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ITEXPO Speaker: Cloud-Based Services are Altering the Communications Space

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September 09, 2010

ITEXPO Speaker: Cloud-Based Services are Altering the Communications Space

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

Over the last few years, a growing number of enterprises and SMB’s have begun implementing VoIP-based phone systems and cloud computing services to consolidate and better manage their communication needs. Companies that take advantage of technological advances in the voice space no longer need to install expensive, space-eating servers.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of voice telephone services and where they are heading, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) recently sat down with Darren Schreiber, CEO of 2600hz, a provider of open-source telephony software that powers companies’ monitoring and maintenance tool sets, GUI and cloud-based telephony switches.

Schreiber also provided his thoughts on net neutrality (which he is in great favor of), wireless networking and mobile video conferencing, among other hot trends in the industry. He also spoke to Tehrani about his company’s upcoming role at ITEXPO West 2010, which will kick off on October 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For more information on Schreiber’s views on the future of all matters relating to IT, check out the full interview below.

What is the most significant trend in communications today? Why?

Voice telephone service is becoming a service provided over data networks. The entire voice infrastructure is being upgraded or dismantled and replaced by data services, and voice is becoming a service provided on top of these data networks. The transition is over halfway down at the carrier level, but is only just beginning at the enterprise, consumer and small business level. The ability to move voice over data also implies the ability to move voice over new mediums such as cable, WiFi (News - Alert) and cellular data networks, opening up new opportunities for integration.

What is the one product or service the market is most in need of?

A simplified end-to-end solution that fits SMB.

How is your company leveraging the growth of social media to enhance your own business?

The costs involved in marketing have shifted dramatically and caused an integration of marketing and support services. Customers complain or promote services actively over the same channels that typical marketing activities occur on. This is difficult for most “older” style businesses to handle and the exposure of flaws scares some businesses.

Nearly every phone manufacturer is now incorporating support for wideband codecs.  Will we finally see widespread HD voice deployments in 2011?

Already here. We deploy HD in all our installs.

What are your thoughts on the viability of mobile video chat or conferencing?

Mobile video chat is interesting. We would say that it is more of a “cool” feature then a useful application. Yet in a very short time that will be changing. As far as conferencing, the big companies are realizing they no longer charge an arm and a leg when all the small players can do it for pennies on the dollar.

Which wireless operating system (Android (News - Alert), iOS4, Microsoft, etc.) will see the greatest success over the next three years?  Why?

Android. Google has spent a lot of money to tell the world that everyone is free to use the Android. Because of this, people are not just looking at putting it on mobile phones, but are also looking to incorporate it on business phones.

Some have suggested wireless networking will soon replace wired networks in the enterprise.  Do you agree? Why or why not?

Wireless is making leaps and bounds in technology. Yet at this time the wired connection is still more secure and can handle a larger amount of bandwidth. With many companies going to video conferencing and video phones for communications, there will be desk phones for some time to come.

What impact has the growth of cloud-based services had on your business?

A huge impact. Our business model is to allow companies be their own VoIP providers. This is done by having their PBX (News - Alert) based in the cloud so we can spin up servers based on their cliental. No longer do they have to install expensive servers on site just to make a phone call. Cloud vendors can use our software to move around and negotiate better deals with data centers to reduce costs, as well as seamlessly failover. It's game-changing.

If you had the opportunity to decide the Net neutrality (News - Alert) debate, how would you rule?

Absolutely in favor of net neutrality. It is important that the success of the Internet, which was based on free access for all, include high-speed access and not favor one type of data or technology over another.

You are exhibiting at ITEXPO West 2010.  What is the most exciting thing attendees will see at your booth?

We will be showcasing two very promising cloud-based technologies that will bring the barrier to entry for deploying VoIP to zero – literally – for both small businesses and carriers alike.

What is the one technology development that will have the greatest impact in 2011?

4G Wireless Networks and the wide-scale acceptance/deployment of wireless broadband data networks.

Beecher Tuttle is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. He received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Colorado.

Edited by Beecher Tuttle

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