Telstra Vantage 2016 is the Australian business world’s tech event.
Held in Melbourne at the Melbourne Convention centre and run by Australian telco juggernaut Telstra, the event named “Vantage 2016” aims to showcase powerful new ways of doing business through technology innovation and thought leadership.
It gives Australian companies the opportunity to see the world’s latest tech in business applications from operations to sales and beyond.
Provide networking opportunities directly with other companies and expand one’s thought leadership with speakers such as Ken Robinson and Andre Agassi.
The largest companies in Australia fill the expo booths and supply the experts of each product to discuss directly with you the business applications in a more pragmatic pitch rather than a pushy sales offer.
After all, this is big companies looking to build relationships with other businesses, not a one-time thank you mam sales bang.
And as a result, the expo is more informative, relaxed and thought provoking.
Being a newbie to the event, I couldn’t help but conjure up ideas of Microsofts Ignite as I headed in.
That was a mistake, it’s nothing like it.
This is a corporate affair with businesses looking for real solutions.
For instance, I met one man who looked after a national aged health care programme predominantly for Alzheimer patients at the Microsoft booth who was interested in the facial recognition.
The idea being that the facial recognition would pick up the identity of Alzheimer’s patients and auto lock doors should patients try to leave the premise.
A Telstra 5G communications expert showed me the benefits of 5G and how the network is actually built over the 4G network using Qualcomm.
For those outside of Australia, one thing you should know is our internet is shit so we heavily depend on 3G/4G networks.
A 5G network enabled remote usage at a highly reliable and most importantly consistent level.
The example used was somebody from Sydney being able to use a digger in Melbourne via Oculus rift, all through a mobile network.
Samsung where there also with virtual reality, Holo lens made a sneaky appearance and Huawei brought fashion to the corporate world with the Huawei watch which had caught the eye of many a CEO over the days.
That’s not to mention the cloud solutions, app solutions, office communications from all the other companies like CISCO, AWS, Polycomm etc.
Because enterprises are a higher dollar value due to the large size they also come with the additional needs of implementations and processes on top of this.
This need for support is a huge deal breaker for many of the businesses who attended the event.
I asked one businessman why are so many companies in a state of archaic technology considering they attended events like this and got to see first hand the benefits of new technology in applicable business environments.
His response was “as an enterprise or any business for that matter, I am not just buying a product, I am buying a new process, system changes.. that will affect the way my staff operate. They [my staff] will have to relearn, that requires education & time, neither of those are free.”
He went on to explain that apart from the initial investment it is the ongoing investment of time and education that costs really start to accumulate.
Therefore any company he said with a smile “that is willing to listen to my needs in order to gain my companies $$ and will provide quality ongoing support is worth my consideration”.
This perspective made me see things a little bit more clearly at Vantage 2016.
It was why people in the booths were ready to explain things a little bit more than one would normally in a shop, not pushing through sales but spending nearly 45mins listening and discussing options.
It was why the big companies had forgone the typical marketers in the booths and gone for the product experts like Microsoft had in their booth.
I wasn’t really seeing an expo with people wandering in and out of booths and piling up on freebies (which by the way were FANTASTIC), I was watching large million dollar transactions happening right in front of me that was beginning with a seemingly harmless discussion and ending with a trade of business cards or a scan of one’s ticket.
That is what Telstra Vantage is really about.