Our Social Media team sat down with Trevor Connell, Managing Director of West EMEA at Unify, to talk about the forthcoming Connected Business event at Olympia on 4th & 5th March in London.
Why is Connected Business an important show for us to be at?
This is our first year exhibiting as Unify and I know that the team and I are excited about bringing the new way to work messaging to this event. It actually aligns perfectly with the show’s overall message and we fully support the show’s own rebrand from UC Expo to Connected Business.
This is THE largest Collaboration and Communication event in the UK, and draws visitors from FTSE 100 and Mid Market Organisations nationally and internationally. It’s year on year attendance is increasing and last year over 4,000 people visited. This is a great audience for us to show what Unify has been doing since the rebrand in October, and more importantly, where we are going.
It is also important because we are accompanied by four of our Partners at the event, each of them bringing their own specialised areas. Joining us are Datrix with their hosted solution, NET Connections with OpenScape Office, Nimans who will be actively recruiting new partners and for the first time, our Alliance partner, Virgin Media Business. The relationship with our Partners is incredibly important to us and we welcome them to Connected Business.
What can visitors expect to see from us this year?
Trevor: What can’t they expect!? It’s promising to be a very busy couple of days. We are on Stand C305, close to the My Visit stand at the entrance. As well as sporting our new brand, it will be alive with demonstrations, Executive 121’s, Technical experts and Strategy Advisors. We aim to bring to life a new way to work for everyone that visits.
We are also extremely privileged to be having Torsten Raak (Head of Corporate Marketing for Unify) and Rick Puskar (Senior VP, Global portfolio Management, Unify) delivering two seminar sessions for us in the Cloud & Convergence Theatre. In 2 forty minute seminars on 4th March they will share findings with the audience around what people using technology really want these days, who wants it and where they want it. Further demonstrating that Unify understands these wants and needs… and has answers. The second of the two sessions will bring it all to life. Rick recently attended a CIO dinner where he shared this story, and the audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive and this event gives a broader audience the opportunity to understand how this will impact their organizations and the people within.
We are also very proud to announce that they are sponsoring the first Connected Business Social Award.
In your event team, what collaborative technology is helping you all prepare for this event?
Trevor: We use our technology everyday as second nature, so it took me a moment to appreciate the impact it has, in fact had, on the organising team. I think that the biggest benefit has come from UC presence – enabling first contact resolution when you have a question. It’s immediate, you see who is available to answer, and you have their fastest method of contact available.
There has also been extensive use of our OpenScape Web Collaboration. With such a mobile team of anywhere workers, and with so many impactful decisions to be made in the run up to the event, web collaboration has been key in driving to a successful outcome. It has ensured transparency, multi way discussions, information and knowledge sharing, and ultimately informed decision making – all in the most expeditious use of people’s time.
Web collaboration file sharing keeps inboxes free from oversized mails; UC Instant Messaging Conferences enables multi tasking; Whiteboarding in Web Collab conferences gives instant, agreed, finalised changes to documents.
In fact if you look back, you have to wonder how on earth we managed before!
What difference does Unified Communications make to you?
Trevor: I have a more connected, productive and responsive workforce. Simple.
I know that I can contact the right person instantly in a multitude of ways – irrespective of their physical location, their network or their device. My team, and myself included, rarely spend unproductive time at airports or on the motorway nowadays. There are of course occasions where face to face is the best way, but far fewer now that we have collaborative technology.
Travel costs are not measurable just in fuel or tickets. They are unproductive working hours; they are wasted calls and emails trying to find someone, indeedanyone to make contact. However we can still keep the human element when not face to face by the use of video streams in web collaboration sessions. We can have multiple participants in coffee shops, or offices, or home offices, orindeed anywhere.
Are there any keynotes that you are looking forward to at the show?
Trevor: There are some great names on the speaker list this year, and I have a fairly full itinerary so may miss some of those that I would like to attend, but am very much hoping to get along to hear Steve Blood, Paul Miller and Dr Nicola Millard.