Federal funds from the Broadband Stimulus Grant Program could have a significant impact on the communications technology industry, an executive for a company that provides and distributes VoIP hardware direct from leading VoIP manufacturers, told TMCNet in an interview.
According to Kerry Garrison, vice president strategic initiatives for 888VoipStore, the federal funding would best be used to implement faster Internet speeds, which could drive adoption VoIP and other important communications solutions.
“We still aren’t seeing a big increase in pure VoIP trunk-based systems versus traditional telephony circuits, such as PRI’s and POTS lines,” Garrison told TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview, printed in full below. “However, if more people have access to higher speed Internet services, this could help push better Web- based applications and adoption of cloud-based services, such as Google (News - Alert) for Domains and Microsoft Live services. Moving to cloud-based system could have a big impact on technology plans and spending.”
Garrison, who plans to attend ITEXPO West Sept. 1 to 3, also said it remains to be seen what impact, if any, President Obama’s economic stimulus packaging will have on the telecom industry.
Their full exchange follows.
RT: How did you get involved in the communications technology industry?
Kerry Garrison (pictured left): A friend of mine introduced me to Asterisk when I was running my own IT consulting company. This was just as the first version of Asterisk@Home (now trixbox CE) came out. I quickly used it to run my own business phone system and then started writing technical articles and tutorials on how to use it. Soon after, calls started coming in to do PBX (News - Alert) installs for people. Eventually, I wrote my first book (trixbox Made Easy), which lead to a full-time position in the industry.
RT: How does your company benefit from communications technology?
KG: With our own company, I am a permanent remote worker and several key people want the ability to work from home on occasion. With the current technologies in place, such as remote phones, presence, and chat, we can work as effectively remotely as we can in the office.
RT: What changes are you expecting in your tech budget next year? Why?
KG: We probably won’t be spending a lot this coming year, other than to pay for more employees. This isn’t due to making cutbacks. We spent this year building up our infrastructure and making sure we were as solid with all of our systems as possible for when the economy picks up and sales take off.
RT: President Obama has said the $787 billion economic stimulus package will help the economy this year. What do you think about that? In your view, how will that money impact the communications market, if at all?
KG: Depending on how some of it is used, it may make some money available to businesses to help replace their aging communications systems. It still remains to be seen how much of this money is going to be spent, so it may be premature to guess what the overall impact may turn out to be in the long term.
RT: Following up on that, we’re now formally starting the process of broadband stimulus money allocation and spending. What do you think of that activity? What effect will broadband stimulus have on technology spending, if any?
KG: We still aren’t seeing a big increase in pure VoIP trunk-based systems versus traditional telephony circuits, such as PRI’s and POTS lines, so I don’t really see that this will affect spending for PBX systems. However, if more people have access to higher speed Internet services, this could help push better Web based applications and adoption of cloud-based services, such as Google for Domains and Microsoft (News - Alert) Live services. Moving to cloud-based system could have a big impact on technology plans and spending.
RT: One of the exciting opportunities we’re presenting attendees at this year’s show is a fast way to find and network with companies they’re interested in, through ITEXPO DealCenter. What, specifically, is bringing you to ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2009? What kinds of companies or professionals do you want to meet?
KG: As a leading provider and value added distributor of VoIP hardware and software platforms, we are always looking for new and best of breed products and solutions to offer our reseller channel.
RT: What specific products or services do you intend to research or select?
KG: This year, one of the things we are looking at are ways for our resellers to close more business without having to do major forklift upgrades of equipment. This will include products like Mid-Span power injectors, lower cost server platforms, and other products that will increase our resellers’ ability to sell and be more profitable.
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Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan