The communications landscape has changed dynamically over the last five years or so. Not only for personal communications with things like mobile devices, social networks and text messaging growing in popularity, but also in the new ways technologies are making communications possible for businesses as well.
Embedded communication and collaboration tools are growing in importance because they bring together traditional communications methods (think IM, web conferencing) with new applications and web environments (think WebRTC and real-time).
For businesses, the goal is to build better experiences and tools to increase success.
This is where GENBAND has put its focus. In particular with Kandy, a communications Platform as a Service (PaaS) that makes it possible to quickly enhance software applications by adding real time communications experiences.
I recently caught up with GENBAND’s Director of Solutions Marketing, Greg Zweig to hear more about this topic and chat about his upcoming presentation at the IBM Connect 2016 conference taking place January 31 – February 3 in Orlando, Fla.
Our interview follows:
Can you please provide us with an overview of your presentation at IBM Connect?
I’ll be focusing on embedded communication and collaboration tools, particularly WebRTC. It’s clear that the market is adopting unified collaboration technologies (as opposed to traditional disparate tools like IM, web conferencing, etc.). Ironically, with all the progress at enabling collaboration, most collaboration environments –no matter how sophisticated or large -still have limited public access and require defined clients. It’s no surprise that our business cards still focus on telephone and e-mail addresses as these are still our only true public identities. WebRTC and similar web centric communication technologies offer a bridge to bring the value of UC services to a larger palette of applications and environments. Access doesn’t require anything more than a browser and authorized access.
Further, moving to web-centric communication technologies also changes the economics of collaboration. Traditionally, collaboration was complicated and expensive because media assets had to be local and didn’t scale. Today, we can get those services, a la carte from the cloud and integrate them into any environment, to deliver them anywhere. There are no longer economic barriers to adding collaboration to any service and deriving more value in the process.
What can conference attendees take away from your presentation?
Creating better embedded experiences can drive real value, even from traditional assets or business models. In our everyday lives we choose products, services and brands based on how easy they are to use or buy or interact with. Adopting better technology to create more engaging experiences is not just “cool tech”, it’s a business imperative.
What are you most excited about at the show?
I’ve heard so much about where IBM is going with Watson and their Social Collaboration platforms, I’m looking forward to seeing those experiences firsthand. Additionally, I’m told that this is IBM’s largest annual customer event. I think anytime you create an event of this size, with this breadth of customers, you learn as much from your peers as from the best formal program.
What are some the UC trends that we should expect in 2016?
Cloud, Cloud and Cloud. I also expect that we’ll continue to see UC services extend and integrate their collaboration offers. As competition heats up, providers will either have to enhance their offers or compete on price, in either case, buyers will see value increase, placing increasing pressure on traditional premises-based offers.
Of course, I believe we will continue to see maturation in WebRTC technology, for traditional browsers access as well as embedded applications.
Is there any news that we can expect from GENBAND on the UC front in the coming months?
There is! In just a few weeks we’ll be announcing a new generation of UC clients that leverage WebRTC in their core to reduce the long term costs of deployment and management. Look for some news about our progress in the hosted contact center space and of course our customers are always creating new experiences with our Kandy Platform as a Service offer. GENBAND will have a major presence at Mobile World Congress in February as well as Enterprise Connect in March. Expect some of these announcements to coincide with these major industry events.