The article originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. edition of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
As another year comes to a close, with a new one on the horizon as I write this, it seems only appropriate to look back on some of the excitement of 2012, and pull out the old crystal ball for a glimpse into what we can expect to see in 2013.
Samsung/Apple (News - Alert) – Samsung will continue to grow and be the competitor Apple refuses to acknowledge it has. Apple will continue to have its rabid loyalists, but Samsung and Android (News - Alert) will continue to attract iPhonians into its following thanks to Sansung’s neat factor and shrinking gap between Android Market and the App Store. MobilityTechZone.com and TechZone360.com will bring you the blow-by-blow as this battle continues.
Windows 8 – Despite hearing some negative feedback from desktop users, I have seen the Windows 8 tablet experience. It has a serious coolness to it. With what developers have been able to do with input devices, the desktop/laptop experience will soon come close to the touchscreen. Mark Benioff is wrong about Windows 8.
Video on the Desktop – Video consumption on the desktop will continue to grow. Two-way video communication will not. There simply isn’t a compelling enough use case. In fact, it becomes more of a distraction than anything as users look to maximize productivity. Outside of conference calls, desktop video will continue to struggle. Conference rooms will continue to be full.
Video Everywhere Else – Simply, video will thrive in consumer and mobile environments. Mobile devices and networks are being designed for higher quality video content and applications, social sharing of video will continue to grow, and integration of high-quality mobile video into conferencing platforms will allow tablet and smartphone users to fully participate in collaboration exercises. VideoWorldInsider is your online source for all things video – from videoconferencing to enterprise YouTube (News - Alert) to the cable industry.
WebRTC – The technology will not change the world, but it will significantly enhance communications as a ubiquitous endpoint. Its biggest benefit will be in mobile and customer service environments, where the ability to communicate with any browser-enabled endpoint will allow easy and immediate engagement in multiple modalities, and the single-click entry into conference environments will help increase mobile conferencing usage, including video. Follow WebRTCworld.com for the latest.
Cloud – Adoption of cloud services will continue to grow, but at a much slower pace than it has. Users will become more security conscious, and will start to recognize that the cloud model is not always as cost effective in the long run as it has been promoted to be. Don’t worry, I’m not raining on cloud – it’s not going anywhere, it will just grow more deliberately. Cloud Computing magazine will bring you all the latest information, trends and advice.
Social Media – Will we see a slow-down in the number of Facebook and Twitter wannabes? I don’t think so. In fact, the more social becomes embedded in our daily lives, the more these Zuckerberg doppelgangers will try to feast on our need for popularity with an endless stream of oft-preposterous social apps. Check out @berniebernstein’s article on Koozoo: http://tmcnet.com/59219.1 – this one belongs on ESPN’s (News - Alert) Monday Night Football C’mon man! segment.
Verizon and AT&T – The two U.S. giants will continue to swing and miss when it comes to understanding customers, and will continue to charge more and under deliver, all the while claiming to have either the biggest or the fastest 4G network in the nation. The problem is Sprint doesn’t have the resources or infrastructure to make major inroads. The operators that will shine in 2013 are the cable MSOs. They have the physical infrastructure to deliver, they are embedded in the home environment, and they play together much more nicely than the telco brats.
M2M – Healthcare and automotive will drive the M2M market to new successes, though for different reasons. Healthcare is the market of never-ending opportunity – any opportunity to better and more efficient care will always be successful. Connected vehicles also offer a direct touchpoint to the consumer, the largest customer base available, and can be leveraged by multiple vertical markets, including insurance, entertainment, public safety/first responders, education, military, etc. It also has the benefit of much shorter life and sales cycles than the connected home market, which will grow, but at a much slower pace. Keep tabs on what’s happening in M2M with TMC’s (News - Alert) newest publication, M2M Evolution magazine (http://www.m2mevolution.com/magazine/).
I could go on; there is so much more to talk about for 2013: How much big data is too much data, and who will own it, and should we trust them with it? Will anyone that hasn’t had a security breach take security seriously before it happens to them? The same can be asked about BC/DR – will Sandy have an impact on how businesses outside the Northeast approach BC/DR, and how will the cloud computing industry benefit? What will happen to RIM (calling for the bell would be premature at this point)?
ITEXPO – I have, however, saved the most exciting for last. In the fall of 2013, TMC’s ITEXPO will be heading to Sin City. Indeed, the bright lights and buzz of the Las Vegas Strip will provide the backdrop for the best conversation and education around, and the latest and greatest innovation in business communications and technology.
Edited by Braden Becker