IT Expo Gets Down to Earth

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

IT Expo Gets Down to Earth

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Last week, I attended IT Expo in Las Vegas, which is the last real horizontal communications tradeshow in the U.S.  The show covers a variety of topics and does it well. I would say the theme of this show was “getting down to earth,” which is a weird theme considering the show was in Las Vegas, which is about as fake as it can get. But the show did a very good job of covering the implementation of topics, such as WebRTC, mobile video, UC and cloud.

The WebRTC panel I was participated in was both very educational and provocative.  These end up being the best panels. The room was packed and standing room only, and the audience already had a decent understanding of WebRTC, so we got into some more advanced topics. One question that was asked during the panel was,”"Is WebRTC really revolutionary?” I believe it is evolutationary at first, since all endpoints won’t be WebRTC-enabled in the beginning; however, evolving your application to include WebRTC needs to occur NOW. Ultimately, WebRTC will be revolutionary and will bring new paradigms. Building applications to include embedded urls to make phone calls, and also integrating websites and IVR together will introduce different paradigms.  Ultimately the true takeup of WebRTC will be similar in overall timescales and rollouts as the development of applications and use cases were for VoIP.  
We also touched on whether the IVR could go away. The panel concluded that voice and speech will always be needed. We also talked about whether video will be a big differentiator in WebRTC (the panel was kind of split on this, but I believe based on what I’m seeing in the market that video and WebRTC go together very well). This is a great topic and one that will be around until it becomes the norm.

IT Expo is one of the few times I am able to attend a presentation just to learn, and I decided to attend an M2M presenation by Deutsche Telekom. DT talked about a partnership they are doing regarding “talking” to/from cars and understanding what your car is doing. Ultimately, it’s all about car tracking, and usage of car tracking, monitoring the car, etc.  For instance, if you park the car and it gets moved, you get a text message.  Or you could get a monthly text message about your mileage if you are leasing the car.  (Alternatively, you go read the odometer I guess, but that would require someone to remember to do and to actually physically do something, which is a pain.) Or you could get a “score” about your green / eco usage compared to others and that might help you improve, if you are into that sort of thing. All very interesting. Yes, it’s all about improved customer service. And it’s all about improved revenue. Would you be willing to pay for these kinds of services?  Hard to say.  

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