Friday, September 14, 2007

TMC ITExpo - Show Highlights

It's been a long time between posts, but the week just sort of worked out that way. I flew out on Sunday to LA for the Fall edition of TMC's ITExpo, and was there the first 2 days. I moderated a couple of sessions, took in a bunch of briefings, saw a few sessions, did a podcast with Jim Burton (coming soon!), and made my way around the show floor a few times.

All told, it was a pretty strong show - good size, but not huge, so there was time to see everything, which was great. Seemed to be a lot of energy, and most of the exhibitors I spoke with said the quality of the traffic was very good. No huge announcements and nothing radically new at the show, so the world I came home to was pretty much the same as when I left.

As expected, there was lots of enterprise-focus, with dedicated tracks for call centers, unified communications, SIP, open source and SMB VoIP. I saw what I could, and what I missed seeing the most was the IPTV track on Monday. Seems a bit out of place for such an enterprise-focused lineup, but as with most of the shows today, to cover IP effectively you need to have content in hot areas like IPTV.

Definitely worthwhile, and as always, it's a great chance to get a whole bunch of in-person briefings done, and of course do some business development. Met some interesting new companies, and I hope to be blogging about them soon.

I should also give kudos to Rich Tehrani and the TMC team for putting on another good event. My only quibble would be the lack of WiFi in the press room, but otherwise I think everyone went home happy.

I'll leave you with some photos, courtesy of the Nokia N95. Yes, you heard me right! I've been talking this phone up for ages, and I've finally pried it away from Max, and it's now my turn to use it.

Approaching the LA Convention Center - lots of interesting curves, angles and shadows from this perspective...


Fellow blogger Ken Camp and his legendary technosack. This man is prepared for virtually any high tech situation at conferences.


Ken's session on enterprise security; Norm Stout, Inter-Tel


Chris Lyman showing off Fonality's Trixbox; Hmmm - not sure what they're doing here, but yes, they got my attention! Actually to get the real story, and several views from the front, a smiling Tom Keating can fill you in. Lucky guy....


Simon Gwatkin, Mitel; Steve Johnson during Ingate's SIP Trunking session


Chuck Rutledge, Quintum; Janice Hewins selling me something at the Comverse booth!


Rich Tehrani - thanks Rich!; Bryan Martin of 8x8 doing a video interview from the booth


Andy Abramson's wine tasting dinner for clients and bloggers - doesn't get better than this...


Saving the best for last - maybe. The show venue is adjacent to the Staples Center - home of the once fab-U-luss Lakers and the always mediocre Kings, and the Clippers too, I think. Things are pretty quiet there this time of year, but it was fun to walk around a bit. So, right by the ticket office, there's the "L.A. Sports Arch of Fame". Ok, pretty neat idea for honoring your heroes. You can see behind the arch a statue, which you really can't make out from this photo. With all the Lakers' titles - and nothing for the Kings, a lot of legends come to mind for who this person just might be. Not hard to come up with a few all-time greats who brought titles to LA - Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Kareem, Magic, Shaq, even Kobe. Any of these would be a good - and logical choice, right? So who is it?


Drum's.... The Great One - Canada's Wayne Gretzky. Wow! Can you believe it? Sure, he made hockey a glamor sport in LA, which was great, but no Cups. If you're from Canada, you just have to smile a bit at this one. Is there any statue in Canada as bold and beautiful as this honoring him? If not, there should be. But here in LA? How can hockey possibly trump basketball in this town? Some questions are probably better left unanswered....


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