Thursday, January 29, 2015

My UCStrategies Post: VoIP at 20 and Why the Best is Yet to Come for UC

I'm attending TMC's ITExpo this week, and yesterday they had a great one-off panel celebrating VoIP's 20th anniversary. I've been pretty close to the center of VoIP for a long time, and it was a special gathering to have so many pioneers and innovators in one place.

I touched on this in my earlier post today as part of my overall takeaways from the conference. There was more to say, however, and I put that together for my current contribution to the UCStrategies portal, with some messages there for UC as well as VoIP.

If you haven't come across this yet from that post, you can access it directly there. Either way, I hope you give it a read and would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you go back to those heady times when it looked like VoIP would obliterate the telcos.

ITExpo Miami - Quick Hits

Once things get going here at ITExpo, it's hard to know when I'll get time to blog, so am just doing a quick check-in now.

Yesterday was the first full day, and I took in a solid mix of keynotes and panel sessions. We heard first from Guvinder Ahluwalia from IBM, talking about where the cloud is going, and how distruptors like Uber are developing new business models based on shifting physical assets into the cloud-based digital world where they become much more liquid. As much as I'm not a fan of Uber's tactics, every industry is ripe for re-invention when the Internet of Things and the cloud become the drivers (no pun intended!)

Next up was Mitel CEO Rich McBee, and he provided a nice overview of how techology diffusion is a long process. We take it for granted when new things gain rapid adoption, but that's more the exception that the rule. His main point is that UC remains a work in progress, and TDM will be with us for years to come, so success requires solutions that work across new and old technologies. He also gave his 10 predictions for UC, and at the core of things, he contends that voice quality is still a big deal. I agree, and it shows that after all these years of innovation with IP communications, this basic need has still not been perfected.

Moving along, we next had a great one-off panel to celebrate 20 years of VoIP. I don't know the next time you'll see all these people in one place, but it was pretty special to pull this together, so kudos to Rich Tehrani, Andy Abramson and others who made this happen.

There's lots to say about what they talked about, and I prepared my thoughts for my current contribution to the UCStrategies portal. It's running now, and if you have a warm spot for VoIP, or want to know what some pretty smart people think about innovation, I hope you'll read my post.

Another highlight from yesterday was the Net Neutrality panel, and we heard again from many of the above speakers. There is a lot at stake here as it affects all of us - not just in the communications space, but as consumers too.  Am glad the topic was covered at the conference, and I wish it would get more attention at every event out there.

Otherwise, the show floor opened at 5, and it was the usual rush to the bar and then a walkabout to check out the exhibitors. Great energy out there, and a pretty healthy mix of vendors from across the whole telecom ecosystem. If there's one theme that stands out, it's M2M, and those exhibitors were getting plenty of traffic.

I've also been taking my share of briefings, and am moderating panels today and tomorrow, so it's constant motion. I'll try to blog again before the show ends, and otherwise, feel free to follow my tweets - @arnoldjon.

Monday, January 26, 2015

ITExpo Panel Update - Customer Experience and Telco 2.0

Just wanted to give you the latest info on my second panel at ITExpo, starting tomorrow in Miami.

We've added another speakers now. Joining myself and Rene Sotola from CGI, will be Hugh Goldstein from Voxbone.

Earlier today I posted about another speaker being added, but she has since switched out to speak on another panel. I'll post again if we end up adding a third speaker.

We'll be in Room B213 at 10am Friday, and hope to see you there. For more detail about our session and the conference program overall, here's the agenda.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Metaswitch Canada Technology Day on Monday - Speaking at 10:15

Just a final shout-out for this event, and if you're local, it's not too late to register.

Great to see Metaswitch supporting the Canadian market with a tech day, and I'll be doing my part by speaking about how hosted VoIP/UC can be a great move for carriers to transition their customers from legacy telephony and into the richer world of cloud-based services.

In addition to my post here, I wanted to share yesterday's post about the event from the Metaswitch blog - thanks Carol! However you find out about their Technology Day, if you're able to make it, I have no doubt it will be time well spent.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ETS15 in Austin, March 25-26 - my Smart Grid Hat and new Articles

Many of you know I've been active in the Smart Grid space for years, as there's a lot of overlap with the IP communications market. It's actually a great growth opportunity going both ways, and I try to straddle both as best I can.

I'm an Advisor with Austin-based Zpryme Research, and that keeps me rooted in the latest trends for Smart Grid and energy overall. Last March, Zpryme launched the inaugural ETS - Energy Thought Summit, and I had a few roles for that event. If you don't recall, we had Steve Wozniak keynote, and for a first-time event, it was quite successful.

This coming March is ETS15, and I'll be posting/tweeting regularly to help drive attendance. I'll be wearing even more hats at this event, and I won't be hard to find if you're planning to attend. I'm donning one of those hats as the ETS Community Advocate, and have just started a series of posts specific to the event that will run on the ETS Insights portal. This is the go-to spot for all the news about the summit, and my first post is running now.

If this space is of interest, I hope you sign up for regular updates, including my articles. All I can tell you is that ETS15 is going to be a great experience, and you'll be hard-pressed to get a more intense overview of where energy is going. The warm weather and live music scene aren't too bad either, and I know where I'm going to be March 25-26.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ITExpo Preview #2 - Panel: Customer Experience and Telco 2.0

I'll be moderating two panels next week at TMC's ITExpo, and yesterday I posted about the first one. My second panel is on Friday at 10am, and I hope you can join us.

The session is titled Customer Experience and Telco 2.0, and we'll be speaking about the kinds of experiences that service providers need to deliver in order to meet the expectations of today's subscribers. Almost anyone can be a "service provider" now with cloud-based platforms, so the competition has never been more daunting and the hold over subscribers has never been so tenuous.

Whether you're an operator trying to figure out how to stay in the game, or a subscriber trying to better understand what's out there in the ever-expanding service provider universe, I think you'll find this an engaging session.

Joining me will be Rene Sotola of CGI, and we're hoping to add a couple more speakers this week. By the time next Friday rolls around, you shouldn't have any trouble finding us in Room B213, but just in case, all the details are here - just scroll down the Conference Program page until you find our date and time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Last call - today's ShoreTel webinar - noon ET - not 2pm

Just  one more quick post to keep/get this on your radar. In about 2.5 hours, I'll be presenting highlights from my new White Paper about how BYOE is driving value for UC. Registration details are here.

Apologies, today's webinar is at 12pm ET, NOT 2pm as originally posted.