This was my first NEC Advantage event, and I was one of just a handful of analysts there. It's mostly for partners and consultants, and this is where a lot of the business comes from, so it was a great opportunity to learn more about how NEC goes to market in this space.
I'll have more to say on that later, along with two other themes.
1. With so many UC offerings, it's really hard to differentiate, and that matters for everyone in the food chain. NEC is not a household name in this space - at least in North America, and they're very focused on changing that. The main differentiation message for me was how they focus on the integration between IT and UC for their value proposition. Other vendors do this to varying degrees, and given how strong NEC is with network infrastructure, this pairing makes sense.
2. Their SDN story is becoming a dominant theme for going to market. It's still evolving, but the virtualization story is resonating with enterprises, and NEC is pushing to become a market leader. This also ties into their IT/UC integration focus, and not many vendors can take things to this level. Most are going to market with a standalone UC solution, but NEC is surrounding this with a deeper play that can solve a lot of problems for IT.
That's it for now, but I'll have a recap post coming soon on UCStrategies, and as I get further along with their SDN story, look for more analysis on that as well.
Until then, here are some pix from the showcase, and a couple from our SIPTones gig last night. We had a blast, and when the dancing gets going, you know it's working. More to come on that as well, and if the video turns out half decent, the highlights will turn up on YouTube. I'll keep you posted, and if you like what we do, we'd love to play again soon!
Hot off the press from breakfast this morning - band shot, along with our patron saint of all things fun, Larry Kollie.