Catalyst Conference in San Diego last week hit high water marks for attendance and participation. I kept busy: 2 workshops, 2 presentations, 3 panels, a roundtable and the MC for the Unified Communications track. Add to that numerous great conversations with a lot of very smart people.
Overall, two topics rose to the surface very quickly during conversations: SaaS communications/collaboration and optimizing the current email environment for lower costs.
The SaaS conversations had a different flavor from last year. At last year’s Catalyst, much of the conversation about SaaS email and collaboration centered around viability. Could SaaS offerings meet enterprise requirements? Are they worth considering? This year, the conversation was about where can SaaS communications and collaboration be used within the enterprise? How can it work in a hybrid delivery model (some users and technology on-premise and some in the cloud)? Is there such a thing as SaaS unified communications?
The optimization conversations centered heavily on storage and virtualization for email. Many enterprises are in their upgrade planning and execution for email. The demand for larger mailboxes from users (who are enjoying their large consumer mailboxes) has IT email architects and admins concerned about storage, performance, and high availability.
For those of you that I had the chance to speak with during the course of events last week, thank you for your time and insights. Also, a “shout out” to Karen Hobert, from Gartner Consulting. Thank you for all the great help and insight you provided during the email roundtable and workshop. Karen shared some of her experiences helping several enterprises with their email strategy over the last year.