Two Days of Innovation and Insights at Enterprise Connect 2024: A Personal Overview

I was saddened that I could only do 2 days at EC24, but those 2 days were jam-packed. Here’s recap of what I saw and some thoughts on the some specific vendor announcements I got a chance to hear on the stage and see on the expo floor.

Overall Recap

This year brought a nice change to some of the main stage sessions with both vendors and customers sharing the stage. This added a nice dynamic to the conversation and helped balance some things out. In one of the sessions while all the vendors were saying single vendor is best a customer said the total opposite. The flip side of this is that some times the stage looked like a public school classroom with the number of people on stage. There were too many panelist and not enough time to really dive deeper into any one topic. Maybe break up the sessions to separate topics to avoid this.

It was interesting to hear that large orgs have task forces convened around how AI could be applied to their business. Sounds like use cases are brought to them and they assess the merits of using AI and put together a plan. While this all sounds like a great idea, instead of jumping head first and sprinkling AI on everything, I do wonder how much education and knowledge these tasks forces actually have. Is AI consulting a thing now? I suspect it is.

Burnout was a bigger talking point than the crunch on the potential employee pool size. While no one outright said that jobs will be eliminated, the reality is that they will. If you can reduce workload by a percentage, then there’s no reason why you couldn’t reduce your workforce by a similar amount. While we talk about cross skilling and shifting agents to do other tasks, I wonder how much that really happens. I suspect it might be easier to just hire for the new role than try to train up. Of course this is not universal, but if even half of these AI promises come through we will see a large number of agent seats evacuated. The burnout message didn’t seem aligned with what I project how AI will impact employment in the next 5-10 years.

AI dominated every session I attended and while I understand why it really felt like the same use cases over and over again. While I am sure it’s hard to come up with truly revolutionary use cases it does feel very repetitive seeing the same use case over and over again from all the vendors. It was also interesting to not see Edify be an exhibitor I wonder if this is a signal to how they are doing business wise, anyone know?

Vendor Specific Recap:


Live Keynote Recap:

I was expecting MS to open the floor with Copilot, then go into the demos with more Copilot, and finally bring it home with Copilot. However, this was not the case. The first part of their keynote was focused on hybrid work, which is a message that Cisco has been carrying for a few years.  Intelligent recap for phone calls was very cool and then being able to have Copilot use other assets and share outputs from the conversation with others was very cool. The voice isolation demo was a bit rough. I wonder if this is because MS has to do it all on software (Teams) while Cisco demos this on hardware.

The new to me Teams Queue App was of most interest to me. This is the greatest thread to every CCaaS provider out there. The introduction of the Queues App is the first clear signal of a native contact center like feature and while the person who gave me the demo of this feature said 3 times that “this is not a call center”, it sure smelled like a call center to me. Having an agent and supervisor view, ability to queue voicemails, ability to monitor agents and take over calls, and access to raw data make this feature very compelling and a no brainier to deploy if you want to keep everything on Teams. If I was a vendor that has bolted on contact center functionality on top of Teams I would be worried. Now, I really don’t think we’re going to see a full fledged contact center from MS next year, but I do think in the next 5 years they will finally be there and would have done it incrementally anchoring everything around Teams.


Live Keynote Recap:

The items that stood out were dropped call detection and summarization. Not sure if this is based on conversation context or PSTN signaling. It was also interesting to see Cisco talking about going beyond LLMs to what they called real time media model (RTMM). In short, giving AI other dimensions to make decisions. Their noise suppression demo was much better’s than Microsoft’s, but their noise was being produced by toys which had repetitive audio which might be much easier to filter out as well as the fact that they own the hardware which could allow for better suppression all around. Finally, Cisco still has some of the most attractive hardware out there. Their designs are just slick and the release of the 9800 ( phone continues that trend.


I was not there for the Zoom keynote, but I did sit down on one of the expo sessions and went to the floor to bug them about what all they were releasing. First, VM transcription feature was pretty cool. The ability to automatically crate tasks from the content and have the system automatically bring certain VMs to the top for immediate attention. One feature I had not seen before and I believe is new is email routing, which is something none of the other big players are doing natively. Finally, licensing seems very straightforward and easy to understand… looking at your MS.

Travels to India

I had the pleasure of traveling to India this past week. Here are a few observations for those of you who might be venturing out for the first time.

– I was expecting 3rd world, but really India is a new industrialized country (NIC). The media, stories from past colleagues, and just general lack of knowledge all were preparing me for some pretty grim experiences around the have and have nothings. Although there is some stark poverty and you see it often, it felt that the big cities were all moving in the right direction of the monetary spectrum.

