Collaboration Track

Enterprise communications is evolving from an emphasis on hardware and infrastructure to a focus on software, applications and integrating communications with business applications. This in turn is changing the focus from communications as standalone functionality, to an emphasis on how the enterprise enables collaboration. The Interop Collaboration track provides grounding in the infrastructure issues that enterprises are dealing with today as part of their legacy environment, along with an emphasis on the collaboration environment that enterprises are migrating toward. Sessions will look at the decisions that IT managers must make in order to ensure that the infrastructure for communications and collaboration remains rock-solid, while laying the groundwork for next-generation capabilities. Attendees will get a complete view of the challenges and opportunities around the migration from communications to collaboration in the enterprise.

Track Sponsor

Featured Collaboration Sessions
Building Networks for Real-Time Applications: What Works, What Doesn't?
Configuring your IP network to support real-time voice and video will only get more challenging as these applications spread through your user base. Network managers have a range of tools with which to tackle this challenge, from basic QoS marking to emerging integrations with SDN technologies. This session will review the fundamental best practices of network management for real-time traffic, and will then dive into some of the most critical emerging issues.
Speaker: Terry Slattery, Principal Engineer, NetCraftsmen
Microsoft vs. Cisco: Compare, Contrast--or Co-Exist?
Cisco is the current leader in IP-based telephony, but as enterprises migrate toward Unified Communications, Microsoft Lync represents a strong challenge. As network decision-makers, your choice in this area will be informed not only by the products' features/functions/costs, but also by your enterprise's existing relationships with these 2 strategic vendors. In this session, an analyst who has done extensive work comparing Microsoft and Cisco in the communications/collaboration space will provide an in-depth analysis aimed at helping your organization make the decision between Cisco and Microsoft. You'll learn about the key differences between Microsoft's Lync and Cisco's Jabber/Unified Communications Server, and you'll also get a framework for analyzing the two offerings in the context of your enterprise's unique requirementse.g., whether voice, video, or conferencing are most critical for your users; how your legacy environment might fit with the two platforms; and how to work within your organization to make the right choice.
Speaker: Brent Kelly, PhD, Principal Analyst/Consultant, KelCor, Inc.  
Integrating Communications into Business Processes: Case Studies
Where do we find the biggest demonstrated, delivered value of Unified Communications and Collaboration? Making workers more efficient and happier through IM and Presence is nice, but what you really want to do is shorten the sales cycle, speed up time to market, cut overhead with more efficient process, and more. These are benefits promised through “communications enabled business processes”, “CEBP”, but how many enterprises have achieved them? This session will offer real-world examples of enterprises that are doing CEBP today, and the benefits they have achieved.
Speaker: Don Van Doren, Principal and Co-Founder, UniComm Consulting, LLC  
Next-Gen Contact Center Technology Trends
Contact center technology has become much more than Automatic Call Distribution (ACDs, call routing software). The rise of Big Data, social analytics, predictive analysis, speech analytics, and mobile customer care have all created new opportunities and challenges for making the contact center smarter. Contact centers must now be able to route context-rich information on the customer’s “journey” to agents in real-time. This session will offer a progress report.  
Speaker: Sheila McGee-Smith, President & Principal Analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics, L.L.C. 
Next-Gen Collaboration Applications
There’s a whole new generation of collaboration applications—multimedia, mobile-first, cloud-enabled, integrated with productivity and business functions—that promise ease of adoption and use for end users. But will these really deliver on the promise of more effective collaboration? And what are the implications for IT, especially around security, compliance, interoperability and support? In this session, experts on the latest collaboration applications will discuss what enterprise IT can do to protect the enterprise’s interests while still letting users adopt tools that work for them. You’ll come away with an understanding of how these new applications work, and what challenges they may pose for you and your IT organization.
Moderator:Eric Krapf, Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect, Editor, No Jitter
David F. Carr, Chief Evangelist, Redbooth
Irwin Lazar, Vice President and Service Director, Nemertes Research
Peter Pezaris, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Glip

Should Your Enterprise Continue to Invest in Room Video Systems?
As more and younger users adopt OTT video systems such as Skype and mobile video such as FaceTime, will they abandon traditional meeting room videoconferencing? Or will continued price declines for hardware and software make conference room-based video more attractive than ever?
Speaker: David Danto, Collaboration, Multimedia, Video and UC Technology Leader, Dimension Data  
The Future of the Telephone
Desktop telephones are widely derided as obsolete, but vendors continue to sell them in record numbers. At the same time, communications systems can also support new types of endpoints such as mobile devices and PC-based softphones. This session will help IT decision-makers understand whether old-fashioned telephones really are passe, and whether you’ll really save any money by going to new types of endpoints.
-Taylor Anderson, Project Manager, Enabling Technologies

UC Interoperability
Middleware platforms are emerging that enable multi-vendor interoperability among different Unified Communications platforms—for example, providing a gateway between Microsoft Lync and legacy IP-PBXs. What’s the rationale and ROI for these new platforms?
Speaker: Irwin Lazar, Vice President and Service Director, Nemertes Research 
Using SDN APIs for Communications
Software Defined Networking APIs are being adopted by communications and networking vendors as a way to achieve more granular network management than has ever been possible in realtime networks. When communications servers can talk to SDN controllers or WiFi controllers, they can provide better quality of service and richer management data. We’ll delve into the current state of the art, and look at what’s ahead.
SpeakerTerry Slattery, Principal Engineer, NetCraftsmen
Video: Cloud Services vs. CPE
As enterprises struggle to make multiple legacy videoconferencing systems work with newer deployments, some are finding the answer in cloud-based videoconferencing services that can connect multiple vendors’ endpoints. We’ll examine options and discuss trade-offs of cloud and on-premises systems.
Speaker: Brent Kelly, PhD, Principal Analyst/Consultant, KelCor, Inc. 
Speaker: Terry Slattery, Principal Engineer, Chesapeake Netcraftsmen

How to Register

The following passes will get you access to the Interop program:

Track Chair

Photo of Eric Krapf

Eric Krapf

Program Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect/Editor, No Jitter

Eric Krapf is the Program Co-Chair of the Enterprise Connect events, helping to set program content and direction for the leading conference events in the enterprise IP-telephony/convergence/Unified Communications marketplace. In addition, Krapf serves as editor for the website No Jitter, TechWeb's online community for news and analysis of the enterprise convergence/Unified Communications industry. He is also responsible for electronic content including webcasts and e-newsletters. From 1996 to 2004, Krapf was managing editor of Business Communications Review magazine, and from 2004 to 2007, he was the magazine's editor. BCR was a highly respected journal of the business technology and communications industry. Before coming to BCR, he was managing editor and senior editor of America's Network magazine, covering the public telecommunications industry. Prior to working in high-tech journalism, he was a reporter and editor at newspapers in Connecticut and Texas.


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