Written by: Dave Michaels(Principal Analyst, Talking Pointz)
Innovation Showcase: 6 Picks for Mobility
This year’s participants have put furthering the cause of enterprise mobility front and center.
Last week No Jitter editor Beth Schultz revealed the finalists for the Best of Enterprise Connect Award, which recognizes exhibitors for new products and services that advance enterprise communications. But sometimes, innovation comes from outside the exhibition hall. As enterprise communications becomes less about the PBX, innovation is stemming from new places — separate industries and, of course, garages.
At Enterprise Connect, the Innovation Showcase recognizes and highlights products and services advancing communications from companies that haven’t yet exhibited at the show. The applicants tend to be young firms, but we have no restriction on company age or size.
Each year the Innovation Showcase has a theme, and for 2016 we chose mobility. The six companies in this year’s Innovation Showcase are:
- Agora.io: global network provider ensuring quality of experience for worldwide Internet-based voice and video communications
- Folio3: MeetingMogul for Enterprise, which simplifies the conference call experience for mobile users
- Mast Mobile: app-free solution that puts a user’s work and personal numbers on a single mobile device
- QWASI: lightweight, fast-to-deploy, 360-degree view of customer data and channel preferences, unifying separate platforms to manage multi-modal customer interactions
- SpinSci: Agenta collaboration platform and mobile app for the secure exchange of data between contact center agents and their customers
- Tagnos: real-time smart location tracking and services
As you can see from our Innovation Showcase participants, mobility defies boundaries. It’s more than an app, more than battery powered. It’s an approach and philosophy to stop compromising or apologizing because people, “work,” and things frequently move. And in some cases the solutions in the Innovation Showcase are not mobile themselves, but they facilitate mobility.
In evaluating Showcase participants, we looked not only at innovation, but also user experience and productivity enhancements. Eligibility requirements included providing an enterprise customer reference. As usual, we received some great submissions from companies we had to turn away (and by policy we do not mention companies that applied but were not selected to participate in the showcase).
I had two co-judges this year. The first was my fellow No Jitter contributor and repeat judge Kevin Kieller, a partner with Enable UC. Kevin helped out last year, and is without a doubt the toughest grader. The second was David Chavez, a vice president within Avaya’s office of the CTO. We selected David as a judge, the first we’ve had from an exhibiting vendor, for his experience (and patents) in communications. With his background, he helped us appreciate the effort and journey many of these applicants have undertaken. (To keep the judging balanced, judges and applicants must disclose current or prior conflicts of interest.)
All six vendors will participate in a rapid-fire, guppy-tank-style (no one gets rejected) series of pitches during a special Innovation Showcase session on Monday, March 7, at 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. ET. In the Exhibition Hall, head to the Innovation Showcase booth for a firsthand look at these solutions.
Be sure to check out these companies for new ideas in mobilizing your workplace. If history repeats, they’re destined for more accolades. The Innovation Showcase has propelled several companies into stardom. One example is Fonolo, a 2011 Innovation Showcase participant that subsequently became a Best of Enterprise Connect winner and then a technology partner in Avaya’s DevConnect program.
Catch these companies while they are young!
If you haven’t yet registered for Enterprise Connect, here’s a deal for you. You can save an additional $200 off the early bird rate by registering by this Friday, Feb. 12, for an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, using the code NJPOST. This discount represents a total savings of $700 off the on-site price. As an added bonus, you can get even bigger savings when you register three or more attendees from your company.