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January 07, 2010

Increased Interest in 3D and 4D Worlds to Push HD Voice Market Further: ITEXPO Speaker

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

As the communications landscape makes huge technological advances, businesses and consumers are gaining more advanced ways to work and stay connected.
A recent push in the communications space is a focus on high-definition or “HD” quality. What will push this market even further is, “an increasing interest in virtual worlds like 3D and even 4D chats for personal and business use,” an official with a Pensacola, Florida-based company told TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview, printed in full below.
Suzanne Bowen, vice president of Marketing for Super Technologies, DIDX and, is participating at the upcoming ITEXPO East 2010 and will present during a session called, “How to Leverage Social Media for a Successful Marketing Campaign.”
Bowen also said that while the economy has started to pick up, the slow-down of early 2009 did not have a negative impact on demand of the company’s products and services since businesses realized more than ever “the power of the incoming call” and continued to make use of DID phone numbers for this reason.
Bowen noted the company gains “approximately one hundred new members every month” with each of those members able to “meet the needs of a new market niche based on shared geography, ethnicity, hobby, lifestyle, business type, and more.”
The full exchange follows.
RT: Smartphones continue to rise, find their ways into offices and homes alike. Who will dominate that market and why?
SB: What will dominate will be the most user-friendly smartphone which does what most people want a cellphone to do – but what is that? Or, the smartphone that is most effectively marketed with the help of persuasive, highly-respected, local and global celebrities, will possible dominate the market – but who is capable? Maybe Apple, because it focuses only on smartphones, its fanatical fan club, and App store ecosystem are important, but it is shackled to AT&T. On the other hand, there were around one billion mobile phones purchased in 2009. I bought two Nokia’s (News - Alert) (a refurbished Nokia e61i and a new Nokia n91), and I'm not an Apple addict although I would rather “plug and play” than to “plug and pray.” Hey, President Obama, after losing both with no insurance (one during ITEXPO West and the other during 4G World), I'm back to my trusty Blackberry.
RT: We hear more and more about high-definition voice features in IP communications products and services. What is going to drive wideband audio and HD VoIP into the mainstream market? How long will it take?
SB: What will drive it is increasing interest in virtual worlds like 3D and even 4D chats for personal and business use. The word out is that even the IRS uses Second Life to interview potential employees. Also, podcasting, which needs the recording clarity of HD, is becoming an extremely popular method of creating online content. Some say “the solution space has generally sacrificed quality to yield lower costs,” but we've been used to this for many years with cell phones, yet more and more consumers and SMBs are replacing their landlines with cell phones.
Also, with the Skype SILK Speech Codec more open and usable, the potential of SILK for Asterisk (News - Alert) and the April 2009 announcement of FreeSWITCH and HD capabilities and stability benchmarks, thousands have and will be empowered with new IP communications businesses (i.e, among DIDX members of 170 nations).
I completed a 30 minute podcast with Mark Spencer (News - Alert) recently where he discusses Asterisk and HD and spoke with Anthony Minnesale who shared an interesting fact in a podcast with me earlier this year that is, “There is a misconception that because the quality of the audio is higher, then the amount of bandwidth necessary to transport that audio must also increase by the same factor.”
RT: What’s the most innovative product that’s going to hit the market in 2010, from a company other than your own?
SB: Anything that helps us solve a problem or reach a goal in a new way. “Nova” means “new.” Practical might be the most innovative as in power mats and such as anything that releases us from the lack of global standardization and plethora of shackles among batteries and electric adapters will be important.
RT: We entered 2009 in a recession and now we’re seeing signs of the economy picking up. How did the slow economy affect demand for your products and services and what are you anticipating in 2010?
SB: A recession hits. Businesses close, and people are laid off. There are no jobs to be found. What next? The most resourceful will invent out of necessity and will start a new business out of nothing but an idea. Our SMB and entrepreneurial clients are used to thinking in circles, inside-out, upside-down, any way but the normal way. They realize the power of the “incoming call.” How do we make people call us? It's easy to call someone else, but it is difficult to get someone to call us. The DID phone number, while it is still an essential in business and personal life, does exactly that. We gain approximately one hundred new members every month, and each is meeting the needs of a new market niche based on shared geography, ethnicity, hobby, lifestyle, business type, and more.
