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Enterprise Connect 2016: Communication is changing to Whenever, Wherever, Whatever


Every year, Enterprise Connect is the #1 conference to hear informed debates and thorough analysis of competing collaborating technologies. Under one roof, you get to hear from industry leaders of all major equipment, software, and service providers. It is also interesting to gauge the hype over emerging technologies and trends.

Here are my top 3 key learnings from this year’s event:

1. Cloud and On-Premise will continue to coexist in hybrid consumption models:

In 2015 we heard about Unified Communication (UC) migrating from on-premise to cloud. This year, the notion is that Cloud is real, but it cannot fulfill its promises alone.

Jason Galanter of AirBnB shared during a panel discussion at Enterprise Connect 2016, how the company originally embraced cloud-based UC service. However, as the employee base grew and as acquisitions came along, the cloud only solutions failed to scale to AirBnB’s needs. The company’s   UC service provider could not customize UC services to meet AirBnB’s business needs.

Cloud adoption is successful where Line of Business within a company is utilizing business specific app from cloud that helps solve a hurdle, brings context to communication for rich collaboration and faster decision making. Cloud adoption can be driven if a team of third-party developers can integrate cloud applications for business-specific needs.

Following data from Nemertes Research highlights data for cloud adoption and changing skills for IT hires:

  1. 51% increase in cloud services spending
  2. 67% of IT budgets shifting from CAPEX to OPEX
  3. 21% increase in internal IT staff
  4. 51.5% report difficulty to find IT hires with technical, business acumen, contract and SLA skills

Cisco is the industry leader in Collaboration and has different solutions for customer needs such as Cloud Platform Solution that includes Cisco Unified Communications Manager-based offering (a cloud-based offering that can be deployed to make sense for your business) and Cloud Services such as Spark team room paradigm and cloud based WebEx.

2. User experience is the key to deliver wherever, whenever, whatever Collaboration:

Cisco Exec Rowan Trollope quoted Cisco CTO Jonathan Rosenberg: "Our key objective is that customers aren’t faced with a dilemma on whether they should buy collaboration services from the cloud OR use premise UC. But rather, how do they adopt cloud services which work with their UC, and make it better; all while protecting their investments. That is what we are building.

The focus in 2016 is on simplification and integrating communication across, voice, video, chat and conferencing. This includes:

  1. Integrate work streams in collaboration solution
  2. Right type of collaboration solution for Contact Center, Field Agents, and Knowledge Workers

Cisco has been closely listening  to its customers’ feedback and has made it easy for end-users to connect from WebEx and a video endpoint with a single click with Collaboration Meeting Rooms (historically referred to as WebEx-Enabled Telepresence).

3. Digital transformation is sweeping through the industry:  digital business transformation will drive 60% of the total IT Services market growth in next 5 years. Digital transformation is accelerating change in business activities, processes, and competencies. Digital transformation is leveraged differently by different verticals such as Hospitality, Healthcare, and Finance. Hospitality and Healthcare need analytics -- Hospitality to understand end-to-end customer journey, and Healthcare to provide appropriate health care with new compensation model -- whereas Finance industry needs topnotch employee experience with productive environment.

Nemertes Research shares how Digital transformation is changing composition of IT:

  1. IT budgets are shifting to Line of business (LoB) and sellers are now engaging different audience focused on specific business needs. LoB IT spend is expected to grow in 2016.
  2. Buyers are increasingly self-sufficient through digital channels connecting directly to product development. Sales is entering the dialog at a much later stage of the buyer’s journey.

Cisco's Customer Experience, Workforce Experience Solutions are part of Digital Business Transformation portfolio.

These industry trends are happening as we speak. However, we should not lose focus on our primary communications business. Looking at Current Analysis research, North American end-user is 70% of global consumer of collaboration technology. Current Analysis reports indicate that Desk Phones lie at the heart of business, with every employee in organization having at least one desk phone:

  1. 52% of employees have desk phones. (~4% decrease from 2014)
  2. 10% of employees have only Desktop UC client with headset
  3. 29% of employees have both Desktop Client and Desk Phone
  4. Less than 1% of employees have only Mobile UC clients
  5. 3% of employees have mobile UC client and Desktop UC client

Cisco understands the value of integrating with legacy phone systems. Cisco is integrating existing phone system with Spark Hybrid Services.

Learn more from Rowan Trollope  and share how Cisco continues to help you with our Collaboration Solutions.  How can we be more relevant to your business needs?

Cisco Employee

ruchia this is an excellent summary of the key takeaways from Enterprise Connect 2016.  We are truly seeing our Customers desire to protect their investment while taking advantage of the agility that cloud applications can offer.  This requires a consistent & simple user experience on any device, anywhere.  The Digital Business Transformation solutions you have shared will provide our Customers with the required focus on the people, process, and technology to enable this vision. 


Thank you Jeff