The evolution in telecommunications is an exciting movement to watch as consumer demand continues to drive new trends. Manufacturers respond with innovation solutions that deliver capabilities beyond what we imagined could be possible just a few short years ago. Now, businesses are embracing new opportunities and making the most of technologies once designed with the consumer in mind.
In anticipation of the upcoming ITEXPO event in Las Vegas, TMCnet wanted to get the inside scoop from key participants. We set out to get their take on some of the latest innovations, the current health of the market and other elements that contribute to growth or barriers to market. The most recent participant is Ron Penna, senior product manager of Cloud & Virtualization for Earthlink (News - Alert).
One area that continues to gain attention is that of wearable technology. Companies are rapidly bringing to market innovations designed to deliver benefits to the user on the go, gather data for the marketer and serve as another tool in the mobile device arsenal. But is this next step in the evolution one that brings more value or more of an invasion?
“Wearable technology will bring big data to the forefront of daily life,” said Penna. “Through watches, wristbands, glasses, etc., every movement, spoken word, fashion trend or buying decision could be tracked and analyzed. The companies that embrace and process this data will be able to quickly anticipate and adapt to changes in behavior, which will be captured almost in real time.”
Trends toward Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and software are both changing the landscape for providers. The former offers many of the same benefits as cloud computing, while both can help to reduce CAPEX and OPEX (News - Alert). The point is to centralize resources, simplify management and make operations more efficient. Vendors sure to come out on top are those who can anticipate needs and deliver on them with aggressive pricing.
Video conferencing continues to be an evolving tool as companies like Earthlink rely on this technology to stay connected with partners, colleagues and customers throughout the world. The heavier focus, however, is on the benefits associated with WebRTC, enabling real-time communications regardless of the platform.
“WebRTC provides a common platform to deliver unified communications, continued Penna. “Once the platform is well established, the impact to the market will come with the innovations made by these various providers to serve their consumers. There is a wide breadth of companies involved in these efforts, which is exciting from a future technology standpoint, but it’s still early in WebRTC’s lifecycle.”
As much as we want instant access to communications and the perks associated with new innovations, we don’t want our information readily available to just anyone. Plus, we tend to frown on the idea that our own government welcomes these new innovations due to the access it provides them through the PRISM program.
Said Penna, “Government monitoring should concern everyone; the feeling of someone eavesdropping or oversight impacts people’s trust of technology. This loss of trust affects their adoption of new technology if they perceive it as a loss of control or an invasion into their personal lives. In the cloud world, this can have a major impact and give organizations more reasons to keep their hardware ‘at home.’”
Still, while we worry about our information leaking out without our knowledge, we’re increasingly willing to share just about anything on social media platforms. For that reason, social has changed market approach for a number of companies, including Earthlink.
“Social networking has enabled the ability to be in constant contact with customers,” Penna added. “Their comments and concerns are communicated more quickly, with higher visibility and greater impact. A single tweet or Facebook (News - Alert) post can unleash outpourings of support or waves of frustration. As such, there is great value to be gained from proactive engagement and communication to your customer base, across all forms of social media.”
As much as social media has impacted consumer activity, mobility has played an equally important role. Companies like Earthlink are readily adopting BYOD programs as they recognize the benefits to be gained from this approach to staying connected. Users can select the devices they most prefer in specific job functions, while still staying connected to the corporate network. And, as the cloud is an integral part of Earthlink’s IT Services strategy, the blend with mobility and extended applications offers significant gains for all users.
With tech innovations continuing to evolve, there is an expected impact for all users. According to Penna, “Wearable technology, such as Google (News - Alert) Glass, could influence every minute of our lives. Information will be available, presented immediately to your field of vision – maps, traffic, locating people, retail spending trends, personalized advertising based on things you look at frequently, the possibilities are almost overwhelming.”
As he excitedly anticipates ITEXPO (News - Alert), Penna is looking forward to listening to the problems others have overcome with new solutions and products. He couldn’t have picked a better place.
Edited by Alisen Downey