It was my first ACCE (now I know to say it as “ace”) and I had a great time networking and learning. I wonder why there hasn’t been much coverage of the event? It almost seemed that I was the only person there with a media badge. The press lounge was empty most of the time. I’m guessing that it’s because ACCE isn’t so much a conference with lots of flashy new product announcements, but I believe equally important are the management aspects of contact centers.
Many of us are in this field because of the opportunity to learn so many technologies and applications. I’ve always told people about the contact center being a melting pot of many diverse technologies. Just take a look at your contact center today and come up with a list of all the technology involved to make it hum. There’s the voice network, external and internal to the organization. Then the data network. The hardware infrastructure. All the software that’s running, from the operating systems to CTI to CRM. Plus, sometimes you have to deal with virtualization and hosted apps.
Therefore, the effective management of all those technologies cannot be ignored, and that’s why every year ICMI’s ACCE attracts so many contact center executives and supervisors. They’re not only interested in the technology but also in management and leadership lessons. After all, what’s a contact center if there were no people serving in it? Managing the technology and managing the people simultaneously — that’s harder than you think.
During the conference I was also introduced to a representative from ICMI China and one of their clients, which was a pleasant surprise for several reasons: 1) I was not aware of ICMI having a presence in China; 2) Recently I had made a few new contact in China in the contact center business; 3) It was quite refreshing to learn firsthand of ICMI’s challenges and successes making inroads into the Middle Kingdom.
There’s a vast market to tap in the other side of the world, and I am glad ICMI is making progress there. Funny enough the site tour they were embarking on later in the week to Chicago was a project which I was a part of last year. It’s a small world after all…
Overall, my only disappointment? Not being able to sample an alligator steak on this trip. The closest I got was petting the small alligators on display during the welcome reception.