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Trending at Enterprise Connect

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Lots of good info got around this year at Enterprise Connect, but over the course of the week four topics consistently piqued the interest of IT leaders: enterprise mobility, video, cloud, and enterprise social software (ESS.)

#1 Enterprise Mobility
No shocker, really, given that mobility has gained huge momentum this year, quickly moving from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” on the IT strategy list. Customers and vendors are really getting how folks don’t spend all that much time at their desks nowadays. And that in fact a lot of them aren’t even in the office at all.

Demonstrating the ShoreTel Mobility solution at the booth, it was clear that customers were finally seeing the hard costs of having key personnel inaccessible to their customers and peers, and how critical it is to make remote users and their devices part of the enterprise communication system.

#2 Video
Again, no big surprise, but different than you might think. Making video available in conference rooms is nothing new. Definitely new, however, is the insight that people need to communicate with each other – and not necessarily in conference rooms. And that where video is most needed is on the individual desktop. I am really excited by our recent partnership with Polycom, which will connect people with people (and not conference rooms!) by addressing the integration of video and voice in a true visual unified communication solution.

 #3 Cloud
“The cloud” seems to mean a lot of different things depending on whom you ask. Is it centralizing services into a private data center for enhanced control? Eliminating the overhead and skill requirements of running a communications system? Or is it having your gear and services run by a service provider off-site?

The correct answer, of course, depends on your business and communications goals. ShoreTel can certainly help given our unique architecture and financing options.

#4 Enterprise Social Software (ESS)
ESS is the newest topic here. This is exciting as enterprises begin investigating how the communications effectiveness of social networking can be leveraged to make their enterprise more productive. With the right ESS solution in place, we can more rapidly disseminate ideas, flatten the organization, promote open discussion across silos, and better access corporate knowledge. Let’s keep our eyes open for more on this one!

All in all, it’s been a great week. Talking to the attendees has made it clear that listening to customers is keeping us on track and helping us invest in the right technologies and partnerships.