This week Corporate Technologies Group hosted a Technology Summit designed exclusively for CIO/IT leaders who want to enhance their knowledge around IT innovation and cloud transformation. The Summit was led by Michael Sterl, Chief Strategy Officer for Carve Digital and IT Thought Leader.
The days’ speakers included representatives from CTG and several of their partner cloud solution providers, most of which are recognized in Gartner’s 206 Magic Quadrant. The event was held at the Cleveland Indians stadium, Progressive Field, in Cleveland, Ohio and was attended by CIO/IT leaders of small to enterprise-level companies from a wide variety of industries.
The event began with introductions from each of the four IT Communications and Cloud Service Providers speaking at the summit, Evolve IP, Masergy, Rackspace, and West, Inc. Each of these providers are leaders in the Managed Cloud tech space and offer a broad range of innovative communications solutions to businesses of all sizes, including Managed Cloud Services, UCaaS (Unified Communications-as-a-Service), SaaS (Security-as-a-Service), MPLS, and SIP Trunking.
There were three separate discussion sessions, each focused on a different aspect of innovative IT; Unified Communications, Cloud Computing, and SD-WAN. Below are some takeaways from each of the discussion sessions.
Unified Communications Session. The conversation regarding UC highlighted the biggest benefit as the ability to combine all the applications and hardware that a company is currently using into one unified package. A quality UC approach is scalable and usable for SMBs to Mid-Market to Enterprise-Level companies, and able to integrate a constantly evolving world of applications. A trend the speakers touched on was the increasing importance of integrating SMS into UC as more millenials saturate the workforce. If businesses have not yet considered including SMS abilities, they suggest you do to keep your company more competitive.
Cloud Computing Session. The speakers were asked to simplify the notion of the cloud for the audience. One said, “the cloud is simply your server, someplace else.” Another simplified it as, “Compute. Network. Storage.” The running theme, across the participants, indicated most cloud-adopters take the “crawl-walk-run” approach when shifting their operations to the cloud, beginning first with cloud-based applications, like Office 365, until their comfortability grows and they realize they want to shift more of their data and operations to the cloud. It was also mentioned that a best-in-class provider should offer continuous consulting to the customer from planning, to migration, to management after the transition.
SD-WAN Session. One of the most recent topics in the hosted space is SD-WAN, or Software-Defined WAN. SD-WAN is a relatively new approach to designing and deploying wide area networks that takes advantage of a hybrid of public broadband, private MPLS links, and other WAN links, with centralized orchestration. SD-WAN reduces issues like packet loss, latency, and jitter by monitoring network changes as they occur and dynamically redirecting traffic to the best path. Although this technology is still in its beginning phases, the speakers all believe this is definitely an innovation that will continue to catch on.
The event concluded with a walking tour of the beautiful stadium, including the best kept secret of the Indians home team advantage, the indoor batting cage facilities.
The CTG Tech Summit gave attendees a lot of great information on innovative communication services that need to be considered as businesses grow. It was clear that there are many options for businesses of any size to adopt Unified Communications and Cloud Computing, and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. These services are the way of the future and carry the benefits of increased security, mobility and scalability.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of these IT innovations, Corporate Technologies Group can help you find a solution that fits your growing business.