My 2016 - By The Numbers

Happy 2017 all! I meant to get this done before the break, but it just didn't happen. Am back from a 10 day hiatus from work, and now there's a lot to do. Before getting to the new stuff, I wanted to  tally a quick recap of my output during 2016. 

I don't think - or expect - that most of my followers would have a broad sense of all the things I do, and that you probably only follow me selectively. That's fine, but I do cover a lot of ground, and a good way to show that is with a simple tally of what kept me busy last year. Being an indie analyst, I have to tout my horn every once in a while, so here goes.


Original, published articles and thought leadership pieces - primarily with Ziff Davis, TechTarget, UCStrategies, Internet Telephony Magazine and EM 360 Magazine


Guest blog posts/articles - primarily with UCStrategies and GetVoIP


Ghost-written articles and case studies


Posts written on my own blog


White papers/e-books


Video interviews


Podcasts participated in - primarily with UCStrategies and EM 360


Webinar presentations - primarily with Ziff Davis


Conferences/industry events attended, and/or moderated/presented at - Cisco Canada, Cisco US, Unify, ITExpo, Vertical Communications, Channel Partners, Dell, NEC, Energy Thought Summit, Interactive Intelligence, Metaswitch Canada, Monage, Genesys, SCTC, BC Summit, Nextiva, ShoreTel, Schulich Tech Talk Leaders


SIPtone music gigs  :-)

Also, in the smart grid space:


Original thought leadership pieces and executive interviews

2017 is shaping up to be just as busy, so it's time to get back to work. Feel free to inquire about specific examples from the above list - I can provide links or soft copies for anything except the ghost writing.

My Next Webinar - Machine Learning and Utility Asset Management

Time flies when you're busy!

Last week I was at the SCTC conference and between speaking and playing music with the SIPtones, I didn't get any blogging done. Just getting a free moment to blog now, and while it's short notice, I have another webinar to tell you about.

Actually, I have three webinars coming up before year end, and will have posts coming soon on the other two.

Tomorrow's webinar has me wearing my Smart Grid hat with Zpryme, and I'll be moderating on the topic of machine learning and  how it's impacting the way utilities build and monitor their power networks.

Very similar issues to the service provider space, actually, and am looking forward to it. Joining me will be executives from Spark Cognition and Duke Fossil and Nuclear - all the details are here, and it's not too late to register!

More ETS Thought Leadership - GIS and Smart Grid

I blogged yesterday about a session I hosted at the Energy Thought Summit in Austin. It included a video of the full session that Zpryme has posted on YouTube, and am glad to see that my post is getting a lot of readership. So, to keep the ETS vibe going, here's more content.

As Community Advocate for the summit, another hat I've been wearing is doing a series of thought leader interviews. Many of these were posted prior to the event, and can be accessed from the News section of the ETS16 site. Other interviews were done later, so I have a series of those coming soon. One was published while I was away last week, and am sharing it here now.

This one was done with Bill Meehan of Esri, a company that has been pioneering the use of GIS since the 1970s. The applications go well beyond energy, so my UC/collaboration followers will also find this of interest. Bill explains this quite well in the interview, and you can see him in action on the above-mentioned video from my session - he gave a very colorful presentation!

So, here's the interview, and will update the blog as the remaining interviews get posted.

Energy Thought Summit Redux - Video of my Open Mic Session

Zpryme's Energy Thought Summit - ETS16 - was just over a month ago, but there's still good content being posted, and will share here for those interested in the smart grid/smart cities/smart home/smart car space. Our event was a great success and you'll be hard pressed to find richer, more diverse insights about what the future holds for the energy economy.

By now you should know this is another hat that I wear, and as Community Advocate for ETS16, I contributed in a few ways. If that's news to you, my recap post for the summit is a good starting point for my involvement there.

During the summit, I hosted the Open Mic event, where three energy thought leaders each had 10 minutes to talk about an energy challenge - with props - and persuade the audience theirs was the best. The game show format was fun, but don't let that fool you. Each had a timely and relevant message to share that causes you to re-think what energy means in 2016.

My role was to MC the session and keep things moving along to the end where the audience cast their ballots to choose a winner. Being ETS - and being in Austin - we did things a bit differently. As you'll see in the video clip, the speakers had to write the title of their talk on a chalkboard - can't get more old school than that. In keeping with the creative/artsy vibe of Austin, my new piano friend, Adam Lozoya was plucked off the busker-lined streets the night before and provided great ad lib accompaniment throughout the session. On top of that, we held the session in an improv theater space at the back of a nearby cafe.

You won't see this at other conferences, and it was a lot of fun. It's part of what makes ETS unique, and am glad to be part of it. So, explore at your leisure - the whole session is captured below - it runs about 45 minutes, and I won't give the winner away here. Hopefully, you'll watch the whole thing, and if you do, I'd love to hear who you think was the best. You up for that?

Toronto - We're Number 11!

It's not every day that I get to say Toronto, Dell and Harvard in the same sentence, but we were all in the room together earlier this week, and am doing my civic duty here.

I've been developing some good relationships recently with Dell, and the stars lined up for me on Tuesday to participate in a panel as part of a Dell Canada event here in Toronto. This was a new event for me - Power To Do More - but it included a session with analysts, press, Dell Canada customers, and most notably Prof. David Ricketts from Harvard.

For background, Dell sponsored the 2015 Strategic Innovation Summit, which was convened by Harvard, with Dr. Rickerts serving as the summit's General Chair. Briefly, the summit focused on harnessing the forces of change - mostly tech-related of course - to drive the "innovation-based economy" of tomorrow.

Lots of good insights came out of this summit, and Dr. Ricketts was on hand to discuss them in a group setting. The newsworthy highlight came in the form a list of top 50 global cities that the research deemed as being most "future ready". I'm not going to break down the methodology or full listing here, but you can get all the key takeaways in the press release issued by Dell Canada in support of this event.

I find this research fascinating, and Toronto certainly comes out looking good, ranking at #11. We all love to shout "we're #1", but San Jose has a lock on that spot, and #11 is not too shabby. I'm not alone among Toronotians who can effortlessly spout all our shortcomings, but as liveable cities go, TO is pretty hard to beat.

Given that I also wear a smart grid/smart cities hat, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a hat tip as well to Austin, which came in even higher in the global rankings at #7. Having just served as the Community Advocate for last month's Energy Thought Summit in Austin, I can tell you first hand this is an up and coming city - looks like the next San Francisco to me - and they are doing some very cool and smart things, especially in the energy space. For a taste of that, here's my blog post with some highlights from ETS16, and for our broader thought leadership on energysmart cities - including mine - feel free to check out the News tab here.

Coming back to Dell/Harvard, what the research is really focused on is the extent to which leading cities have the right mix of attributes to sustain economic growth, and the authors break this down into three core dimensions - human capital, infrastructure and commerce.

There's lots more to explore here, but for now I'm just doing a shout-out to share TO's good news. As well, kudos to Dell for sponsoring this research, and as I get more involved with their IoT practice, I'll have to more to say about what cities need to do to be globally competitive, as well as how best to use technology to help make that happen.