The morning keynote from ShoreTel CEO Peter Blackmore, was much like the throwing out the first pitch in the World Series – formally kicking off something big. On the other hand, I’d have to say that sparkling analogy only goes so far, since many first pitches leave much to be desired in terms of velocity and accuracy, while Peter Blackmore left the podium making a resounding impression and setting the pace for the rest of the speakers and attendees of the ITExpo, in addition to the industry as a whole.

As promised, Peter delivered cloud-based industry changes and adaptations,  focusing on the challenge for CIOs to formulate an integrated services strategy that includes the best of both cloud and premises-based solutions. As Peter’s first keynote, it was interesting to see the parallel at play in his delivery. That is, the element of change, and how things that might seem unnatural or unfamiliar, can inevitably become vital components to success, on an individual, and in this case, a business VoIP level.

Peter expressed his heart-felt excitement, which was sincere through and through, discussing a veritable “s-curve”, the infinite and seemingly unavoidable replenishing of the newest and best technology with likewise advancements. The recurring topic, which has been a running motif this year, was mobility – the adoption of a diverse set of devices and just how developments are equipped to power/support them. In the same breath, Peter followed by stressing the need to constantly stay on ‘top of things’, since a rapidly moving technology (i.e. cloud) is only as strong as the innovators keeping it so.

Winding down his keynote, Peter touched on three keys to success: user focus, mobility, and the cloud or SaaS (software as a service). Even though it was only Blackmore’s first keynote, it should be mandated that he speak every year. The sincere fervor and excitement he clearly has for his profession and the company he runs, is as evident in his speech delivery as it is in the impeccable performance of ShoreTel over the past year. Isn’t it usually the case though? The first act is typically the hardest act to follow.

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