In the age of touchscreen phones and tablets, the ordinary desk phone will likely one day be obsolete. While regular desk phones may connect to one’s office, they don’t truly interact with anything, which decreases their value in the workplace where being connected through IP communications and Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) is becoming more commonplace.
Later this month, CloudTC, a provider of smart office telephones, will be showcasing its cutting-edge Glass platform at ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami 2013, which will be held Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
CloudTC’s Glass platform is built with Android-based technology and access to thousands of apps, making the standard desk phone a relic of the past. The platform includes integrated Salesforce, and features like one-touch calling, a large 8.9-inch touchscreen, HD Audio and easy contact integration.
TMCnet had the opportunity to catch up with Anthony Gioeli, president and CEO of CloudTC, to discuss the major communications trends impacting the way businesses conduct operations today, as well as the company’s plans for the future. Our full exchange follows below:
TMCnet: What is the most significant technology trend impacting the way businesses conduct operations today?
AG: The transition of businesses functioning via the cloud: everything from applications to storage to PBX (News - Alert) to virtualization. There is no longer any efficiency penalty due to having a remote workforce or for being mobile.
TMCnet: How is cloud computing changing the way you operate your business?
AG: It has greatly reduced our capital expenditure budget, and allowed us to be more efficient regardless of differences in locations and time zones. We can run as lean as larger organizations.
TMCnet: Have security concerns around cloud computing been effectively addressed by the market, or is security still impediment to adoption?
AG: Yes, security concerns have been addressed. However, this is a never-ending process as new security threats will continue to surface that will requirement improvements and fixes.
TMCnet: How has the unprecedented growth of social media changed the way you manage your customers?
AG: Social media enables us to reach out to customers much faster than traditional methods. In addition, we obtain feedback much faster so we can more rapidly make product improvements and release new features.
TMCnet: “Customer Experience” has become a buzzword and 2013 may well become characterized as the Year of Customer Experience. What is your business doing to improve your customers’ experiences?
AG: Relentless focus on improving our IU and the user experience. We reach out to customers asking how they use our phone and how we can make it easier to use. We continually work on improving how our phone interacts with the various hosted PBX services.
TMCnet: Keeping in mind that BYOD is now pervasive and no longer a phenomenon, will BYOD heavily influence your business in 2013 (whether from a security, policy or device or app management perspective) or have we moved beyond BYOD?
AG: We have moved beyond BYOD. As most of our internal systems are cloud-based, our employees can easily connect with any device.
TMCnet: BYOS – Bring Your Own Storage (or rather, Bring Your Own Cloud-based Storage) – and dealing with it may, in fact, now be the new major issue most enterprises and solutions providers need to deal with. Is your company prepared to deal with it, either at the carrier level or through independent vendors?
AG: We deal with is through independent vendors and have internal policies for storage and collaboration.
TMCnet: Should enterprises look to pre-empt BYOS issues by moving to carefully controlled cloud storage in 2013?
AG: Yes, a consistent policy on cloud storage is critical for enterprises. Companies cannot be held hostage because important information is stored in a personal storage account and that employee is not currently available or no longer with the company.
TMCnet: Unified Communications and VoIP have moved beyond the early adopter phase into the mainstream. What significant issues still remain that businesses must contend with as they determine when and how to migrate to IP-based communications?
AG: There are no significant issues remaining for widespread adoption of hosted communications. You can get all the features of an on-premise PBX, with superior network reliability. Many service providers offer unlimited calling for a fixed monthly fee. More and more larger enterprises are choosing hosted PBX solutions because of the ease of installation, flexibility in managing remote offices/employees and 24/7 network monitoring.
TMCnet: Will 2013 be the year the laptop dies? Why or why not?
AG: No. In most companies, laptops have replaced desktops as the primary computing device. While tablets and smartphones are valuable tools, they are too cumbersome for many tasks that require lots of data entry. As input technology for tablets and phones advances over the next several years, the gap will be greatly reduced.
TMCnet: What impact will Windows 8 have on the mobile market? Can it be a real competitor to iOS and Android (News - Alert)? Where does RIM fit into the landscape?
AG: Windows 8 will not make much of a difference in the mobile market landscape. It will find its niche but don’t expect it to challenge Android or iOS for market leadership. As for RIM, their BlackBerry (News - Alert) platform is still the easiest for corporate use. While I use an Android phone, I do miss the ease of data entry and speed of navigating e-mails on my old BlackBerry device. Assuming Android and iOS remain numbers one and two, who will take the third spot?
TMCnet: Will 2013 finally bring widespread video communications adoption?
AG: Video communications will continue to grow but still be a niche market for the enterprise. Most people do not want to be on video calls for basic office communications as they feel it is intrusive to have callers “see” them. For now, they prefer the privacy of voice only and the flexibility of non-verbal/passive communication like email and text. Video still remains more of a “personal” communication tool where friends and families utilize it more than in the business landscape.
TMCnet: What is the most disruptive technology that will hit mainstream markets this year and why?
AG: Continued proliferation of cloud-based services deeper into the enterprise. As corporations continue building trust with cloud-based services and storage, they will start running more mission-critical apps via hosted solutions.
TMCnet: What is the one misconception you would like to see set straight in the technology markets?
AG: That one product or service solves all problems. Each customer’s needs are different, so there is no “one size fits all” or cookie cutter solution. A company must evaluate the needs of each client to create a tailored solution.
TMCnet: What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO Miami 2013?
AG: Seeing new cloud-based communication offerings.
Meet CloudTC at ITEXPO Miami 2013 at booth 734 to see a demo and learn more about CloudTC’s strategy for making the ordinary desk phone obsolete.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Brooke Neuman