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December 2007 | Volume 10/ Number 12
Feature Articles

ITEXPO East, Miami The Waiting is the Hardest Part

By Richard “Zippy”

TMC's ITEXPO EAST 2008 - the 17th INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Exposition since 1999 - takes place January 23-25, 2008 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida. As Yours Truly writes this, the entire IP Communications industry waits impatiently for this, the industry's best-known and most-admired conference and expo, to begin.

As far as IP Communications (Voice, Data, Video), Unified Communications (UC) and call center technologies go, ITEXPOs have always been premier, paramount, peerless, pre-eminent, predominant, prestigious, and whatever other superlative p-adjective you can think of to describe an event such as this. Every industry has its single great gathering place, and for IP and UC, ITEXPO is it.

Unlike competing technology expos that in recent years have suffered from dwindling attendance and economic stress, ITEXPO continues to flourish, attracting from the far corners of the world the three great categories of people who are not only interested in the IP Communications industry but who have purchasing decisions and/or deals to make: 1) Service Providers 2) Enterprises and Organizations of all shapes and sizes, and 3) Distributors, Value-Added-Resellers (VARs) and Value-Added-Developers (VADs). You can add to this mix an assorted medley of independent software and hardware developers, analysts, investors looking for a big score, people with business plans for start-ups under their respective arms, Venture Capital types, and a smattering of other denizens of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Yes, the art of the deal is also very much in evidence at ITEXPOs.

IP Communications is by its very nature a broad-based, cosmopolitan endeavor, for it is global in scope and fundamentally affects the way we live our lives. That's why the average ITEXPO attendee, like the average reader of TMC magazines, could as easily be a citizen of Beijing as London, New York or Palo Alto.

All of these people recognize that IP, UC, and call center technologies have become both affordable and accessible to everyone, can boost an organization's efficiency and productivity, and shall continue to blaze a trail to a future wide-open with possibilities. That's why hundreds of companies keep coming back to exhibit at ITEXPO, and thousands of attendees hurriedly ply the long aisles, talking up a storm in booths on the exhibit floor.

The Teachings of TMC

Of course, there's more to ITEXPO than just geeky devices and software to marvel at or purchase.

After more than a decade of innovation, market research and refinement, IP communications has grown and become diversified. Security, unified communications, hosted solutions, disaster preparedness, open source, SIP, WiFi telephony, IPTV, the IP-based Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Fixed-Mobile Communications (FMC) are just some of the latest areas of which much of the public is unfamiliar, even though these items will soon literally change our daily lifestyles forevermore. Fortunately, however, whether it's the C-level executive of a major corporation or government agency, the purchasing officer of small or medium-sized business, or the curious SOHO owner who wants to save money and yet present an impressive persona to customers, a little knowledge can go a long way. That's why ITEXPO is not just an expo - it also holds the finest, most informative set of conference sessions in the whole communications industry.

Like any great educational program, the knowledge gleaned at ITEXPO's conference sessions are a means to other ends: participants can now make informed decisions by seeing new possibilities and opportunities. Even for vendors, marketing managers must understand not only the nature of the business to which they sell, but also their competitors. No marketing person can survive without industry knowledge and competitive knowledge, both of which can be had at ITEXPO's Conference portion of the show. Our sessions help businesses raise productivity and even stimulate industry innovations, thanks to TMC's ability to assemble the finest thinkers and experts in the communications and computing worlds, and to block out a comprehensive curriculum. Basically, if a topic isn't on the program at ITEXPO, then it's probably not important for your business anyway.

ITEXPO East Conference tracks include the following:

• Unified Communications

• Service Provider Solutions

• Essential Issues

• IMS Summit at ITEXPO


• Open Source

• Wireless/Mobility


• FierceMarkets' IPTV Evolution

• Enterprise Solutions

• VoIP for SMB

• Call/Contact Centers

In conjunction with ITEXPO East, TMC will also hold Call Center 2.0 East 2008, itself the leading technology event for call center and CRM decision makers, which is expected to attract as many as 1,000 attendees.

Some of the conference sessions and topics scheduled for Call Center 2.0 East 2008 include the following:

• Leveraging IP in the Contact Center

• Leveraging SOA & Web Services to Build the Modern Contact Center

• SMB Contact Centers Go Mainstream

• IP Contact Center State of the Market: A RoundTable Discussion

• Take Advantage of Open Source for Success in the Contact Center

• Improving Performance By Using Advanced Speech Technologies

• Unified Communications in the Contact Center

• DIY: A Look at Customer Self Service

Our extensive Call Center program shouldn't be surprising. TMC defined and clarified the nature of the telemarketing, CRM and CIS industries when it launched the pioneering publication Telemarketing in June 1982 and the industry's first official conference and expo in April 1985, then called TBT (Telemarketing and Business Telecommunications).

The combined knowledge and expertise of what you find in the expo hall booths and conferences of ITEXO East and Call Center 2.0 East - along with keynote speeches and presentations by industry luminaries - will help you understand what isn't important and how to strategically implement what is important. And, supplementing the TMC expos, conferences and publications, is TMCnet, the most popular communications/technology portal in the world. With viewer traffic literally several orders of magnitude greater than its competition, TMCnet is itself a goldmine of valuable information about advanced business phone systems for the enterprise and important issues faced by service providers.

Businesses and other organizations can now realize that the implementation issues they face today are not insurmountable. Indeed, with TMC's help they can now draw a cost-effective communications roadmap through the decade to come, one fraught with uncertain market forces, government regulation and tariffs.

ITEXPO remains the original, highest-caliber IP Communications conference and exposition, the classic model of an event that can be imitated but never surpassed.

Changing the World and All That

Although we at TMC are tempted to pat ourselves on the back and listen for a round of applause for a job well done (well, perhaps just fish around for a few compliments now and then), such a dynamic field moves too quickly for us to stand still long enough to receive the kind of accolades you'll see solicited by our more complacent, static, praise-seeking competitors. Furthermore, we realize that aiding and abetting the kind of radical technological innovation that's currently going on in the telecom industry carries a certain responsibility. Beyond the lower phone bills and exciting, cutting-edge gizmos, the very

nature of human communication is changing. People can reach other people whenever they want to, wherever they are, using whatever communicating device is at hand. Our whole previous way of life is undergoing a vast transformation. Communications is even affecting (or in some cases taking the place of) many of society's time-honored institutions.

Is this all really for the better? Yes, we think so. Could there be any imperfections in the sparkling diamond-like future we portend? We don't know yet. But if there are any, you'll hear about it first at ITEXPO.

So, come to ITEXPO East and join our community - and while you're there, be sure to pick up some free copies of TMC's expertly-crafted (if I do say so myself) magazines: Internet Telephony, IMS, Unified Communications, and Customer Interaction Solutions.

You'll see and hear more about IP Communications, Unified Messaging, and Call Center technology and what it can do for you at ITEXPO than you would anywhere else. You'll leave the show better able to make advanced communications improve your business. And you may even have some fun, to boot…!

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC's IP Communications Group.

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