John Chambers electrified the VoiceCon audience here in Orlando in his keynote address that ended 10 minutes ago. The man who VoiceCon co-chair Fred Knight introduced as the "rock star" of our industry walked out to a standing ovation. One only wonders how many of those folk raising to their feet were stooges paid by the company. Personally, I would have pinned Chambers as the "preacher" of our industry. The Charleston, West Virginia-native, once again walked amongst the crowd spreading the gospel of IP commmunicagtions. Cisco's launched it unified communications push at the show and its to this point that Chambers addressed.
"Collaboration is the number one change facing business today," he said.
Being a collaboration guy myself, who am I to argue. I've wondered though walking this show whether the telephony server vendors, such as Cisco, are too entranced with the cool technologies they can deliver ??? video at the desktop, read voice mail through a combined presence-enabled VoIP/video/Web conferencing client or reply to lose ??? but fail to consider how much incremental value those technologies offer over free services, such as Skype. If IT is going to deploy collaborative communications based around the IP PBX it needs to understand the problems business users face, convince them that new modalities can solve those problems, and that enterprise-based telephony servers are the right platform for delivering those modalities.
The vendor community must help IT address those issue. Marketing is good, but perhaps they can do one better ??? just box and deliver the VoIP Preacher.