– The honor system of driving. My preference would be to never drive in Mexico City, however I don’t think I could drive in India even if you put a gun to my head. There is a direct link between the driver and the car horn and this link is unbroken and used every 10 seconds. Imagine every motorized vehicle on the road using the horn for everything. You’re going to try and pass someone, horn. You’re going to make a turn, horn. You’re entering a lane, horn. The explanation was that this was the way to keep everyone around you informed that you were there and to mind you, honestly with so many horns going off at the same time, it’s difficult for me to not understand how do people not become immune to that sound. The system seems to work as I didn’t see a single accident, and traffic cops were few and far between.

– When two wheels will inherit the earth. Motorbikes and mopeds outnumber cars in the big cities. Followed by these little 3 wheel “taxis”. These vehicles are like ants, they can get into any space and will utilize any lane available. Which generally means a lane which is not a lane. What Americans would consider a normal 3 lane road for 3 cars, in India the space will allow 2 cars, 5 motorbikes, and 2 taxies to weave in and around each other in a single car length.

– Expecting Mexican Spicy. I love spicy food and I eat a lot of India food in the US which you can generally ask for it to be made spicier. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get anyone to give me any decent heat on any of my meals.

– Personal space means nothing. In the US we generally will occupy an elevator by moving towards the walls. You start with the call directly opposite to the door, then move to the wall closes to the controls, and finally the corners. When the walls are occupied, it’s now time to take the centered most area created by this square of people. Not in India. If the walls are utilized, someone will stand closest to whoever they see first. This means an 8 inches away, face to face ride where I found myself asking, “Is this gentleman going to try and kiss me?” I had a few other occurrences where strangers would look over my shoulder at my phone and where hand holding, hugging, and all around physical contact was significantly different than what you see in the states.

– Time zones where sleep goes to die. If you’re expecting to conduct business with your US counterparts and will be in India for any significant amount of time, prepare to hurt. The first few nights it was not so bad to have a meeting at 10:30 PM India Standard Time (IST), but anything beyond that and things got very difficult or impossible. Add to the fact that you’ll never really be on IST, but on some nebulous I’ll sleep for short periods of time and feel exhausted most of the time I’m awake time zone. Move all your meetings as early as possible. Send emails which don’t require some back and forth.

– IT is it. If you’ve been to Silicon Valley you’ll see vast zones with big building dedicated to technology. In India, you’ll see the same thing with bigger buildings an more people. I knew IT was big in India, I didn’t know just how big. I’m not sure if it’s just that the building seems larger and that people tend to spend more time outside, but it just felt bigger than any single US city.

I’m looking forward to going back, hopefully with more time and with an opportunity to travel all over the country.


David gets a gold star (Cisco Support Community)!

I like to contribute a lot to Cisco’s NetPro Forums, now called Cisco Support Community.  I’ve been a member since 2005 and love the community since everyone seems to help everyone out a lot.  For this particular reason I feel inclined to give back as much as possible.  That being said, when you post a reply posters can give you points for how good your response was or how much it helped them.  So, that’s one way to get some recognition if you’re actually being helpful.

That being said, there are different levels based on how many points you’ve been awarded.  Just recently I reached the gold start level by surpassing 750 points.  While I still have a long way to go to catch some of the top contributors who are in the 10s of thousands of points, it does feel nice to hit a small milestone.



First ever triathlon (or how to check your ego)

Trying to change it up a bit and take a break from pounding pavement for 26.2 miles, it was decided to give it a go at a triathlon.  Now, while I can run until the cows come home, I can’t swim very well.  Actually, I’m like a fish… out of water… in the water.  That’s right, I flounder about never really sinking, never really moving forward, and never really doing anything in particular.  Oh, there’s a stroke and a kick here and there, but not sure if they are ever synchronized in any way.  Needless to say, this was going to be awesome!

The event picked was the Findley Lake Triathlon, consisting of an easy 400 meter swim, followed by a brisk 14.3 mile bike ride, and topped off with a swift 5k trail run.  I own a pair of Speedos, a bike, and some shoes, I was set.

Race Day

It is customary to be nervous on the day of a big event and I’m one to just need some quiet before an event to really harness my inner D.  However, for this event there was no inner D, the night before I had slept about 2 hours.  As I tossed and turned pondering what would happen if I drowned, I made a decision; the only way I was going to get out of that lake was either hauled out by a life guard or via the finish line.  Prayers were requested.

There were a total of 74 participants (this number is crucial) for this event, with probably 50 men and 30 women.  The swim was to start at 8 AM with the men and around 5-10 minutes later with the women.  It was an in-water start, which I enjoyed, with all of us lined up ready to start about 20 yards from the lake shore.  As the gun goes off, I hold on to the starting line and wait for the stronger swimmers to go out.  My strategy being that I would try to make a not too shallow parabola around the half way point, this would cause me to swim a bit more, but would also allow me the most flexibility if I were to stray too far or too close from the course.

