Upon our early Tuesday morning arrival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you could feel the energy in the convention center slowly building up for what would arguably be the best ITEXPO to date. Excitement and the scent of freshly brewed coffee filled the morning air as we waited in the check-in line for our credentials, and you could see attendees sitting in all corners of the gigantic convention center on their laptops, frantically responding to last-minute emails and typing their out-of-office messages before getting in line.
After soaking it all in and enjoying some South Florida sunshine, we shook off our early flights with some coffee, and the Crexendo® team set up booth 434. Once it was constructed, it was off to the races. Those of us who arrived early darted through the convention center to catch some industry titans speaking about the future of work and support Crexendo®’s own Trent Dewey, as he presented in the CPaaS Showcase Challenge.
ITEXPO Day 1: The CPaaS Showcase Challenge and More
It was surprisingly crowded on day one, and everyone in attendance was rushing to catch their favorite speaker. The first stop for us was with Crexendo® ‘s SVP of Marketing, Jason Byrne, and Colby Phillips from Telarus, amongst others, to discuss maximizing the cloud to bundle service offerings.
One of the questions the moderator asked was, “what do you need to offer to a small-to-medium-sized business? Mr. Byrne answered, “it depends on where the prospect is on the buyer’s journey. For those trying to enter the account, perhaps you need to offer a balanced broad portfolio. If you are already in the account, we find the fastest growing MSPs are the ones who have tightly integrated with the customer’s CRM and business applications. Making themselves very much an integral part of the customer’s business process. With the new norm being a hybrid work model, Unified Communications is the low-hanging fruit that satisfies both small and mid-sized businesses no matter where they are in their buyer’s journey.”
One of the following questions the moderator asked was about why more people aren’t utilizing the cloud. The speakers responded that a staggering one-third of partners are new to the cloud, and monthly recurring service is the future. So, why aren’t they adopting it at a higher clip? The panel answered that “this is a generational thing; in two years, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials who are cloud-native, and we fully expect adoption to hit near 100 percent soon after.”
It was a compelling conversation, and Jason Byrne was the star of the show. Once that concluded we rushed over to support Trent Dewey in the CPaaS Showcase Challenge, who made a compelling argument about CPaaS and its effectiveness. “At Crexendo®, we believe there is a case to be made for introducing up-and-coming business interactions like Apple Messages for business with our Crexendo® CX Platform. With close to seven billion smartphones globally and the most popular function as sending and receiving messages, it only makes sense for businesses to interact with their customers in the same manner that they interact with each other. Nothing to download, and nothing to install, because the messaging application is already installed on 100 percent of those devices, overcoming the customer’s already existing app fatigue.”
Trent’s argument was the most convincing of the participants in the showcase, and he raised some incredibly valid points. Our CX Platform is game-changing and will undoubtedly overcome the customer’s app fatigue. It was an excellent way to close out the afternoon.
ITEXPO Day 2: The Future of Work and Lively Crexendo® Party
The team arrived early to take advantage of an exceptional breakfast provided by ITEXPO and mingle in the main ballroom with other guests. The amount of people in attendance had nearly doubled from the day before, and we knew it was going to be a long and exciting day, so fueling up was vital. Once breakfast concluded, it was an extensive day of keynote speakers and running around from room to room to catch them all. There were exceptional speakers throughout the convention center that discussed various topics. However, the message to us was clear – employee experience, hybrid work, and AI dominated the conversation.
Some of our favorite speakers from the day included Logan Mallory, VP of Marketing at Motivosity, who discussed the significance of employee experience, Jeff Pulver, who touched on collaboration and hybrid work as the future, and Barbara Steel, Ph.D., Managing Director from Ernst & Young (EY), who talked about the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in the workforce. Each speaker brought their own unique flavor of presenting, and all resonated deeply with the crowd. Their insightful discussions ranged from the importance of employee happiness and how it increases productivity to how digital engagement is the number one indicator of performance.
It was a long day of listening to world-class speakers. It was also opening day for guests in the convention center, and the energy was electric! However, as the afternoon winded down, everyone was excited for the Crexendo® party. The team slowly headed to the Boatyard, a gorgeous seafood restaurant on the water, to co-host a gathering with Rev.io.
You know what they say about being fashionably late? That didn’t apply here – our guests were too excited to waste any time and began showing up at 7:00 pm sharp. Within five minutes, the room was packed wall-to-wall with guests yearning to converse with peers, discuss their ITEXPO experience, and learn more about Crexendo®’s most recent announcement of three million users. The crowd consisted of Crexendo® partners, employees, and industry peers. Conversations were flowing, and the food was phenomenal, but unfortunately, time flies when you’re having fun, meaning the incredibly successful evening came to a halt as fast as it began.
ITEXPO Day 3: Driving UC Opportunities and the Tear Down
It was another early arrival for the team to take full advantage of our last day at ITEXPO. Our shindig the night before was the talk of the morning, and you got a sense that things were winding down after what appeared to be record-setting attendance. The evening before consisted of some late nights, so you can imagine the show ramped up a bit slower than previous days. However, that wasn’t the case for our booth! After breakfast, we headed over and found the Crexendo® booth was rocking. Our team was busy assisting guests that were asking questions about our award-winning UCaaS and Customer Experience Platform and how it can benefit their business, so we headed over to our other booth hosted by Telarus, which was also jam-packed! After making our rounds on the floor, we went upstairs to catch a few more speakers before the day concluded.
The next seminar we caught was about how you can drive unified communication opportunities. Since not all UC is the same, the speakers mentioned that it’s important to go where the numbers are. The primary objective of a UC system is knowing who your customers are, where they spend their time, where they’re collaborating with partners and in their organization, and then finding ways to enhance that with what solution you’re bringing them. This is where you start, but where do you want to go? Are you supporting a remote workforce? A hybrid environment? You must take that all into consideration, then look at the solution. Onboarding is huge, and if you don’t have an onboarding policy, you’re going to fail at adoption rates. Onboarding is challenging – you can have the best features, but if people don’t have the right incentive to use it, they won’t.
It was another insightful and educational conversation that everyone in attendance benefitted from hearing. Unfortunately, it was the last one of the day for us, so once that speaker finished, we headed to the main convention center to check out the pub crawl and start the process of tearing down our booth.
All in all, ITEXPO was an absolute success, and we’d like to thank our partners, employees, and everyone who took part in this event for another great year. Only 361 days to go! See you all next year.