If I had to pick one dominant theme from Enterprise Connect this year, I would point to the number of vendors adding extra functionality to existing offers rather than launching an entirely new product. Clearly there were new product launches, and lots of them; just the volume of ‘do you want fries with that’ pitches seemed to drown out the noise around entirely new offerings.
Partly, this speaks to the maturity of some of the solutions on show; for example, Microsoft announcing eight new features for Teams, around the second anniversary of the launch of the product. Partly, to the emergence of AI adding value to existing solutions; Cisco using AI for Webex Assist, for example. But the most significant trend is that in the ‘cloud first’ world, all vendors recognize that interoperability is key; Cisco, with their Microsoft OneDrive integration, for example or Mio that offers the ability to synchronize multiple team chat apps, and scooped Best Innovation for Collaboration Award at the show in the process.
Infovista announces updates to Ipanema at Enterprise Connect
Infovista also leveraged the theme of building on a successful product platform to introduce new features, launching Ipanema SD-WAN, a fully featured SD-WAN offering adding L3 routing to the application visibility and control functionality that we have had a market leading position on for many years through our Ipanema product. We held a number of launch events at and around the show. I co-hosted a BrighTalk webinar along with our CPO Mike Wilkinson, click for the replay, if you missed it.
Of course, Enterprise Connect is an opportunity to connect with partners, colleagues and friends across the industry and feedback on our launch was overwhelmingly positive. Many of our partners are experiencing daily the application visibility challenges that moving workloads to the cloud brings—something our SD-WAN solution is specifically designed to address. I would also add that traction in the MSP space is strong given our class leading multi-tenancy and MSP specific features sets. Look out for more news here as we go further into 2019.
Enterprise Connect is as much about the General Sessions as it is the Exhibition space and this year there were some great keynotes, all of which are available for replay on No Jitter.
My final thought is a prediction for the future. The competitive landscape we have grown used to with Cisco and Microsoft as two dominant players will be challenged by the increasing focus Google and Amazon are bringing to this space. Amazon’s announcements around Amazon Connect is a case in point. Can’t wait for Enterprise Connect 2020!