went to StartupCamp8. Over the past few ITExpos, this has been the most engaging session, helped in large part by the open bar, but also the content. The format is well honed now, and 4 startups gave their pitches, followed by some feedback from the judges. After that, the audience voted on winner, which turned out to be a local startup, Alice Receptionist. None of these really stood out for me, but I have a more detailed post coming about these startups - it will run on the UCStrategies portal, hopefully before the week is out.

Preceding the pitches, we heard a good keynote from Jeff Bonforte of Yahoo!. Aside from telling us how they missed out on acquiring Twitter for pocket change in its early days, Jeff covered 12 elements that characterize innovative organizations. Overall, this sounds like a good recipe for success, and clearly most businesses simply aren't wired this way. Aside from things you'd expect to hear, I enjoyed his take on the need to fail before you can succeed. For companies that can learn from this, the main idea is that the more you fail, the more likely you'll find something that actually sticks. It seems countertintuitive, but when you compare the culture of startups against enterprises, it's not hard to see why this is standard procedure for the former type of business.

I'll get another post out by end of the week, and I'm sure the buzz will be great when the show floor opens later this afternoon.

Rich Tehrani kicking off the show
 Technology trends roundtable
 View of the strip from the 62nd floor during the reception following StartupCamp8