NEC Advantage 2017
NEC showed-off its latest iteration of Smart Enterprise at Advantage its annual partner event. NEC Advantage 2017 is taking place this week in Chandler, Arizona with about 230 partners and industry consultants.
NEC uses “Smart Enterprise” to describe its broader vision and portfolio that expands beyond unified communications. UC and UCaaS are generally considered mature, so like most vendors NEC is seeking to differentiate its portfolio with a broader solution set.
Rather than new and unproven applications, NEC is prioritizing integration with its broader portfolio of solutions such as software defined networking, biometrics, fault-tolerant servers, storage, and more. Smart Enterprise represents integration of the products as well as the channels and go-to-market approach.
Vice President Larry Levenberg, well known within its UC business, now heads the combined channel and direct sales organizations for Smart Enterprise. The change was made to align all NEC sales resources to better serve partners and customers.
NEC continues to position its channel partners as the primary path to market. The change communicates that the direct organization will focus on defined enterprise customers, and will also be tasked with growing market share in the US with net-new customer engagements. The direct side is relatively small compared to NEC’s network of channel partners.
NEC and Vidyo launched the previously announced partnership making VidyoCloud available from NEC. The video conferencing service has been integrated into NEC for on-demand collaboration. VidyoCloud will support enterprises with as many as 100 video conferencing participants, and includes video conferencing, content sharing, recording, and integration with third-party video conferencing systems.
VidyoCloud also illustrates how cloud-enabled technology can deliver new types of benefits for premises-based systems. For example, NEC is looking to integrate Vidyo’s APIs with NEC’s Neoface facial recognition software. The combination can enable a user to start a video conference with a (face and a) smile instead of a PIN or password. Neoface provides industry leading facial recognition heavily used within law enforcement.
"Vidyo is a clear leader in the market whose unmatched quality and resilience deliver a flawless end-user experience that truly differentiates NEC’s portfolio of offerings,” said Ram Menghani, Vice President, NEC Corporation of America.
NEC also announced the availability of a new contact center solution for UNIVERGE Blue. The service is powered by the Enghouse Interactive Contact Center Services Provider solution. The service, hosted in geographically redundant data-centers, support distributed and remote agents.
Cloud-powered contact center is a high-growth sector. The services offer advanced features with few barriers to adoption without an upfront or long term commitment.
NEC Advantage has a strong community aspect. The company has a very loyal channel, and many of these partners are exclusive resellers. It’s a strong community, drawn together by shared interests and challenges.