Collaboration Track

Enterprise communications is evolving from an emphasis on hardware and infrastructure to a focus on applications and integrating the communications function with business productivity applications. This in turn is changing the focus from communications as a 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, but the stronger emphasis is on the collaboration environment that enterprises are migrating toward. Sessions will look at the ways of integrating communications into business processes and enabling collaboration via new media such as video, and new outlets such as social media. Attendees will get a complete view of the challenges and opportunities around the migration from communications to collaboration in the enterprise.


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, Chesapeake Netcraftsmen

Cisco vs. Microsoft: Which Should Be Your Communications Vendor?
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 requirements—e.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 Google Apps with UC
Google claims that over 5 million businesses with 50 million end users are currently opting for Google Apps as their office productivity software. The company has tools such as Hangouts that offer communications and collaboration functionality for Apps users, but many IT/telecom pros view these tools as less than enterprise-grade. So what are your other options for integrating UC with Google Apps? This session will explore some of the integrations that are being built by UC vendors around Google Apps—as well as providing updates on potentially the most promising announced integration, between Cisco UC and Google Apps. You’ll learn what some of the different solutions provide, how the potential costs stack up, and what functionality advantages and potential disadvantages you’ll see. You’ll come away with a better idea of whether Google Apps and UC can come together in an enterprise-grade service that’s right for your business.

The Meeting Room of the Future
Video technology continues to improve, yet too many enterprise users still find that room conferences are difficult to set up and use. And even as the focus has been on video over the last few years, audio conferencing continues to be the default choice—and yet, audio conferences are as user-unfriendly as ever: poor audio quality, cumbersome devices, and laborious dial-in menus make audio conferences difficult and unproductive in too many cases. In this session, a leading expert will offer a prescription and actionable tips that will help you get the most out of the systems you likely already have, as well as recommending cost-effective upgrades and new products that can deliver conferencing experiences your users will actually enjoy and find productive.
Speaker: Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst, ZK Research

UC Federation
Unified Communications systems promise more efficient communications—provided both parties are using the same vendor’s system. Vendors have promised that they will federate among themselves—that is, that they’ll interwork so users of the system can communicate. But how much progress has there really been toward this goal? How much integration work has to be done on the enterprise side if you want different systems to talk to one another? What network-based services can deliver federation today, and what is the business case for using them? This session will help you understand the state of interoperation among UC systems today, and determine whether your enterprise can benefit from such efforts.
Speaker: Irwin Lazar, Vice President and Service Director, Nemertes Research


How to Register

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


Track Chair

Eric Krapf

Eric Krapf

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

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 & lead blogger for the website No Jitter, UBM Tech’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.