3 Things I Heard at Microsoft Ignite
I have a love/hate relationship with trade shows that goes back decades. On the one hand, it’s a rare privilege to catch up in person with prospects and customers and hear what’s going on in their world. On the other hand, the hours are long and exhausting, so it helps to have a side project. For Microsoft Ignite last week, mine was keeping track of the conversational themes that kept coming up at the Bandwidth booth.
Full disclosure: my favorite quotes from Orlando were not heard on the show floor, but at the Uber/Lyft pick up area outside the convention center, which was snarled with long lines and slow traffic every evening after the event closed. Unfortunately, none of those comments were fit to print for a general audience, so I’ll stick with the ones related to IT topics within the enterprise:
- “Managing our telephony is a pain.” Nearly everyone we spoke with described some sort of angst over their telephony implementation. Many organizations are still in the process of testing Microsoft Teams, but their telephony migration to the cloud is still in the future or planning stages. Topping the list of concerns were phone number porting, moving from hard phones to softphones, and deciding between Microsoft Calling Plan and Direct Routing.
- “We’re considering SBC-as-a-Service.” Enterprises of all shapes and sizes are investigating a hosted SBC (Session Border Control) model. This always made sense to me for smaller organizations who don’t have the staff to manage an SBC, but I was surprised how many large enterprises with complex infrastructures expressed curiosity about this option, as well. Citing speed and flexibility, these organizations want the ability to scale faster and reduce infrastructure costs.
- “I look at it like what if my kid needed to call 911.” I know how busy and often understaffed IT departments can be, so I was happy to hear from companies who prioritize their users’ safety and proactively plan for E911. Many are assessing new federal E911 regulations coming into effect next year, and don’t want to make the move to the cloud until they’re confident they have their compliance nailed down.
“Where can I get one of your sparkly jackets?” The last one isn’t IT related, so it doesn’t count except that it was the most surprising and funny to me. Bandwidth’s bold, bright jackets continue to be a crowd favorite at IT conferences, so any stereotypes I carried about techies being indifferent to fashion have been eliminated forever.