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It’s my belief that we will look back at 2017 as a tipping point for the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT has certainly been something that most business and IT leaders talk about, but to date, deployments have been limited to key verticals that have been connecting things for years, although we called it machine-to-machine (M2M) before it became cool to say IoT.

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Silver Peak’s Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN enables customers
to achieve the vision of the thin branch and internet breakout
without the complexity that made it untenable before

It seems that with technology, when we deploy something new, our first instincts are to make it look like the old thing. Then, at a later date, smart people figure out how the new thing can actually do something different.

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Extreme Networks continues industry consolidation with
acquisition of Brocade’s data center networking business

Any fan of the PGA Tour will never forget the “better than most” call by NBC’s Gary Koch. On March 24, 2001, Tiger Woods stepped up to execute one of the most difficult putts of his career. Halfway to the hole, Koch uttered the words “better than most” as it looked like his putt was going to be a good one. It wound up going in, and that become yet another notable moment in Tiger’s illustrious career where great execution was becoming the norm.

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Remembering this year’s event for cloud, comms APIs, team
collaboration, physical meeting rooms, and the digital experience.

The 2017 edition of Enterprise Connect is just about in the books, as we head into the final morning of the conference program and the vendor booths are all packed up. As is always the case with this show, due to the very nature of unified communications, a large number of subtopics, ranging from the basics to the most sublime, emerged throughout the week. However, I will remember Enterprise Connect 2017 for the following five major themes.

1. Evolution of the cloud. The cloud has been a major storyline at Enterprise Connect for several years in a row now. However, up until recently, the value proposition of the cloud has revolved around being a cheaper, faster way of doing UC when compared to premises-based solutions. This year the tide seems to have turned, and the majority of UCaaS provider vision now centers on how to use the cloud to create new ways of working and new experiences. We should see some interesting results, as now it’s time for the cloud providers to differentiate themselves from one another.

For example, RingCentral is moving toward an integrated UC/team workspace experience, Vonage is leveraging its Nexmo asset to appeal to developers, 8×8 is leading with contact center and BroadSoft is making available a wealth of contextual information through its Hub. Even companies like Cisco and Microsoft that have relied heavily on premises-based sales have shifted to cloud-first strategies with Spark and Office 365, respectively. The differentiation is certainly good as it gives customers more choices to solve different problems.

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Brocade continues to bring new features to
Fibre Channel, helping companies as they move
toward high-performance, all-flash data centers

Last year, Brocade introduced its 32 Gig Fibre Channel portfolio. Gen6, as Brocade calls it, is ideally suited to meet the demands of a digital world that is seeing an explosion of traffic from data center modernization, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing.

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