CES 2013: It's not what you think it is

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Fred Donovan, FierceEnterpriseCommunicationsWhen people think of CES, they don't immediately think about enterprise communications. After all, CES is the largest "consumer electronics" show, not the largest enterprise communications show.

But CES, because of its size, encompasses many technologies and services outside the traditional consumer electronics market. And BYOD is bringing many consumer technologies into the enterprise.

That is why I'm traveling to Las Vegas next week to cover the show. Certainly, there will be a fair share of cool consumer gadgets. But as the business world increasingly goes BYOD, consumer devices are becoming enterprise devices, whether IT managers want them or not.

New mobile apps will no doubt abound at the show, even though Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) won't be attending this year. Certainly, apps for the Windows Phone 8 and Surface tablet, as well as the iPhone and iPad, will be plentiful at the show.

Broadband as well as connected vehicles will have their own track at CES, evidence of the blurring line between consumer and enterprise communications. Other topics of interest to enterprises include near-field communications (NFC), wireless power products, mobile chip developments, data storage, social media, and IP-based TV.

As our sister publication FierceOnlineVideo reported recently, Interconnect Media Network (IMN) will be previewing its IP-based TV subscription service at CES. "We give you the same experience whether you're on your 65-inch home theater SurroundSound system or you're on your 5-inch phone. You're going to have the same content, the same quality, an HD system, the same bells and whistles and the same channels. We are completely universal across all devices and all software," said Steven Turner, IMN's chief executive officer, in an interview.

CES is also hosting a business insights track. "The retail and enterprise spaces are undergoing major, continuous paradigm shifts around device integration, brick and mortar vs. online retail and appropriate boundaries for using consumer data. These informative, thought-provoking sessions reveal the inside track on the trends and practices that can help you win the future," CES explained on its website.

So there will be plenty of enterprise communications insight to be culled from CES this year. Stay tuned for daily coverage.--Fred