Advantage 2018: Bringing the Smart Enterprise to Life

Sharing stories of transformational success

Hundreds of attendees converged on the Gaylord Texan Resort to attend the 25th anniversary of NEC Corporation of America’s 2018 Advantage Executive Conference . The three-day gathering brought together top-performing NEC partners and solution integrators, along with distributors, resellers and IT and UC consultants.

This year’s conference agenda emphasized sharing success stories of transformation—through selling and implementing Smart Enterprise solutions in businesses of all sizes. Playing off a theme of “Exchange. Transform. Experience.” keynote presentations focused on how Digital Transformation is altering today’s business landscape. Paul Kievit, head of NEC’s enterprise business for EMEA and the Americas, noted that the integration of digital technology permeates all areas of business, causing a cultural shift in which organizations increasingly challenge the status quo with technology and innovation. NEC’s success comes from delivering IT and communications to create customer solutions for digital transformation.

*Full General Session Playlist*

Partners Take the Spotlight

Opportunities for attendees to network, exchange lessons learned and share new ideas expanded this year with the addition of expanded breakout sessions and solution demos.

“We listened to feedback from our partners and transformed our conference to include more breakouts, unique sessions, customer stories and partner experiences,” said Larry Levenberg, vice president of sales.

One of the highlights this year was the “Proud to Partner” session with presentations by a panel of partners Guyette Communications Industries, ServiceMark Telecom, Matrix Communications and Magna5. Representatives from each company described their organizations’ own recent transformational experiences, sharing advice and lessons learned with partners planning to embark on a similar path.

Vision for the Future

NEC executives also shared the company’s technology vision and strategy updates during keynote presentations. NEC’s Smart Enterprise technology strategy consists of a three-pronged approach, as outlined by Ram Menghani, senior vice president, UC/IT products and support:
1. Maintain unified communications and hybrid IT at our core
2. Grow intelligent-edge solutions and business models by incorporating biometrics, artificial intelligence, IoT and dynamic workflow into our offerings
3. Create additional value for individuals, enterprises and societies

“Since we first launched our Smart Enterprise initiative in 2015, we’ve converted many of our solutions to software-based platforms and converged our IT and communications channels. We created hybrid cloud offerings, building Platform Solution Integration Centers across the globe,” said Menghani. “Moving into the future, these centers will evolve into Centers of Excellence and key competency centers that will further fuel the creation of innovative solutions based on local and global trends, as well as emerging factors in society.”

He went on to say that this past year NEC expanded its strategy by functionally combining operations in NEC America with those of NEC EMEA. This combination propels innovation and simplification of the company’s products, resulting in greater support for both partners and customers.

Channel Partner Excellence Award Winners

Each year during Advantage, NEC recognizes partners who are leaders in marketing and selling the NEC portfolio. The 2018 recipients of the Channel Partner Excellence Awards included:
American Telephone
Batts Communications
Brookfield Group
Connecticut Communications
Design Communications (DCI)
Forerunner Technologies
Interwest Telecom Services
IPNET S.A.C.
Matrix Communications
Résotel
SETEL UC
Target Distributing

Advantage also provided an excellent opportunity for partners and consultants to meet directly with NEC solutions experts and the management team. The expo area featured demos of NEC’s IT and UC solutions for both SMB and enterprise, including cloud, biometrics and analytics. Valued partners who provide joint solutions with NEC also showcased their demos in the expo area.

To learn more about NEC’s Solutions for Smart Enterprise visit the website.

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Excellent Turnout for the 2012 NEC Advantage Executive Conference

Last month, more than 500 NEC channel partners, consultants and representatives gathered at the Saddlebrook Conference Center near Tampa, Florida for the 2012 NEC Advantage Executive Conference. An annual event, the conference is designed to reinforce NEC’s channel-management strategy and introduce the company’s solutions and product roadmap for the current fiscal year.

NEC's Jay Krauser discusses UNIVERGE Cloud Services at the 2012 Advantage Executive Conference.“The Empowered Workforce” was this year’s conference theme, consistent with NEC’s presence earlier in the year at Enterprise Connect 2012 in Orlando. NEC highlighted technologies that respond to today’s evolving workforce, which is highly social, more mobile and accustomed to on-demand communications. Throughout the three-day event, channel partners attended demos, training and breakout sessions for various solutions within the NEC UNIVERGE® family of products, including 3C, the SV8000 platforms, Cloud Services, Unified Communications for Enterprise (UCE) and Unified Communications for Business (UCB).

A few of the opportunities and topics discussed throughout the event included:

  • Communicating and collaborating in the cloud
  • Getting started with UNIVERGE 3C™
  • SV8000 migration strategies
  • SMB & vertical-specific solutions

NEC partner sponsorships help make the Advantage Executive Conference possible.Additionally, the Innovations Showcase included exhibits from other technology partners as well as NEC divisions, including NEC Financial Services, NEC Document Solutions and NEC Corporation of Japan.

“The Advantage Invitational showcases NEC’s direction, products and industry in an engaging, social environment,” says Larry Levenberg, channel sales marketing vice president, NEC Enterprise Communications Technologies.  “The goal is for our channel dealers and consultants to build relationships and hopefully leave with valuable, relevant information that will help make their business more productive throughout the year.”

In addition, 10 channel partners also received the NEC Sales and Marketing Leadership Award during the conference. The annual award has been established to recognize dealer organizations that have made significant achievements in sales, marketing and/or community initiatives. Dealer organizations are nominated by their NEC account managers. This year’s award recipients include:

  • Armstrong Telecom (Binghamton, NY)
  • Parallel Technologies (Dublin, Ohio)
  • TeleCom Business Solutions
  • Matrix Communications (Plymouth, MN)
  • KKWorx, Inc. (Naperville, IL)
  • Digital Telecom, Inc. (Van Nuys, CA)
  • Black Box Network Services (Northwest)
  • NATG (Abbotsford, BC)
  • Empire Communications (Windsor, ON)
  • Scharfstein, S.A.(Santiago, Chile)

While the Advantage conference is designed for both consultants and dealers, NEC hosted a conference for customers a few days later. The 2012 NEC Customer Technology Expo (CTE) was held May 20-23 at the same location.