I began my swim feeling pretty good and confident this would be over sooner than expected.  I began with a good steady free style stroke just to try and get as far along the course as possible while I was still fresh.  In my mind I’m sure I’m a quarter of the way there and it’s time to take a bit of a break.  I look up and notice I’m barely 10 meters in… yes, in what felt like ages and a great stroke, I advanced a mere 10 meters.  I switch it up a bit and go with a breast stroke to get some good breaths.  I look back and about 5 meters behind me there’s another male doing, what seemed to be, the doggie paddle.  I looked over a few more times and he seemed to be dedicated to this stroke and seemed intend on going the whole way using this stroke, I was not going to be passed by the doggie paddler.

I get to the half way point and the doggie paddler has made a wide turn around the bend, but is pretty much neck and neck with me.  At this time the first two women swimmers catch up and even stopped for a second to figure out which way to go around me.  They were the strong swimmers and I was the flounderer, they were going to need to go around me and did.  At this point I look to my left and see the doggie paddler getting ahead of me and realized this was going worst than expected.  However, hope was not lost.  I had made it to the half way point and knew that if there was a current it should take me to the shore.  I also knew that if there was a current in a lake, it would take days for me to wash up, so it was up to me to get to the finish line before the day’s end.  I begin a combination of doggie paddle and back strokes to ensure I keep my head above water as much as possible.  I’m sucking wind like it’s going out of style and my chest feels like it weights a thousand pounds.  I try to ignore the multitude of women passing me by and try to focus on what’s ahead, solid ground.

I take a break to try and get my bearings and realize that I’m about 15 meters away, this is it.  I will not be hauled away by a life guard.  I began a mad back stroke dash.  I bumped the finish line with my head and try to reach for the bottom of the lake.  I’m about chest deep in water and I begin to walk my way out of the water.  The smart thing to have done is to swim until you’re only tight deep in water and run the rest of the way, but I was so exhausted and so eager to use my legs that I didn’t care about one more stroke.  At this point I don’t notice anyone else in the water ahead of me and don’t dare look behind me to see if I’m last.  My objective was ahead and that’s all that mattered.

I get out of the water and get hosed down to clean up some of the grime from the lake.  Put on some shorts over my speedos and slide on some shoes and walk out of the transition 1 area with the bike next to me.  At this point I’m thinking I will make up some of the lost ground on the bike and on the run.  As I get on the open road I spot the first other person ahead of me.  I can tell it’s a female biker and she doesn’t seem to be going too fast.  In my mind I think, “first victim, here we go.”  I never caught up to her.  Actually, I was passed by 3 other people and lost sight of my first “victim”.  About half way through the bike ride I catch up to a 13 year old boy on a non-road bike; given it his all.  I told him good job as I passed him and thought to myself that kid will beat me in a year or two.

I finish the bike portion and switch shoes and get to running.  Here’s my bread and butter.  I had hoped for a decently flat course and wasn’t sure what to expect on this trail run.  I should have known better.  The trail run consisted of muddy areas, some very steep valleys and climbs and a lot of roots.  It was slow moving, painful descents due to bad knees, and a couple of twisted ankles.  I saw two other runners and was pretty sure I would cross the finish line and everyone would be gone.



——- 1/4M Swim ——-


——- 16M Bike ——-


——- 5K Run ——-





Bib No

















David Macias

















Yes, that’s second to the last place in the swim, with a staggering pace of 71 minutes per mile.  I improved to 61st place in the bike stage and 33rd place in the run with an overall place of 59th.


I will do another triathlon.  I will do another one and not be second to the last in the swim.  I will also get a swim coach to improve my atrocious so-called-stroke.  It was an absolutely great experience.  It’s amazing the level of athleticism a lot of these participants display and while I might never get there competing along side makes me feel good.  It’s incredible how fit these people are, specially when you compare them to marathon runners.  It’s a whole different breed of people.


Sprint Everything Plan (or How Sprint Enabled My Addiction

In case you remember my post from last year about my recent switch to Sprint Everything Plan, I wanted to provide a small updated on how my cell phone usage has increased.



If you compare my usage from the year before I’m averaging around 1000 more minutes per month.  Now, at the end I’m getting a cheaper price/minute, however I sometimes worry about how much radiation I’m exposing myself to… oh well, just wanted to post something interesting and let me people know I’m still alive and kicking.


Upgraded to WordPress 2.8.5

I’ve been bad at updating my site recently, but things have (like I always say) been busy.  However, I hope to come back with a bang.  I finally posted my marathon story and have updated WP to the latest version; 2.8.5.

Additionally, it has been 6 years since I first started my website.  October 13, 2003 to be exact.  Damn does time fly!  Every year I find it funny what my very first post says:

So things are starting pretty slow, expect very little until my life slows down some, or I miraculously discover that I can slow down time, or travel back in time…