Voxox is a unified communications provider whose hosted PBX (News - Alert) offering outfits small and medium businesses with scalable communication features at what the company says is a very competitive price. The company also delivers a virtual PBX service called Cloud Phone, a Web-based service that offers extra mobility to small businesses on the go. TMCnet recently interviewed Tristan Barnum, CMO for Voxox, about the company’s plans for ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami next week and about key happenings in the industry. Here’s an excerpt.
What will be happening at Voxox’s booth at the Miami Beach Convention Center?
Barnum: Voxox will be showing a demo of its newest solution at Booth 904. Hint: The Cloud Phone product line is growing.
What is one announcement or product you would like to see announced in 2015?
Barnum: I’m looking forward to our Voxox announcement at ITEXPO!
What else are you looking forward to at ITEXPO Miami?
Barnum: I’m most interested in connecting with some of our channel partners that I only get to see once a year at ITEXPO. It’s also a great time to catch up with old colleagues and friends that I’ve known for years.
How has the technology landscape changed in the past year?
Barnum: The consumerization of IT really came to fruition last year. There’s been a lot more blurring between what’s happening in business vs. what’s happening in people’s personal lives. Dropbox (News - Alert) is one example of an application that I use for both work and family using just one login. For me, I’m always connected to my office, which is great for productivity, but it is also causing people to have less quality time outside of the office.
What was the most interesting or exciting technology announcement of the year?
Barnum: I’m really excited about what SpaceX has been doing with their new Dragon V2 capsule and reusable rocketry, but as far as things that are a bit more tangible for those of us still here on Earth, I would have to say that the enhancements that are happening in battery technology are really exciting for the industry as a whole. There have been a lot of advancements that will enable us to have tiny batteries that last practically forever – things that couldn’t be powered before now can be, and this is going to make devices cheaper, faster and smaller.
Right, that will be helpful for wearables and the overall Internet of Things space. Do you own and use a wearable tech product yourself?
Barnum: I’ve been an early adopter of Google Glass since the very beginning. It’s had a major impact on the way I interact with other people by allowing me to get the information that I need without distracting the people around me by pulling out my phone. I also just preordered Ringly, which is another way for me to get notifications, but is very, very subtle. It looks like a regular ladies’ ring but it vibrates and casts subtle colored light onto your fingers to alert you that your phone is ringing, that your Uber has arrived, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing how that affects my day-to-day interactions as well.
What are your thoughts about wearable technology in the enterprise?
Barnum: There are a lot of interesting applications for wearables in the enterprise like tracking packages, production, training, health care, white glove service, etc. The ability to integrate computer intelligence and big data with roles that have traditionally been manual will allow employees to be more efficient and just better at their jobs overall.
Speaking of efficiency, what is the most useful app you use on a regular basis?
Barnum: Just one? Of all of the apps I used for productivity, I can narrow it down to three: Evernote (News - Alert), OmniFocus and – of course – Voxox.
How about business video? Do you use that regularly?
Barnum: I use video for my business communications every day. There are a lot of times where I can’t be in the same place as the people I want to collaborate with, and I find that videoconferencing enhances the experience by enabling me to interact as if I were in the same room. On the flipside, it is distracting when the application isn’t working properly – for instance, you can’t hear, can’t see, etc. When it works, it’s great, but when it doesn’t work, it’s frustrating and can slow down the collaborative process.
What do you think of Microsoft’s (News - Alert) decision to rebrand Lync as Skype for Business?
Barnum: This is a great decision from a branding standpoint; in fact, they should have done it ages ago. Skype is a strong brand, and Lync has really struggled to gain the same following and brand recognition as Skype has. Skype is also known as an easy-to-use application that anyone can get up and running within minutes, and I expect that will also help them penetrate the business market.
To ensure such applications continue to flourish, everybody seems to agree that we need to maintain a regulatory environment that allows for that. At the same time, the companies that own and want to continue investing in the networks that act as the underlying infrastructure for the Internet and broadband connections want to be able to prioritize traffic as they see fit. That continues to fuel debate about net neutrality, and recently the FCC and the President have revisited this issue, and Congress is now again getting in on the act. What are your thoughts on the net neutrality discussion?
Barnum: Destroying net neutrality, which has been the driving force behind innovation and the Internet economy, particularly affects consumers and small businesses by charging premiums for content delivery. The U.S. needs net neutrality to ensure that there is no ‘Internet tax,’ which will slow innovation and make it even harder for small businesses to compete. Voxox is a proud supporter of the free the Internet movement and keeping the net open for everyone.
Edited by Maurice Nagle