Real Time Communications Featured Article

Discussing the Future of Communications with GENBAND's Brad Bush

October 15, 2014

As the world we live in continues to accelerate – particularly as far as technology and communications are concerned - the times ahead of us are pretty exciting to think about. Decades ago, we were introduced to giant boxes called computers that were supposedly going to change life as we knew it – making us more connected, efficient and intelligent. Fast forward several years and those same machines have lived up to their expectations – and more. Technology, computers, and communications all continue to be advanced today and have certainly changed the way we live our lives.

As we move into a world that uses technologies for more sophisticated communications with people and with machines, it’s interesting to see the potential and where our future is headed.

Brad Bush, GENBAND’s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, took some time to chat with me about this and some of his upcoming speaking engagements at industry events focused around similar topics.

Today, Oct. 15, Brad will deliver a keynote address at Futurecom, an industry trade event for the Caribbean and Latin America region and will chat about the “limitless” aspect of real time communications and why this is important in the big picture.

Brad explained that “limitless” is about having no boundaries, creating communications that are ubiquitous. If we take a step back, we can see that technology is changing in many areas – we have big data, wearables, machine-to-machine – and so many other exciting things happening right now that all are having an effect on communications.

Specifically, they are allowing us to have communications that are more human in nature – almost allowing technology to disappear and have an experience similar to being in the same room with the person, or thing, we are communicating with.

Just like computers went from a giant box in a room to a desktop to a small screen you carry around in your pocket, communications are also changing.

Along with this, Brad noted, comes value change. As an example, Brad said with driverless cars coming out, we are going to start having a shift in the value chain so there won’t be traffic tickets for the municipalities to monetize, because cars will drive the speed limit. That value goes to the user. The same thing is happening in communications, he said. 

We’re seeing lots of M&A’s in the market as a result. As recent as Snapchat buying Adlive, and Facebook buying WhatsApp, and a host of others over the last few months – there is consolidation happening in a WebRTC market that doesn’t even have a specification out yet. This shows that people are seeing the value of this technology and its ability to change their business model and want to capture some of that value.

Speaking of the business world, there is interesting change ahead, Brad said.

We’ll be moving from a person who doesn’t have a desk or a set place to work, but still needs communications that are more than just a phone and a device, to communication that is everywhere – it’s a different way of thinking about mobility and more of the way that consumer communications are being driven today.

In the future, instead of having to pick up a phone and leave a voicemail, communication will be more the equivalent of walking over to someone’s office because you can see if they are online, quickly check their status, and chat or voice or video-call them immediately. This also means we can have resources that are more valuable and centralized.

Outside of an office setting, things like telemedicine will make it possible to keep doctors in the office, and patients not having to come and see them in person, they can just check on them remotely via video. In the education vertical, distance learning with one-to-one or one-to-many or many-to-many settings will change how teachers and students interact.

Taking this a step further is the IoT, an example of which is a machine that tracks a patient’s blood pressure and if it goes too high directly contacts the doctor with the information.

This is what Brad referred to as the “human cloud” where we are going to see experts in the service industry placed in a call center area with Google Glass-like devices on so they can see what a technician in the field sees and assist them from that location, so the companies don’t have to send out the top-dollar techs, and get a lot more done, for less.

As the Internet of Things gets to be more commercialized and more devices are talking to each other – not just phones, but sensors hooked to other devices -- the IoT will get bigger and we’ll be communicating with machines more intelligently.

More like, machine-to-machine-to-human, Brad noted.

Specifically if you have sensors on your wind turbine running along at certain parameters that are being tracked, and then one day something changes – it can call out to the maintenance guy and give him all the information so he can then interact with the system -- maybe via IVR -- to shut it down or do something else to correct an issue.

Brad, along with his colleagues, will be sharing more on this topic and the future of WebRTC at industry events including Futurecom this week; the upcoming Customer Engagement World which they will attend together with SAP; and at WebRTC World in San Jose, Calif.

Kandy, the company’s new Platform-as-a-Service will also be on display.

“We’re really excited about showing this off to the market in the Caribbean and Latin America, because we feel they have a number of exciting developments happening and are a strong market for us.”

Kandy takes things just past the excitement of cloud and makes untethering from the office possible.

“The cool part is you can take the business process another step away from the cloud and have not only the ubiquity part that makes cloud great, but it adds another aspect that makes it more human, more in context … more in the business moment.” 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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