SpiceWorld shows what the power of the IT community can do for small business

It’s been called the ‘most happening tech conference around’ and for good reason. This year’s SpiceWorld in Austin, Texas, does not disappoint. The annual gathering and conference for IT pro members of the Spiceworks online community provides attendees with a fantastic opportunity to learn from tech industry experts, hear about the latest innovations from tech vendors like Plantronics and share know-how and lessons learned from each other.

This is my 6th year attending SpiceWorld. The conference continues to grow every year from the first one that was held in Austin’s quaint Alama Drafthouse Cinema. With around 2,000 attendees, SpiceWorld now takes over a large portion of the Austin Convention Center.

We’ve had a great couple days chatting with hundreds of IT Pros, many of whom now know us well and who, we are pleased to say, are great advocates for Plantronics solutions.  This year we talked about the changing work environment and how workplace noise is becoming more of a challenge as I’ve been writing a lot about lately in blog posts such as “Is your small business sounding the alarm about noise.”

We’re showcasing the new Voyager Focus UC product, one of many Plantronics headset solutions to combat workplace noise. The recently introduced Voyager Focus UC is a Bluetooth headset that enables your small business employees to move seamlessly between PC and smartphone calls. It features on-demand Active Noise Canceling (ANC) so users can focus on calls or work and precision tuned triple-mic with enhanced DSP for superior background noise cancelling. With its high-quality stereo design, the Voyager Focus UC provides hi-fi stereo sound and a more immersive experience. Smart sensors answer calls by simply putting on the headset, mute by taking off the headset and pause music for incoming calls. Also it unique Dynamic Mute Alert senses and alerts employees when they try to talk when muted.

Keynotes highlight the cloud and more

During keynotes, Spiceworks discussed its continued effort to provide cloud apps (along with its on-premise solutions) to its member base. This is music to our ears as it aligns with Plantronics Device-as-a-Service program that we have recently introduced to complement Communications-as-a-Service offerings that are growing in popularity.  Device-as-a-Service enables Cloud Service Providers to serve as a one-stop-shop to provide a complete pay-as-you-go solution for UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS). It makes it easy for small and medium businesses to acquire a complete hardware and software solution that also includes Plantronics world-class customer support. Customers can easily scale usage up or down to align with changes in business. They also will be able to match the right audio device with team members’ work styles to enhance the UCaaS experience.

Spiceworks also described many new personalized tools and services that it will roll out this coming year, including an IT concierge service that will be delivered by “SpiceAgents.”  Sounds intriguing! And it discussed the growing opportunity for app developers to integrate into the Spiceworks platform.   Plantronics software developers will be watching this closely – maybe an opportunity to tie in with our Find my Headset app?

Lastly, it was heartwarming to hear that the Spiceworks online community has also played a matchmaking role. Two members of the community will be getting married next year!   Now, that’s the power of community!