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The finalists for the 2016 Best of Enterprise Connect award represent vendors whose innovative UC products and services bring something new to the industry and act as a barometer to measure the current and future state of UC.
A panel of four UC analysts and consultants evaluated 30 entries for this year's award, combing through UC products they believe best advance enterprise communications. This year's finalists -- 8x8 Inc., AudioCodes, CafeX Communications, Cisco, Sprint Business, Vidyo and Vonage -- encompass a range of UC products, including a software-defined WAN service, a cloud contact center platform and a Skype for Business appliance.
These finalists indicate growing industry support for enterprises looking to move to the cloud and reduce complexity for IT, according to Nemertes Research President Robin Gareiss, one of this year's judges. Moving to the cloud reduces the complexity of infrastructure and services for organizations. At the same time, more cloud-based services are coming to the market to appeal to organizations looking for better ways to support their mobile employees.
"One big theme is being able to assist IT, to help them regroup and become more strategic," Gareiss said. IT's role is changing to focus less on managing technical components and more on strategy to make technology and services work to meet business needs, she added.
Take a closer look at the UC product finalists to see how they've positioned themselves to help enterprise users and get Gareiss' take on this year's finalists.
Enterprise Connect, a major UC conference, runs from March 7 to 10 in Orlando, Fla. CafeX won this year's Best of Enterprise Connect award.