My First Perspectives Conference: Wow! What a Week!
Last week was one of the most amazing of my professional career. GENBAND held our annual Perspectives customer and partner summit in Orlando and I was blown away by not only the incredible production of the event that my team executed flawlessly, but at the caliber of the speakers, presenters, media and analysts attending the conference. I felt going in that the conference would be good, knowing all of the preparation and effort that my team had put into it, but it actually far exceeded my lofty expectations. The excitement and buzz created at the event was something both unique and special to experience. I cannot tell you how many compliments I received from customers and partners as well as the media and analysts I met with throughout the show.
The show got off to a great start with our Chairman and CEO David Walsh’s presentation on how our hundreds of service provider customers in the audience can protect what they have and invest in the future. David’s keynote was followed up with an engaging presentation from our President of Global Sales Mark Pugerude discussing how some of the critical trends such as cloud, Real-Time Communications, OTT and IP Transformation are driving our customers’ decisions in 2015.
Roy Timor-Rousso, GM of our fring Alliance, delivered an excellent presentation on the momentum that his team has built in generating interest in joining the alliance since it was announced in February. The surprise video he showed on stage from Deutsche Telecom on why they are joining the fring Alliance seemed to really get a lot of audience members’ attention. John McCready, our EVP of Products and Corporate Development’s presentation on industry trends such as NFV, Distributed SBC and Unified Communications (UC) went over well with conference attendees.
One of the things that resonated most with me is how much interest and buzz there is around our new Communications Platform-as-a-Service, Kandy. Paul Pluschkell our EVP of Strategy and Cloud Services gave an overview of Kandy and embedded communications and how far the platform has come since he sneak-previewed it last year at Perspectives. Paul also presented a few excellent use cases including highlighting how the disruptive platform is powering SAP’s Cloud for Customer CRM platform. Sameer Patel from SAP followed Paul’s session up with a powerful presentation on the innovative collaboration tools they are leveraging.
Another component of Kandy that resonated not only with me but with other attendees that I spoke with is the rapidly growing Kandy ecosystem. Dean Bubley, from Disruptive Analysis, wrote about our progress with Kandy in a recent blog post.
It was also interesting to hear from speakers such as Sowmyanarayan Sampath, SVP of Transformation for Verizon Communications, discussing where his organization is in the process of transforming its network. Sampath highlighted how the benefits of transforming seven of their central offices from copper to fiber resulted in significant savings in real estate and energy . These savings we so compelling that they have decided to transform an additional 2000-plus central offices!
Another big topic of conversation was Network Functions Virtualization or NFV. Both Werner Schaefer from HP and Renu Navale from the Intel Network Builders Program gave great presentations on each organization’s strategy and approach to bringing about the benefits of NFV. I think it is very promising both for vendors and service providers to see the real industry progress that is being made on the NFV front.
One of the highlights of the conference for me as I’m sure it was with a majority of other attendees was the keynote by Sir Ken Robinson. It was one of the best keynote speeches that I have seen. His presentation was so refreshing and really made audience members think about how we can foster a culture that encourages creativity.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome performance by Kansas at the House of Blues. Seeing David Walsh perform on stage with the band is something I will never forget!
Our customers seemed to get a great deal of benefit from the break-out sessions, which included the Kandy Platform; UC; Network Transformation; Next Gen SBC; Enterprise SBC; fring OTT; and VoWiFi, WiFi and Small Cell solutions. All of the sessions were very well attended and included lively, interactive discussions.
All in all it was an outstanding week for the entire GENBAND family, of which I am proud to be a member, and I want to sincerely thank those team members who made it happen. I also want to thank all of our partners and sponsors who, without their support and participation Perspectives would not be possible. Additionally, I would like to thank our customers, who came from virtually every corner of the world to attend the show!
I could go on and on about experiencing my first Perspectives conference but hopefully you can gain a good feel from some of the photos that we shared on our Facebook page and some of the great media coverage from the show.
I am already excited about Perspectives16!