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October 03, 2012

ShoreTel Keynote Kicks off ITEXPO Austin 2012

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

The sweltering heat of Austin, Texas did nothing to dissuade the many guests of ITEXPO (News - Alert), who came in droves to see the many demonstrations, panels, and presentations. Chief among the attractions were the keynote addresses, presented on Wednesday morning by ShoreTel and IBM.

Peter Blackmore (News - Alert), CEO of ShoreTel, took the stage to talk about one thing: change. The VoIP and UC industry has changed greatly over the years since it was created, and he believes that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There are three things that cause change, according to Blackmore: new technology, business model change, and outside influences. Examples of any of those can be found just by glancing at the new announcements on TMCnet’s homepage. The advent of technology, such as the cloud, provides users and employees with a new way to work, changing business models and ways to work and improve efficiency, and outside influences can affect a wide number of factors.

The change itself can be tracked and charted in an “s-curve,” where new technology, services, and trends will overtake the previous one, before itself being overtaken by the next new thing. For example, the traditional PBXs were replaced by IP PBX (News - Alert), which is in turn facing the same threat from Unified Communications. The companies that can keep up with these changing trends and tools survive; those that don’t will find trouble.

“It’s very fast paced, very dynamic, and it’s only just beginning,” Blackmore stated with eager anticipation.

There have been several changes in the technology world, due to the new technology and business models that have been appearing. Virtualization has become more widely accepted, letting decision makers choose between virtualized and distributed environments. The rise of smartphones and tablets has led to BYOD, changing where, when, and how people work. Of course, it’s vital that the devices live up to the expectations users have.

Then, of course, there is the cloud, which Blackmore describes as both a technology and a business model. The savings, flexibility, and choice it has provided have allowed it to grow even faster than anticipated. Organizations using the cloud can stay competitive by keeping up with and ahead of the curve without needing to take the time to constantly upgrade hardware and software. As long as it can keep providing the range of services required, it will continue to grow.

Blackmore concluded with what he sees as three keys to success: user focus, mobility, and the cloud or SaaS (News - Alert) model. It’s important to focus on what the user needs and works best for them, allowing for them to work at optimal productivity. Often that involves the mobility part; being able to work from anywhere will let employees work everywhere. That, too, is helped by the next part, but at this point, it’s already been said just how much the cloud can help.

Peter Blackmore’s presentation kicked the new day of ITEXPO Austin 2012 off to a great start. His experience really shone through, providing great insight and foresight into the technological business world. The times they are a-changing, yes, but Blackmore knows how to keep up with its changes.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, happening now in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Brooke Neuman
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