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VoiceCon 2009: Building success through innovation

The impact of today’s global economic crisis has wrenched companies into shaping new business models merely to survive, much less thrive. But top-tier UC vendors at the recent spring VoiceCon 2009 show in Orlando are interpreting the recession (or depression) as a unique opportunity to change the old ways of doing things. The dawn of a new day. A time to rely on and trust in innovation to carry us through these dark days.

Tough times coupled with perpetual, driving need is the catalyst that has historically sparked prodigious ideas. And, as in the past, the tumultuous times we’re now experiencing paired with our insatiable thirst for new technology will be the impetus to finding more efficient ways to do what, in otherwise good times, would keep us trekking down the same path, doing things the same way. The way to survive, more over, come out ahead of the competition, is to innovate now.

In every VoiceCon keynote presentation, a single theme threaded its way through — innovation. Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO of Avaya, kicked off the keynote sessions stressing the critical importance of innovation. According to Kennedy, innovation will help us navigate these uncertain times and emerge from these times of turmoil.

Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate VP of unified communications with Microsoft, said in his keynote address that it’s the choices companies make now that will determine their viability when we’ve moved beyond the current recession.

General manager of IBM, Bob Picciano, stated simply, “We can’t afford to do things the way we did before.”

Cisco’s CTO, Padmasree Warrior, went further to say that ideas get stronger when we share them with others and social networks and collaboration are powerful in making connections stronger.

All of the keynote speakers offered sensible, reasonable reasons why companies should invest now in collaborative innovation in some capacity (irrespective of their financial status). Each presented their thoughts on the best ways in which to do so – respective to their agendas, of course.

Whether you innovate through social networking software, collaboration tools, UC technologies, CEBP, otherwise, or all of the above and more, a thoughtful strategy is imperative. Gurdeep Singh Pall rightly said that hope is not a strategy. If you want to keep your company afloat now and gain a healthy degree of competitive dominance in the future, in a sunnier financial climate, heed Pall’s simple, but wise, advice:

• Focus on innovation
• Shift away from old models
• Lay down the foundation for the future

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