My Observations at VoiceCon: The State of the Economy Paints a Not-So-Pretty Picture

Published: 20 Nov 2008

By Vanessa Alvarez

At VoiceCon last week, it was clear that the economy had hit the show. Attendance was light, booths were even lighter, and the word was that most enterprises were holding off on big IT projects until Q109. From a vendor perspective, they felt VoiceCon Spring was a more important show. This is definitely a sign that vendors are being cautious about where they put their marketing dollars.

The conference overall, took a turn in terms of the hype around it. It was quieter than usual, and I realized that the hype has died down. UC is no longer a question of if it will happen, but more of when and how it will happen. Vendors at the show focused more on features and functionality of UC solutions, really getting down to what the actual solution consists of. Many also pointed out partnerships that will enhance their solutions, as is in the case of NEC and Tellme, where NEC will be combining its services with Tellme's on-demand platform. Several topics that were highlighted:

End users - Perhaps one of the more important messages from this show is that vendors are finally focusing in on the most important component for UC adoption: the end user. Starting with Charlie Giancarlo of Avaya's keynote, and throughout the show, vendors talked about the "business user", and how important it was to identify and understand the business users' functions. Vendors can then identify the UC applications most applicable to those business users, and implement and integrate the applications most needed for that business user. This is a good way to begin to measure ROI on UC, still a challenge for many vendors today.

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