Collaboration Vendors to Watch - Our BCStrategies Podcast

Been offline a few days, but now back to posting. Getting real busy again on a few fronts, and before things get too hectic, I’ve been meaning to share this podcast.

As part of BCStrategies, we record podcasts regularly, and this is a topic we’ve been meaning to do for a while. The big players by nature get most of the limelight, and this time around, we wanted to focus on lesser-known companies who are doing interesting things.

Without variety, things get dull pretty fast, and this webinar provides a good window into what companies other than Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Amazon, et al are up to. This time around, the podcast was hoted by Blair Pleasant, and for reference, the replay link here also provides a brief overview of the companies we talked about. For my segment, I touched on CoreDial, Nectar, Sangoma, and Cogito. All doing very different things, but interesting in their own ways.

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Slack Frontiers 2018 - My 3 Takeaways on BCStrategies

I really wanted to get this posted before the week is out and while the conference is still fresh. My followers will know that I posted some photos and thoughts earlier about Slack’s event, but more needed to be said, and that’s what I’ve done here.

As my followers will also know, I’ve long been a BC Expert with BCStrategies, and that’s a good place to share my high level takeaways about Slack and their Frontiers 2018 event.

There’s more to come, but I hope this post gives you a good flavor for what’s coming with Slack, and how they’re pushing the frontiers of collaboration. As always, your comments are welcome, and any sharing would be greatly appreciated.

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Next Webinar - Making IT Strategic as Collaboration Moves to the Cloud

I’ve been doing several webinars lately, including this one in late July for Ziff Davis. That webinar was sponsored by Jive Software (now part of Aurea) as a two-part series around the impact of digital transformation collaboration.

Next week’s webinar will be the second part of my analysis, this time focused on IT’s changing role. With so much moving to the cloud - including collaboration - this presents new challenges for IT to remain strategic, and layering digital transformation into this, there will be some re-invention needed.

That’s the gist of what’s coming, and more details are here on the registration page. If that sounds like you, then save the date - Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 2ET - and I hope you can join me then.

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Slack Frontiers 2018 - Quick Take and Pix

This is just Slack's second industry event, and while they've come a long way in a little time, they're not quite a household name. That's probably a good thing, as they've been quietly and intelligently building what looks to be a great organization with the kind of vibe, culture and passion that makes for very successful companies.

Over the last two days, I've gotten to see that first hand, and it looks pretty real to me. Make no mistake - the established collaboration players are watching Slack closely, and not surprisingly, some of those people have now joined their ranks.

I was lucky enough to be one of a handful of analysts in attendance - and I don't think the media was there - so, unless you've been following my tweets, what I'm sharing here will be new for you. For now, I'll let these photos do most of the talking, as I wanted to quickly get a post up before flying home. I've got lots to say, and that will be coming in a few different forms shortly, so check back soon - and even better, you might want to sign up for my newsletter.

For now, I'm just going to leave you with a couple of comments from the sessions that reflect the big-picture takeaways.

First, from April Underwood, their Chief Product Officer: "this really is a movement". Yup - she's referring to how the workplace is changing, and there's a need for tools and solutions that align with this fundamental shift. I've been following Slack for a while, and have long felt that if UC - or something along those lines - was being invented today from scratch, it would look like Slack.

Second, a very telling quote cited by Neil Shah, their Sr. Director of Strategy and Analytics. This was from one of their customers: "People told us they would quit if we took away their Slack.Sure sounds like "I want my MTV", huh? Maybe a tad dramatic, but have you heard anyone talk like that about Spark or Skype for Business?

People have similar attachments to their iPhones, but workplace tools? That's what I call sticky, and when you can build that kind of organic, bottom-up emotional attachment, your odds of converting free users to paid are way better - and that's the key to making Slack a true force, not just for disruption, but for innovation.

Much more to talk about, but I need to get to the airport! I hope this gives you a taste of what I saw at Frontiers 2018, and I'd love to get your comments, either here or on Slack.

Above - Places - mis en scene - an uber-industrial setting, but perfect for showing what the future holds.

Below - People and Things.

People - speakers from the various sessions, including Ed Catmull, Founder of Pixar, in conversation with Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield.

Things - SO Cali, SO San Francisco - can't wait to come back!

Next Stop - Slack Frontiers, San Francisco

Not wasting any time kicking off a busy fall, both on the work front and with conferences. Tomorrow, I'm flying way out west to San Francisco for Slack's Frontiers event. They've been both disruptive and innovative, and Slack has become a household name in very little time.

This will be my first time attending their industry event, as it will be for most, so there will be lots to learn and many people to meet. More details are here on my Event Calendar page, and I'll be posting updates as time allows.

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