Now that the first-ever Lync Conference is behind us, some reflective thoughts and observations:
Far exceeding the organizer’s expectations, the Lync Conference sold out weeks before the event with over 1,000 paid attendees. (Based on the badge swapping in the hotel foyer, there must have been another 300 people “around the fringes”.) The event was an interesting mix of roughly 1/3 end-customers, another 1/3 resellers/partners and 1/3 vendors, analysts and press - all mixed into hours of great sessions, keynotes and exposition space. What does this mean? Lync has arrived and it is HOT.
We at AudioCodes used the event to kick-off our One Voice for Microsoft Lync branding campaign, featuring a new informational video that was hard to miss on our giant video screen. Feedback from the analysts and customers was very positive – the value of one source for the network elements, services and support is clear.
The AudioCodes 420HD, 430HD and 440HD IP phones were quite the hit with the attendees. Most notably was a “phone premonition” by the popular blogger Matt Landis foreseeing the arrival our 440HD phone. (I’m personally pitching to our executives that we informally call our 440HD “the Landis Phone” going forward.)
My session titled “Avoiding the Pilot Trap” was a hit at the show. Featuring an end-customer presentation from Jeff Bryngelson, Network Manager at American Axle & Manufacturing and a partner perspective from Benjamin Tosado, Principle at Conquest Technology Services, the session discussed some of the challenges that IT Managers and Administrators run into when their Lync pilot projects run into troubles and some first-hand tips on how to avoid a similar fate. Even the critical consultant Sheila McGee-Smith gave us a “best session of the conference” twitter nod for including real customers to share their stories. You can view a recording of the session on YouTube.
AudioCodes, Plantronics, Intelepeer and ScanSource Communications collaborated to organize the first ever “Voice LyncUP”, a social event that cruised the San Diego harbor on Tuesday evening. The event brought together close to 300 end-customer, partners and sponsors out on a cool and windy evening for an opportunity to socialize and share their Lync experiences. We’re looking forward to a bigger and better event next year with more sponsors and attendees.
And most importantly, the event gave us an opportunity to meet, collaborate and listen to a number of our current and prospective customers. Having real eye-to-eye discussions about the needs and wants for business adoption of Lync is impossible to put into words. We left with a new appreciation of what has been accomplished and what is to come from some of the early adopters and highly innovative community that makes up the Lync ecosystem.
One final thought – for those of us that attended this first-ever Lync Conference event, I suspect there will be a day in the future when we say “I was there when….” Looking forward to next year.
You can reach Alan at: firstname.lastname@example.org