Over the past several years, the growth of VoIP and other IP-based communications technologies have marked the way to success for a growing number of vendors and service providers, providing an opportunity for businesses to operate more efficiently while reducing costs.
That trend has extended in the most developing markets, like Latin America, evidenced by the overwhelming success of last year’s ITEXPO (News
) East in Miami. In the midst of a global recession, at a time when the communications industry was unsure of what 2009 would hold, what was the best ITEXPO to date eased the minds of an entire industry, including those with a heavy focus on the Latin American markets.
That’s not to say every company enjoyed equal level of success in 2009. In fact, more often than not, the goal was to survive the downturn by any means necessary, knowing that once the economy recovered, the IP communications space has too much to offer not to recover quickly. The only question was how long would it take?
The economy has since stabilized and, according to Alexandre Hebra, Vice President of Operations at Commlogik Corporation, change finally came at the end of the year as business began to pick up again, bringing a positive outlook for 2010. As ITEXPO East 2010 nears, I asked Hebra to reflect on the past year, and how the Commlogik would approach 2010. If this month’s ITEXPO lives up to expectations – and judging from the conference programs and exhibit floor, it will – his projections for growth and expansion will prove well founded.
Erik Linask (News - Alert): What are your reflections of 2009, at best, a challenging year for most businesses, yet one that brought success to many in the telecom industry?
Alexandre Hebra: The past year was difficult for us (we are a value added distributor focused on the Latin American market), as revenue was down significantly. But, the fourth quarter showed signs of recovery, and we believe 2010 will be a year of revenue growth and expansion.
EL: What is/are the most significant trend(s) to come out of 2009 that will drive the IP Communications space into the next decade?
AH: The most significant trend is the consolidation of the Video Conference industry, including Cisco+Tandberg (News
) and Lifesize+Logitech. This will bring better products at a lower cost, and I envision HD video conference capabilities on everyone’s desk. It will be the beginning of video as a common method of communication.
EL: Will 2010 be the year HD audio takes off? If not, when?
AH: Cost and quality issues still hamper VoIP adoption. Thus, when prices go down and quality and reliability improve, customers will be able to look at “extras,” like HD voice. HD is a nice feature, but it’s not a feature that is a “game changer.” I believe HD will blend in with regular VoIP deployments and, in two years, most VoIP handsets sold will have HD quality.
EL: How do you view the impact of the growth of the open source community on the overall communications industry?
AH: Open Source is a strong influence in this industry, but enterprise customers will still be wary, since the strong support and quality of service guarantees that the “big players” offer is not there yet. Open Source is an essential component of the communications market, and it will grow and thrive, but will not inflict serious damage to the non-open source players (yet).
EL: What is the most important reason your booth is a “must visit” for ITEXPO attendees?
AH: As a technology Value Added Distributor, we will focus on showing our product line and services to prospective customers (visitors) from Latin America, since Miami is such a great hub for everyone south of the border.
EL: What are you looking forward to most at ITEXPO East 2010?
AH: I look forward to seeing the trends in the communications industry, getting feedback from attendees, understanding what they are looking for, and getting a feeling what products will be “hot” in 2010 and beyond.
EL: What is the one product you are hoping to see from the communications industry in 2010?
AH: HD multipoint video conferencing for the masses that is inexpensive, easy to configure, easy to use, and reliable.
Erik Linask is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Kelly McGuire