Live From Enterprise Connect -

Live From Enterprise Connect

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While the northeast suffered through the end of winter, attendees at Orlando's Enterprise Connect Show found one topic hot and one just warm. WebRTC was the hot topic at the show. At the same time, compared to last year, cloud seemed to have cooled down to a warm status.

WebRTC, a movement heavily promoted by Google, its friends, and a few competitors, promised to allow desktop video conferencing from browser to browser; no plug-in, client application or external device will be necessary. The potential impact is huge. The excitement about RTC, as it is sometimes called, was obvious. At the first day’s session—which was set up to handle about 300 attendees—the meeting was so over-subscribed that many people couldn’t get into the conference room. Vendors with small booths that had WebRTC products or capabilities were clearly the busiest booths. At the keynote presentation by a Microsoft Executive, a commitment was made to incorporate WebRTC into Lync, “as soon as it is a standard.”

On the other hand, the buzz about cloud computing seemed to be dying down when compared to last year’s show. While vendors were making a hard push to sell it, users seemed to be saying that it isn’t as revolutionary as we thought it might be. It did have many representative vendors with cloud offerings that proposed everything from storage capabilities to voice and video conferencing. So, these perceptions seemed obvious.

What might be a more subtle observation is the fact that the contrast in traffic levels between the Cisco and the Avaya booths was larger than at previous shows. And, several traditional big players in video conferencing (Polycom and LifeSize) come to mind that seemed to be more in the background.

Phil Hippensteel, PhD, has spent more 40 years in higher education and now teaches at Penn State Harrisburg. He is a regular columnist for AV Technology magazine.


Dispatch from Enterprise Connect 2014

The major topics of interest at Enterprise Connect 2014 in Florida last week were the battle between the giants, Microsoft and Cisco, and the excitement about WebRTC. Most vendors that were showing more traditional telephony products and services seemed to shrink into the background.

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Insights From InfoComm India promo image

Insights From InfoComm India

As I walked the floor I saw, for the most part, the same trends as I did at InfoComm in Orlando. The application that seemed to attract the most interest from attendees was video integration. Within this, interests ranged from looking at videoconferencing solutions, to displays, to mounting. Audio had a presence as well, but it was definitely a smaller focus compared to U.S. or European shows.

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NAMMagram from Rainy Anaheim

Those were the essential points at many a press conference and meeting at the NAMM show, January 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center. I have a notebook full of "controlled via iPad or software" and "more features, lower price." And in a world gone quiet on the product development front, it seemed many major manufacturers were emphasizing their supreme prowess in transforming ideas into SKUs.