Trends in communications are what keep progress active and innovations as the priority. The most significant trend in this space today is the change in regulations, according to Aelea Christofferson, president of ATL.
Christofferson recently participated in a TMCnet interview in anticipation of the upcoming ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2010 event. When asked about the one product or service the market is most in need of, Christofferson pointed to hosted and outsourced options – as long as the economy continues to struggle.ATL is now leveraging social media to promote its business and identify opportunities. In the area of mobile video conferencing and chat, Christofferson understands the need, yet doesn’t agree that face-to-face communications should always be replaced. As for wireless networks replaced wired environments, Christofferson believes most companies will opt for a combination of both. As for cloud-based services, ATL is still in the “show-me” stage.When asked about the net neutrality debate, Christofferson would first separate the network from content dissemination before making a decision. At the ITEXPO West event, Christofferson plans to show how new telephony carriers can increase sales by overcoming fears regarding the reliability of VoIP. As for the technology development that will have the greatest impact in 2011, Christofferson pointed to open source processes that will enable technology to develop faster and with greater capacity. The entire conversation between Christofferson and TMCnet CEO Rich Tehrani follows:
Rich Tehrani: What is the most significant trend in communications today? Why?
Aelea Christofferson : Changes in regulation will drive trends for now. As new services are introduced the uncertainty of how they will be regulated and how much of the weight of fees they will carry will make it difficult to make sound business decisions. Add to that the challenges made to the FCC’s (News - Alert) authority for net neutrality and the industry becomes even more unstable. A few key decisions could change the industry as dramatically as the regulatory controlled opening of the local network in the 1990s. Regulatory decision then fueled the bankruptcy of much of that industry.
RT: What is the one product or service the market is most in need of?
AC: Hosted and outsourced options have a window while the economy is struggling. While companies don’t have the money for capital expenditures and are trying to keep their staff level low there are opportunities to give customers what they need from sources outside their office. The key is for these services to provide a level of customer service that ties the customer to them so when finances become more available the customer is convinced the vendor can do a better job than their internal staff.
RT: How is your company leveraging the growth of social media to enhance your own business?
AC: A year ago I didn’t know a tweet from a blog, but now my company heavily uses several social media sites. ATL uses LinkedIn to both target our message to the right contacts and to find the right contacts when we are looking for services or assistance. I now write a blog that answers questions about toll free issues like the 855 code release, disaster recovery, and VoIP requirements for toll free traffic. It’s great to be able to distribute this information all at once instead of one call or e-mail at a time. We are also getting new customers as they become aware that ATL RespOrg Services is a expert in the field.
RT: Nearly every phone manufacturer is now incorporating support for wideband codecs. Will we finally see widespread HD voice deployments in 2011?
AC: N/ A
RT: What are your thoughts on the viability of mobile video chat or conferencing?
AC: I think options to travelling are important, but that many companies are not sure what is required to use the technology or comfortable with the quality. Personally I think that in some cases the replacement of face to face contact is not good. I find nothing equals sitting across the table from people, especially in group situations
RT: Which wireless operating system (Android (News - Alert), iOS4, Microsoft, etc.) will see the greatest success over the next three years? Why?
RT: Some have suggested wireless networking will soon replace wired networks in the enterprise. Do you agree? Why or why not?
AC: A couple of years ago I would have said that that would not happen, but I am becoming a convert. As wireless becomes better quality I see it having too many advantages over wired to ignore. I think most enterprise customers will opt for a combination of both for some time because quality and reliability is still a problem.
RT: What impact has the growth of cloud-based services had on your business?
AC: We just installed our first IP telephone system last week. I guess I need a little more time before I have a better answer. I consider my views as an end user and I am in the “show me” stage.
RT: If you had the opportunity to decide the Net neutrality (News - Alert) debate, how would you rule?
AC: I would first order that the case be split so that the network use can be decided separately from content dissemination. The Federal Court decision that overturned the FCC order to Comcast appears to be a network decision. If an ISP needs to ratchet traffic from high volume downloaders to protect the throughput for their customers, I see that as reasonable. Control of traffic for content I see as more a first amendment issue.
RT: You are exhibiting at ITEXPO West 2010. What is the most exciting thing attendees will see at your booth?
AC: As I said above, the end-users are not convinced that the new VoIP carriers are reliable. ATL
RespOrg Services will show these new telephony carriers how to increase sales by allaying those fears. ATL RespOrg can show the carriers how to provide end-to-end disaster recovery for toll free services for as little as $80 per month and no capital investment
RT: What is the one technology development that will have the greatest impact in 2011?
AC: It’s not a technology; it’s a way to do technology development. The new open source process for development will enable technology to develop faster and with greater creativity. I’m not a developer, but when I first heard about Asterisk (News - Alert) and how it has changed the way phone systems are developed I was impressed.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Ed Silverstein