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What's on our minds these days?

Some of the FOX GROUP consulting team had the opportunity to attend the Neotelis Telecom 2014 conference this week. This end user-oriented conference provides the attendees (vendors and end user clients) with the opportunity to learn, network and exchange ideas about where telecom, network and contact centre solutions are going, who is doing what, where, and why.

The customers that attended were a cross-section of government, health care, education and enterprise organizations. We gathered some interesting observations and comments that we thought we would share with you. One of the comments from the team was that the clients were IT, telecom, network and contact centre roles. I spent most of my networking time talking to the vendors to get their thoughts, concerns and opportunities.

Feedback from End Users

On Wednesday, I presented a session titled “UC: What’s in it for My Company, and Why?” The attendees at my session asked a wide range of questions, including:

  • How do I figure out what applications, features, functions, applications and vendors are a best fit their organizations?

  • How do I determine what UC vendors and applications they should deploy?

  • How do I get internal users on board and use next generation technologies?

  • How do I support the future technology (skills, organization and tools)?

  • Why can’t the vendors make the applications simpler to use and support?

  • Why can’t the vendors make their applications work together easier? Computer manufacturers have done that!

Feedback/Inquiries from Vendors

During the Tuesday product showcase, about 40 vendors exhibited to help educate and inform participants about their products and services, and several vendors presented information sessions on current solutions.

Questions some of the vendors asked us

  • What UC solutions are clients buying, and why?

  • Why aren’t clients spending money and moving to UC?

  • What are the decision factors that clients care about in their UC solutions, and why?

  • We are adapting our products and solutions to move to cloud delivery. Do you think your clients are interested in doing this, and why? If not, why not?

Some of the points that the vendors shared with me and some of the other FOX GROUP team participants included:

  • We have worked on changing how our channels go to market to adapt to the increased IT skills and expertise required for integrating telecom and IT applications together successfully.

  • Can you give us some advice in regards to what your clients are asking for so we can adapt to be successful?

  • We are working on consolidating our product platforms to simplify and make it easier to purchase our products. We are also working on trying to simplify our licensing platforms to make it easier to design, deliver and maintain our solutions. We hope this makes it easier for clients to spend money.

We also took the opportunity to video-interview attendees and event organizers to get their thoughts and feedback of their top concerns, considerations and things they are thinking about. We will be posting the videos on the Telecom 2014 web site and FOXGROUP TV (YouTube channel) soon.

Feedback from Clients during Networking Sessions

  • Why can’t vendors make their solutions easier to use, install and report?

  • Why can’t vendors make their solutions easier to work with other vendors’ solutions? Are multi-vendor solutions ever going to be available in telecom? We have it in computers where can use many different PC vendor choices, why not telecom?

  • Why do the new IP phone sets and specialized devices, such as wearable IP devices, have to cost so much, since we can buy things cheap as a consumer (i.e. USB cord for $3-5, wireless phone set for home for <$100, but pay much larger amounts for business devices, i.e. $400-500 IP phone set)?


These types of events, while exhausting, always recharge my batteries. The knowledge and technical “savvy” that the end users bring to the table are pushing the vendors in new ways. The levels to which vendors are embracing customer concerns are unmatched.

FOX GROUP is in a unique position, working between the vendors and the end users, and the honest feedback we heard from both sides encourages me 1) about where the industry is heading, and 2) about the role we play in moving it forward and helping clients design and implement the right technology from the right vendors. We encourage both suppliers and customer to look to attend next year’s Telecom 2015. It will be held October 27-28 in Toronto at the Old Mill Inn and Spa. More information will be posted in upcoming issues of the Telecom Dispatch events section.

Thanks to the numerous folks that provided comments and feedback on last month's article on my editorial article about the growing importance of available broadband. Some folks suggested we should modify our ePROcurement applications and services as a new offer for the real estate industry. Any thoughts?

As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome on our articles or news comments.

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