This week saw the 2012 installment of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Most of the buzz is obviously around consumer facing products, but there is some crossover into the unified communications and/or contact center space.
At CES big players in the tech space try to grab daily headlines. Sometimes good buzz around innovative products, other times hilarious buzz around certain speeches. Anyone remember Ballmer as Mr. Monkey Boy? If not there’s a nice blog post to refresh your memory.
Anyway, there were a few interesting UC and contact center items I found in all the chatter.
invoxia was awarded Best of Innovations for its Smart Office Phone, a device that will dock an iPhone and basically convert it to an enterprise VoIP station. I’m starting to see more of these devices that are trying to eliminate the need to have both a desktop and a mobile phone for the enterprise user. Is anyone else out there hearing interest in these types of devices?
VXi debuted three new headsets at the show. Two were Bluetooth enabled mobile versions and the other was the VXi UC Pro Set, a headset for the contact center agent which has specs saying it blocks 87 percent of background noise. That could be a nice feature even for some enterprise users.
And finally, Polycom was promoting its RealPresence™ applications. RealPresence™ is a software platform that provides an infrastructure for universal video collaboration. Video is an up and down topic in UC and the contact center in general, but Polycom is taking an interesting approach. Typically, video in the enterprise has been about buying a purpose-built device to make video calls. The RealPresence™ platform is betting on the fact you probably already have a device that supports video, like an iPad, Motorola Xoom, Droid XyBoard, or even desktop apps like IBM Sametime and Microsoft Lync. They’re providing apps or integrations to those end points and creating an enterprise wide video solution. I’m still on the fence about video adoption in the enterprise or contact center; personally there are just certain people I really don’t want to converse with on video. But I’m going to keep tabs on the early acceptance of the Polycom solution.
With the big consumer show behind us it’s now on to the broader tech industry shows. See you at ITExpo East, MS Convergence, Enterprise Connect and many others in Q1.