The demand for our services increased, but we did not, do not and will not allow that to make us fat and happy. We started experimenting with offering more “value add” for our members in the form of marketing and publicity with podcasting, and our new online and hard copy Techistan magazine. We are also active participants and media partners for the globe's most exciting conferences and exhibitions.
RT: President Barack Obama has been in office for nearly a year. What has surprised you, whether a pleasant surprise or disappointment, about his presidency, policies and administration?
SB: His path to more Net neutrality is refreshing and scary. What is that really? Less restraint on Web sites, content, platforms and devices that may access the Web - that's refreshing. But it's scary for us who are and will have to change plans as to where to bank our money, in order to make money.
Our team and DIDX partners are based in 170 nations. Among these nations, I have not heard such approving talk about the U.S. in 2009, since 1999. I think he exudes confidence, integrity and intelligence mixed with enough modesty to make him likable and more trusted than any of our government leaders in a long time.
RT: If you were president of the United States, what tech-friendly policies would you enact?
SB: A really lofty idea is nationwide free Wi-Fi where access to the power of the Internet is not controlled by “corporate interests.” I was a middle school English teacher at a school in a very poor area of Northwest Florida. My son was in my eighth grade class one year. With his precious little truthful heart he asked me, “Why are you teaching them to use the Internet and to learn foreign languages? You are just making more competition for me when I grow up.”
RT: What are some of the areas of market growth in the next few years?
SB: Our DIDX platform has a set of statistics which still show (in 2008-2009) growth of the “buyer membership” among Africa, Middle East and Asia and also MVNOs. The “seller membership” still shows more mobile operators and CLECs taking advantage than the original set of resellers at the beginning of DIDX in 2005.
RT: I understand you are speaking during ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami, to be held Jan. 20 to 22. Talk to us about your session or sessions. Who should attend and why?
SB: In general regarding the complete co-location of conferences, information gatherers should connect with the experts, early adopters, evangelists, and business successes. Wholesale, retail, and consumer purchasers should connect with the exhibitors first and then mix with everyone in the hallways and in conference sessions to see what everyone else is buying and why. Our session topic is “How to Leverage Social Media for a Successful Marketing Campaign.” Isaac Hazard of Mzinga, Rob Adler of Vantage Communications (News - Alert), and I from DIDX and Techistan will discuss savvy uses of social media to meet company goals. The results have the potential for increased revenue-generating, cost-saving, team-building, and customer retention. Turn even the worst online or offline mishaps into your company's win. Remove the fear gene, and step into the world of social media.
RT: Please give me one outrageous prediction pertaining to our markets for 2010.
SB: Some company, investors, or entrepreneurs just might take my thoughts from as early as 2006 on scent over Internet more seriously as in: unified communications, 4D chats, spam, marketing campaigns, open source, expansions of the IP-PBX. It does not have to be the “luxury so toss it aside” idea. We can see and hear on the Internet easily, but why not also smell, taste and touch? Do we want to? If yes, why? If no, why not?
In 2006, the only mention I found of scent over Internet was that South Korea would make it available first around the second decade of the 21st century. Companies in South Korea claim to have been working on the technology for digitizing and transferring scents over the Internet since 2000. People always laugh at me each time I mention this topic. Someone needs to provide comedy, but remember, comedy is truth.
Learn more about Super Technologies, Inc. & DIDX  at ITEXPO East 2010, an event with an educational program that teaches resellers, enterprises, SMBs, and government agencies how to select IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications to purchase or resell. ITEXPO will be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami. Listen to officials from Super Technologies, Inc. & DIDX speak during “How to Leverage Social Media for a Successful Marketing Campaign,” to be held January 20, 2010 from 1:45-2:30pm. Don’t wait – register now.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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