Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TMC IT Expo - Day 1

Just have time for quick note to say that the show has been great so far. The traffic will really pick up today, but most of my ilk were busy in the press room with meetings and briefings, so we had plenty to do.

First off, I have to say that the caliber of press/media/analysts/pundits is very high, and TMC has done a great job of bringing lots of thought leaders and industry influencers together, which is very 2.0 or better in my books.

Saw two very good keynotes yesterday, both of which continue on this notion of being forward thinking. The IT Expo has a terrific sweet spot, especially with the traditional enterprise telecom community, and I posted about that last week. Gotta have that, but what I really want to see is some vision about what's coming down the road and we got a taste of that yesterday.

First up was Jonathan Christensen of Skype, with a talk titled "VoIP is Dead". How's that for a way to kick things off? Not the message most of this audience wanted to hear, but Jonathan did a great job outlining how the landscape of voice has been changing, and where companies like Skype are taking things to WNL - a whole... 'nutha... level (watch Mad TV?). For him, the future of voice is built on 3 key pillars - presence/IM, wideband audio and high resolution video - and he walked us through why each is important and how they will make voice communications a more effective and powerful experience.

Couldn't agree more, and the big takeaway for me was how innovation is happening at the edge now, and it's going to be impossible for carriers to keep their walled gardens going much longer. If that's music to your ears, then you better make plans to be at eComm 2009 next March, where you'll have 3 days of this wall-to-wall.

Next keynote was Xuedong Huang from Microsoft. The focus was built around Response Point, their PBX in a box software solution, but his talk was much more ambitious and compelling. He laid out some really incredible scenarios for how the "natural user interface" is going to make Web-based communications totally embedded in our daily lives.

Every wall or surface imaginable becomes an interface for real time, multimedia communication. I wrote about a Microsoft Surface demo exactly a year ago today - just have a look and you'll be able to visualize what I'm talking about here.

Got more to say, and pictures to post, but I have to get going now. Be back posting hopefully at the end of the day.

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