My Next Webinar: Workplace Implications for Digital Technologies

It's time for another Ziff Davis/Toolbox.com webinar, scheduled now for Tuesday, August 14. The topic is based on select findings drawn from Internet Trends 2018, an annual, public report on the state of the web, produced by Kleiner Perkins.

Regular followers will know that I've written about some aspects of the report, and my subscribers also have access to a podcast I did about it, along with colleague Chris Fine. If that's of interest to non-subscribers, you can sign up here, and the podcast is featured in the my current newsletter.

There's a great deal to explore in Mary Meeker's slide set, and for my webinar, I'll be focusing on some specific takeaways and data points around how digital technologies are impacting the workplace. I hope you can join me, and all it takes is providing a few contact details here on the registration page.

Toolbox_Ziff Davis logo.png

My July Newsletter is Out!

Just a quick heads-up on this. My subscribers already have the curreent edition, and if you'd like to get it, you just need to sign up here - or wander around my website to find a signup page.

Of particular interest may be the podcast, where I partner again with long-time colleague Chris Fine. This time around, we take a closer look at some findings from the recent Internet Trends 2018 report, compiled by tech guru Mary Meeker. We could do 10 podcasts to do this set of research justice, but for now, one will have to do. That said, if you like what we have to say, let us know - ditto for any other topic you'd like to hear our take on.

For now, my podcasts are exclusive for subscribers, but am thinking of making them publicly available a short time after the newsletter goes out. For my subscribers - not to worry - the rest of the content there will alway be exclusive, so the podcasts will just be that way for a short time, meaning you'll get access before everyone else.

Newsletter image.jpeg

Is Ribbon Communications the New BroadSoft?

Short question - and long answer. That thought has been with me since their Perspectives18 event earlier this month, and I finally got a chance to explore it in my latest contribution to BCStrategies. Earlier, I posted some quick takeaways and photos here, but for a longer analysis about Ribbon Communications, BCStrategies was the right place to land.

My analysis has now been posted to our portal, and I hope you like it. After you're done, feel free to comment and share, and then spend more time checking out all the other content on the site - our views are diverse and the insights are very good!

BC Strategies logo 2017.png

NEC Advantage - Quick Thoughts

I've been to this event a few times, and there's a lot to like about how they run it, along with what NEC is doing in the collaboration marketplace. Will have more thoughts to share later, but the main takeaway is that NEC continues to build quality products, continues to innovate on all fronts, and continues to compete successfully. On the other hand, being more sale-driven than marketing-driven, their story is not so well known in North America. Of course, I could help them fix that, but the call hasn't come  yet.

I'll continue to patiently wait for that moment, and for now will just say that it's refreshing to hear about a company building around a different value proposition than everyone else. Cloud seems to be the only message coming from vendors now, but that's not the story here. They're very much on that path, but clearly, there's still a big chunk of the enterprise market that is premises-first, telephony-centric and still using a lot of hardware. This may not be the long-term scenario, but it's going strong, and NEC has a good handle on what makes these businesses buy.

UNIVERGE Blue is very much about UCaaS, but their view of collaboration is closer to the voice-centric legacy model. Yes, they have contact center - including CCaaS via partnership with Enghouse Interactive - but video and team messaging aren't that much in the equation. Same story with AI - their contact center offerings are definitely voice-centric, and it doesn't sound like AI is much on the roadmap.

Funny, you wouldn't know it based on Tiffani Bova's opening keynote about becoming "customer-led". She's with Salesforce, and we're very much on the same page about the need for culture change and how data and analytics are the new currency for creating customer value. However, I'm not so sure this is the highest priority for this audience, but am glad NEC is getting the message out. Now, they just need to fast track their contact center offerings, and all will be right.

Aside from what's overly familiar, the clear standout from a solid product portfolio is NeoFace Watch. They have long been leaders in biometrics, and NFW takes things to another level. Real time identification and authentication can definitely streamline workflows, so it has some tangential value for collaboration. However, it has much greater enterprise value for safety and security, both of physical assets and employees. There's definitely a Big Brother element to all this, but being able to pick faces out of a moving crowd and instantly matching them against a watch list to keep the bad actors out has its place as surveillance becomes ever-more the norm. Am not a fan, but there sure are tons of valid use cases.

That's the update for now, and here are a few photos from the event. 

Lewisville-20180612-05838.jpg
Lewisville-20180612-05840.jpg
 This is my third different gaylord stay since march - they're all good, but there's little doubt that you're in the lone star state here.

This is my third different gaylord stay since march - they're all good, but there's little doubt that you're in the lone star state here.

 there's lots to like about the gaylord, but this time around, not so much for the view from my room. i did a double-take when seeing this, and for a moment thought i was in san antonio visiting the alamo. :-)

there's lots to like about the gaylord, but this time around, not so much for the view from my room. i did a double-take when seeing this, and for a moment thought i was in san antonio visiting the alamo. :-)

Next Stop - NEC Advantage, Grapevine, Texas

Can't say I've ever been to Grapevine, but Google tells me it's near Dallas, and being in Texas, it's probably much bigger than I'm inclined to think. That's the locale for this year's NEC Advantage event, and while it's geared more to consultants than analysts, I'm going and am very much looking forward to it. More details are on the Event Calendar page of my website, and I'll be sharing on social as time allows.

nec-logo-oabw.png