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Enterprise Connect 2018 Round-up from Plivo

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If you are part of the Enterprise ecosystem, and have a role to play in how businesses communicate and collaborate with each other, or their customers – There’s a high chance that you were at Gaylord Palms, Orlando last week participating at Enterprise Connect 2018. Team Plivo was there at the scene, and in case you missed all the action, here’s a quick round-up of the top trends that we observed, and interesting conversations we had at the Plivo Booth.

Migration to the Cloud

If we had to single out one word that dominated most of the discussions at EC18, it would have to be CLOUD. According to recent Cloud Collaboration Survey, 80% of the businesses are considering migration to cloud in the next 24 months. As expected - there were a lot of lively discussions around how move to the cloud itself can have some major costs due to planning, infrastructure integrations, identity management, security reviews, procedure revisions, new devices and phones, system testing, rollout, and taxes. There were also some practical tips & tricks shared on how to avoid the “Gotchas” in a Cloud Migration. However, everybody seemed to agree that cloudification of communication made business sense. For a company like Plivo, which is born in the cloud – this was music to our ears.

The Rise and Rise of Communication APIs

The ability to integrate communications into applications, business processes, and workflows is an increasingly important requirement for many enterprises. The API track had an interesting session titled “Why you should embrace the API movement”. The discussion went beyond the obvious topic of voice & messaging APIs to pre-packaged building blocks for integrating communication capabilities. There were discussions around how much does technology know-how and staff expertise affect the decision to use or not use CPaaS. Does pre-packaged functionality come at the cost of flexibility? At Plivo, we had some answers to that in our booth. More on that later!

The Year of WebRTC

WebRTC has existed for more than five years, but real-world adoption has been limited due to browser incompatibilities. The speakers at EC18 examined whether things were changing finally or not. The answer seemed to be an overwhelming Yes. Everybody seemed to agree that Apple’s decision to add WebRTC support to Safari plus efforts to develop a common open-source video codec has breathed new life into WebRTC for enterprise real-time communications requirements. We couldn’t agree more. In fact, BrowserSDK 2.0, our new WebSDK with support for Opus Codec has been gaining a lot of traction lately.

TADHack-mini Hackathon

The TADHack event organized by the sidelines of Enterprise Connect has always been my favourite place to be. At TADHack-mini Orlando 2018, there was a diverse group of people across the Orlando developer/technology communities, Florida universities, Enterprise Connect attendees and remote entrants. A huge shout-out to Miles McNamara (Twitter: @tripflex), who developed an entire third-party verification system using Plivo! We’re always proud and excited when developers use Plivo APIs to do amazing things.

Conversations at the Plivo Booth

At Booth No. 218 – There was never a boring moment! We met tons of great people and had some lovely conversations. Below are the four recurring topics that we kept hearing:

“Save Developer’s Time”

Along with the move to the cloud - personalization, customization, and client-specific implementations continue to be critical to the business. This puts a strain on developer resources and availability. There was a lot of conversation around how to reduce development cycle and save the developer’s time especially for creating more complex and advanced communication capabilities. Our preview a whole new way of integrating communications was a huge hit and generated a lot of interest, with technical and non-technical people alike.

“Can you help us move to the cloud?”

As discussed earlier in this post, many of the people we talked to were thinking about a WebRTC implementation or had already started one. In a cloud-centric world, using WebRTC as the main voice endpoint makes sense. Rapid deployment, instant availability, and no hardware costs are huge drivers for this decision. We talked at length about our existing customer implementations like Nectardesk, and how Plivo is helping them differentiate and win based on call quality.

“What’s Plivo’s role in contact center?”

In this rapidly-changing industry, we’re seeing signs of shifting market dynamics. With some of the recent announcements of new entrants coming in from the cPaaS industry and competing with their erstwhile customers, there were discussions (and some trepidations) around the changing landscape. Customers wanted to know where we stand in the ecosystem. We made it very clear that Plivo’s core business is to enable enterprises including call centers with innovations around integrating communications capability into their platform & business. We are here to enable our call center customers, and not to compete with them. Our solution showcase for Call Centers was very well received,

“Quality”

Many of the attendees we talked to asked us about their SMS-deliverability and voice-quality pain points. Especially in international markets, this can be difficult to address with players who use aggregators and who do not have direct relationships with carriers. Plivo’s direct relationships with 1600+ carriers worldwide was pointed out as a huge and unique differentiator. When we described Plivo’s market-leading quality-based routing technology, rather than least-cost routing, attendees were pleasantly surprised. It’s just one of many quality-focused efforts from Plivo – see our blog post about our use of the Opus codec.

Final Note

One of the final sessions of the conference was entitled “Is The Cloud Unavoidable.” Just in case you didn’t find the time to attend this session, let Plivo help you here: Yes. The answer is a very simple yes :)


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