Notes from our WW User Conference – Interactions ’11

As I write this, people are buzzing around the hallways here at Interactions ’11 (our global user conference) waiting for the next sessions to begin. They are here to see what’s new in our solutions, where our product roadmap will take them, and how our partnerships with other vendors (RightNow Technologies, AudioCodes, Polycom, Salesforce, and many others) will allow them to be even more effective and efficient running their business in order to generate more revenue.

During these conferences (this is the largest user conference ever for us – over 700 attendees), there are so many conversations that take place. For me, that means talking with analysts and consultants telling them about our offerings, working on marketing opportunities with our strategic partners, and of course meeting our customers and understanding their needs.

Of the conversations that I’ve had at this conference, there were two types that have been most intriguing to me.

First, it is so satisfying to me to meet up with various former employees who have made the move out from Interactive to either a partner or customer. Clearly there is value that these former employees bring to their new companies, but there is even greater value that they bring back to Interactive. With their new perspective on the world, they can share with us the insights they have gleaned on how our products are being used or could be used. These insights provide a deeper understanding of our customers business which in turn improves the products that we provide.

Second, there were two former employees that have both moved into strategic IT positions within their companies and are now responsible for managing our solution. To my surprise, both of them said that one of their biggest struggles is with getting the employees to use the desktop client that we provide instead of looking to their desktop phone. As an example, they continue to get questions like, "How do I transfer a call on this phone?" and "How do I conference people on this phone?" I was told not to even get started on the topic of presence management – asking the employees to change their status through the desktop client was a daily struggle for them. This whole discussion reminded me about the whole discussion around "Why you’ll never take away my desktop phone!" I guess old habits die hard.

Overall, this year’s conference was the best of the 10 or so that I’ve been involved with during my 13 years here. More people, more information, more relationships, more value.

To all who attended, thank you!

Tim Passios