With ITEXPO drawing nearer, many are itching for a small preview of the many sessions, keynotes, and panels soon to come. So, TMCnet caught up with Danny Beydoun, CEO of EventGo, a provider of event planning and management solutions, to get some of his preconference thoughts on the latest technology trends and how they are impacting business as we currently know it.
Danny Beydoun will be presenting a session titled “Extending Desktop Apps to Your Mobile Users,” which will shed insight on how business can most effectively extend their desktop apps to their mobile and remote workforces, how decision makers can make informed decisions on how and where users should interact with different business applications, and the resulting return that can be expected. He will be sharing the floor with Justin LeLaCheur of Integra Telecom.
ITEXPO is being held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from August 27th to August 29th. “Extending Desktop Apps to Your Mobile Users” will take place at 11:00am PST and is open to all attendees. Registration is still open!
How will wearable technology develop in the business world? Will you buy an iWatch or other comparable device?
I would not buy an iWatch. With the amount of typing all day, it would just get in the way, but I will definitely buy a Google (News - Alert) Glass as soon as there are enough apps going for it, and we will definitely build an app for the Google Glass and their competitors within 1 year because they are perfect for our industry. Imagine each participant at an event seeing the location of their friends near them on an event map while at the same time watching the event Twitter (News - Alert) stream go by. They can be walking about or in workshops seeing all the workshop chatter from all the attendees, among the many other cool features that wearable glasses can provide. I am also a fan of the many wearable technologies now available for sports, such as the Nike products, the JawBone, and more. I also look forward to a future of having wearable medical equipment to help me with stress management, sleeping issues, body energy management, etc.
How will the growing movement towards software impact traditional hardware vendors?
Software cannot exist without hardware, so even if software impacts many areas traditionally in the domain of hardware, hardware is here to stay. I believe the form factor of many hardware devices will change significantly, as software and increased portability requirements demand new forms of hardware. Hardware will still be strong, however, albeit in a form that perhaps we will not recognize now. Vendors will have to adapt significantly, but their role will still be similar.
The emergence of WebRTC has generated a host of new communications vendors looking to change the communications world. How will this new technology impact your industry?
This facility will completely change the way participants in events can communicate, especially when talking in group chats that are now available, for example Google Plus, and create impromptu workshops and meetings of likeminded individuals at events. This technology will definitely enhance our business.
How have you used video in your business communications? What is the potential for video as a mainstream business technology?
If you count Skype (News - Alert) and Google Plus meetings as video, then we use it a great deal. Video is very prominent in our business, as we use video to demo all sorts of concepts and even for our investor pitches. Video is the next web. We see everything going to video and that is why WebRTC will be so important. Especially with small form factors such as mobile phones making it impractical for typing, video will become even more prevalent.
Should we be concerned that government entities, like the NSA, may be monitoring our communications? What impact will recent information surrounding the PRISM program have on technology vendors?
I do not think that we should be concerned with government entities, they will always spy and they will always keep tabs, whether we are aware of it or not is the only difference. The fact that we are aware of it for the most part offends us, but most of us keep living life without modifying our behavior. Therefore, does it really matter? Let’s face it, in a world of uncertainty and with violence at its peak in and out of our own borders, we must ask, “Is it such a bad thing?” Now, the effect on technology vendors will be significant if we cannot get other countries that want to do business with American companies to understand that their own governments are doing the same or worse, and that this is the status quo of the future. The concern is that we will lose their trust. Technologists all know that on the Internet, whether you are talking to your roommate that is next to you over an IM or you are talking to someone 12,000 miles away, that information can still be routed through the US and be intercepted—but this is so subliminal, even to people that know this is happening, that no argument can really be made. We must find a way to reveal the programs of other countries just as transparently as ours has been revealed, or a way to assure security so we can continue to enjoy the fruits of international business.
Does your business have a defined social marketing strategy? Define its impact on your business?
Yes, our business revolves around social marketing because, at its core, we are a business networking tool, and each and every piece of content generated with our products can be easily shared via social networks, email, and SMS simultaneously. Moreover, because we create a great deal of content for all of our events, with the capability to post to social media sites, we create great SEO and SMM opportunities, allowing visitors to come see the content directly on our apps or website. Social media networking in mobile has been quite weak, and we aim to change this and make mobile social interactions the status quo.
How has social changed you approach to customer service?
It has changed everything. We view everything as a social interaction, and even data that may have been considered useless in the past because of social is now vibrant and useful. We carefully measure the social impact even of what some people may consider private information because like it happened even to Zack himself because of some roundabout way, the data can escape its confines. Social affects everything and even changes behavior in many ways. Customer service is affected because in social environment there is an expectation of immediacy that did not exist before and we must prepare for faster responses and allowing our social media team to have a greater deal of autonomy to offer final resolutions because in many cases there will not be time to take the issue up the pipeline.
How has the BYOD trend impacted your business? What changes have you had to implement and what challenges have you experienced?
BYOD has absolutely helped it. We firmly endorse it in our own practice. Since our customer is the enterprise, we have turned BYOD to our advantage by allowing the enterprise to monitor and control a great deal of the communication, so they can prepare for any negative consequences that might arise. We feel the best way to address most BYOD challenges is to develop all apps with the enterprise in mind and isolate their proprietary systems from the apps themselves, thereby adding a level of insulation between their systems and the device and creating a single point of entry into their system as it talks to our APIs to retrieve pertinent information. Better yet, keep everything on our systems and consume it, thus isolating without affecting security.
What different devices do you use in your daily business activities? Which are the most useful and why?
I use an iPhone (News - Alert), an Ipad, and a Surface Pro PC tablet, which I use more or less as a traditional computer. I no longer believe in the traditional laptop, as the technology has grown to the point where an always on tablet is useful enough for most business applications. Obviously there are things where we will still need traditional PCs, but for the most part tablets and cell phones are the new norm.
Is the mobile device market going to become a battle between Apple and Samsung (News - Alert), or can others find success as well?
Short answer is yes, but I believe that Motorola has a shot to capture some of the market, although it will take it a very long time to get there. Then again, Google with Google Glass, or some other company that comes up with a well-functioning wearable phone, could surprise everyone, as Apple did just a few years ago. Apple and Samsung are giants that will be hard to topple even with a stone, but technology and innovation are moving so fast these giants may not be able to keep up. Perhaps a small startup with a single string can trip the giants up and win! Corporations that are not super adaptive will have very short lifespan in the future.
To what degree has cloud computing influenced your business model?
It will save a great deal of money and headaches handling server and hosting issues for us in the future. Because we can distribute the load to the nearest servers with our application, it will make service to our customers significantly faster, particularly if we setup the right cloud configuration that does not tax us with significant extra costs.
What recent tech innovation will have the greatest impact on our lives?
Google Glass and wearable devices, particularly for medical applications, will completely change the way business and medicine works. It will lead to less invasive medicine and reduce pain and suffering a great deal as well. Google Glass and its many clones will even change the way we communicate and the way we react to things. I can think of several applications running on Google Glass that will change laws and the way we communicate forever.
What are you looking forward to accomplishing at ITEXPO Las Vegas? What topics are you looking forward to discussing or hearing about?
We are looking forward to experiencing a well-organized event and taking notes on ways we can improve or enhance its value to all participants, while seeing it from the inside out as well, as panelists. We look forward to several workshop that will impact our business and to sharing our knowledge, not from the point of view of a huge company, but from a fledging startup with a different take on business than most, and bringing focus to the needs of startups.
Edited by Blaise McNamee