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Enterprise Connect 2012: From Enterprise Connect to… Business Connect

A couple of years ago, VoiceCon morphed into Enterprise Connect because there was UC, there was video, and voice was just so passé. When I talked to Co-chair/CEO Fred Knight back in the day, he said the “sweet spot” for the show were enterprise clients with 1,000 seats or more. Big companies.  Multi-site companies. Fortune 500 to 1000-2000 companies. Sooo… how come there are a significant number of companies that show up to announce SME solutions?

Off the top of my head, there’s ADTRAN, Avaya  and CounterPath.   ADTRAN rolled out its SBC (session border controller) for NetVanta and Total Access CPE.  The software can be purchased for 10, 25, and 100 sessions, with a $395 to $495 list price, depending on the box it runs on.  Avaya introduced its cloud solutions, including AvayaLive Connect “a new, fully-integrated, unified communications solution for small businesses that includes voice, voice conferencing, messaging, video, mobility, presence and more.”   CounterPath showed up to give a “sneak peak” of SoftPhone.com, a cloud offering to connect CounterPath X-Lite softphone users (i.e., the people too cheap to pay for a copy of Bria).  SoftPhone.com is targeted at 25-30 seat SMBs to connect X-Lite to X-Lite calls for free, while terminating calls over an IP PBX when the recipient is not connected to the SoftPhone.com network.

Enterprise Connect isn’t a huge show — fits nicely into the Gaylord Convention Center in Orlando — and it treats the attending media quite well.  I don’t know, but suspect from the quality of amenities given to attendees and the media, it’s not exactly a cheap show to exhibit at; a 3 day VIP Special for 2012 is already running at $1695 for attendees. (But you can get in on an Expo Plus pass free for access to keynotes, show floor, sponsored sessions, and networking receptions).

I guess my point is that I’ve seen SMB-esque announcements out of Enterprise Connect before and I have to wonder if there’s room somewhere for a dedicated Business Connect show strictly for the 2-500 SMB world.

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