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.
“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
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.