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January 19, 2011

Aastra VP Discusses Technology Trends of 2010, Looking towards New Year

By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Web Editor

As we look forward to what 2011 will bring in terms of new technology and more advanced communication solutions, the ITEXPO (News - Alert) East 2011 event in Miami from February 2-4 hosts the most innovative developers and technology executives who gather to demonstrate and discuss past and future trends.

Recently acclaimed as one of the top 50 Fastest Growing Trade Shows by Trade Show Executive, ITEXPO East 2011 will have tons of new and innovative solutions on display from the world’s leading technology developers. Aastra USA will be one of the distinguished exhibitors at the event, and Tim Whittington, executive VP and general manager for Aastra USA offered some insight into how he thinks the technology trends of 2010 will affect the ones to come in 2011 in a recent interview with Rich Tehrani (News - Alert), CEO of TMC. See their full exchange below:

RT: What was the most significant technology trend in 2010 and what impact will it have in 2011?

TW: In our business we saw the following trends last year:

Mobility – continued trend to make applications (both for communication and business applications) available on mobile devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.

Video – movement toward enabling affordable, easy to use video for conferencing as well other applications such as product information and training, etc.

Social media – early exploration on how social media fits within the enterprise, customer relationship and product lifecycles (for example, how does Twitter fit into the customer service paradigm?). It was a hot topic in 2010 although implementations are still in their infancy.

RT: What impact will the continued growth of cloud computing have on the communications industry in 2011?

TW: Cloud computing means different things to different people, but one thing that is clear is that it’s been a hot topic over the last two years given the current economic environment. Hopefully over the next year the hype will turn into more clear cut definitions and businesses can make better decisions about what they may want to source to the cloud.

RT: Who will be the mobile winners in 2011 out of Google Android, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia (News - Alert) and RIM?

TW: Probably all to a varying degree; Android seems to be making a lot of headway.

RT: In what format do you read your news and magazines (i.e., hard copy or digital)?  Why?

TW: A little of both. It depends on what is most convenient and comfortable given the setting I am in.

RT: Are tablets really the future?

TW: Sure, tablets are a part of the future, although I see them complementing the desktop PC rather than replacing it in the near future. Perhaps in the future as things such as processing power, battery life, etc., improve they could become a replacement for the PC but not anytime soon.

RT: How will app stores change the future of computing?

TW: App stores enable easy access to thousands of apps that help make smartphones more useful, both for business and fun. They are having (and will continue to have) a major role in the trend to mobilization I mentioned earlier.

RT: What impact has social media had on how you interact with your customers?  How do you measure its effectiveness?

TW: The bulk of our interaction with customers is still through the more traditional channels. However we do have a presence in social media and monitor it on a regular basis. For example, we have had both customers and potential customers (especially resellers) reach out to us through social media. Over time we expect to see more of that as the increasingly mobile workforce trends towards sending a Tweet instead of an email.

RT: How have you leveraged social networking as an internal collaboration tool?

                TW: Internally we use group discussion boards, wikis, shared file and workspaces, etc.

RT: The FCC (News - Alert) has recently voted to support net neutrality.  Is net neutrality necessary, or will it present more challenges than it will solve?

TW: The challenge will be for the FCC to only be involved to the minimum extent necessary to foster a fair system taking into account the valid points made by either side. If they overstep their bounds it will present more challenges than it will solve.

RT: What will be the greatest technological development in 2011?  Why?

TW: Without a crystal ball I cant predict that; but I certainly expect to see more of the trends we saw in 2010 (surrounding mobility, video, social media, etc.) continue to improve and gain traction. And as we do we will see more applications and use cases pop up that nobody has previously thought about.

RT: Why have you chosen to exhibit at ITEXPO East in Miami? 

TW: We are a long time exhibitor for ITEXPO. We find it’s a great place to connect with our customers, resellers and potential resellers. We are looking forward to doing it again.

RT: What is the most important reason attendees should visit your booth at ITEXPO?

TW: We will be showcasing our latest solutions including our Unified Communications applications and IP-PBXs for SMB, our open standard SIP phones and our phones optimized for Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync. 

In addition, we will be a featured speaker and panelist in the SIP Trunk-UC Summit including the following sessions:

Feb. 2 — SIP Trunking Professional Development Program

10:00am — Building for ROI 

1:00pm — Town Hall Meeting: SIP, UC and Security

Feb. 3 — Unified Communications Day

9:00am — Town Hall Meeting: Unified Communications

2:00pm — Enterprise-Centric Unified Communications

RT: What new and exciting products/solutions can we expect to see from your company in 2011?

TW: Look for some exciting announcements in the near future regarding video, expansion of SIP phone portfolio, new applications for Unified Communications, and much more!

To find out more about Aastra USA, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2011. To be held Feb. 2-4 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit Aastra USA in booth 427. Don’t wait. Register now.

Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.

Edited by Juliana Kenny


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