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Rich Tehrani
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Bob Serr, Parlano CTO, took some time to give me this exclusive interview. In it, he gave some fascinating insight on the impact of industry giants like Google and Microsoft on the telecom world, and also let me know why Parlano’s presentation at ITEXPO is something worth looking forward to.
One of the leaders in the burgeoning space of persistent group chat, Parlano gives some of the world's most dynamic organizations competitive advantage through more effective cross-functional group communication. You can read more about them in this recent TMCnet article.

How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy?
We see our customers moving in this direction and they are demanding integrated voice and text communications, which we are delivering to them via our SIP/SIMPLE based product.
How has SIP changed communications?
It’s made possible integration at the application level for text and voice communications—as opposed to gateways that connect systems but do not offer an integrated experience for the user that matches the way they do their jobs.
What is the biggest request coming from your customer base?
Seemless integration of persistent group chat with Microsoft’s unified communications platform.
How are you answering their demands?
MindAlign 2007 was the first step, and later this year we will have Microsoft OCS integration.
What do you think is the future of the market?
Integrated voice/text communications, with persistent group chat playing a substantive role for group communications/meetings for distributed teams.
How does the US growth rate compare to the rest of the world?
Growth rate is a little bit ahead of the rest of the world, but we are seeing the early adopters (financial services) outside the US starting to move very quickly.
What do you think of Google and Apple entering the telecom market?
Neither really matters in our target markets. Apple will bring some amazing devices and capabilities to the market and push other vendors. Google is really (in our opinion) focused on how they can dominate the advertising market in the wireless world, as opposed to actually being a telecom provider.
How about Microsoft?
This offers tremendous value to Parlano and our customers, because they are demanding enterprise-grade integrated communications. Microsoft’s new advances will also simplify the adoption of unified communications in small and mid-size businesses.
How will wireless technologies change our market?
They already have. Knowledge users are no longer bound to their desks, and virtual teams can be more effective. The key is to make the devices more integrated with all of the communications modes deployed in enterprises (text, voice, conferencing, and video).
How will communications evolve over the next five years?
Fewer silos, better integration, fewer connectivity and bandwidth issues.
What sort of things will we be hearing about during your presentation at ITEXPO?
That persistent group chat is delivering amazing results to desktop and mobile users and is highly under-estimated in its ability to resolve many of the most annoying aspects of group communications today. And that the early adopters have figured that out.
Why is your presentation a “Can’t Miss?”
Because it is not “pie in the sky” theory about how persistent group chat can help business. It’s being proven every day in some of the world’s most demanding organizations. Attendees will see real results, not theory.
What do you want the industry to know about your company?
Some of the largest, most demanding organizations in the world consider persistent group chat more mission-critical than email for enabling cross-functional group communications.
Please make one surprising prediction of what we might see in five years.
There will be fewer large organizations outsourcing business-critical messaging systems than most people are predicting today. Costs won’t be as large an issue, but risk will be.

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