"Slick".  That’s what I said when I powered up the Polycom phone that the folks at Junction Networks sent me in order to be able to review their new My.Onsip user interface.  Truly plug-and-play, the phone immediately found the Junction Networks hosted PBX, configured itself (even through my NAT and Firewall), and was ready to go in a few seconds.

As cool as it was, however, I wasn’t as interested in how easy the phone was to configure as I was in the GUI that Junction Networks announced last week.  Web based, my.Onsip shows presence information for everyone in your organization, incorporates XMPP-based chat, and allows dialing from either the on-screen GUI, or the phone.  You can see a photograph below (credit Lonnie Lazar’s review at Voxilla).  On the left you see presence and availability information for people in your organization, and on the lower right, tabs for messaging.


So why is this so compelling? Fact: over 80% of calls end in a voice mail box today.  If business can find a way to deal with telephone tag, they can boost productivity everywhere in the organization.  Simply knowing the availability of the people you need to reach will help immensely.  Moreover, Junction Networks has gotten the interaction model right.  Today’s business phone user uses  IM first, to establish that the other party is available to talk, followed by a voice conversation if necessary. 

Now all they need is a mobile version for my iPhone or Blackberry.


Deloitte TMT Predictions

by alec on January 24, 2008

Live notes from Duncan Stewart's presentation this morning:

The TMT predictions are a 1 year snapshot.  These are the hot areas for the next 12 months. 

— Internet —

The rising value of digital protection: instead of "protect and serve" we are now protecting the server.  My PC or smartphone is disposable – but what's stored on it is priceless. If you lose the machine, you lose every email, music file, etc that you've ever created.  Focus is on how we give our mobile devices the same kind of data protection as IT assets have traditionally enjoyed. 

From anonymity to authenticity: where everybody knows your name.  Users are exchanging anonymity for usefulness.  There is real value from having an online presence where you are known.  How do we prove we are who we say we are? Affects commerce, etc.  Expect identity issues to be a big focus in 2008

How to manage talent when legacy becomes the future: everything old is new again.  Why IT departments need to keep their COBOL progammers…. 75% of all transactions in North America are automated via COBOL systems.  COBOL programmers are reaching retirement age. 

The flight to privacy: the "other" Cookie Monster.  How well do we want the internet to know us?  Making transactions easier means surrendering privacy.  Opt-in / opt-out is going to become more common.  Google and Facebook gaffes were both cited. 

— Media —

Stop the presses!  Online is moving (slowly) to the front page: the whole world is watching… and filiming, reporting, writing, arguiing, programming and editing.  Bloggers are getting their own newspaper columns, TV shows.  Much more than traditional reporting though, as data mining applications and mashups are moving to the forefront.  Duncan cites an LA times example that mashes crime stats against LA neighborhoods and asks who are the database experts working in the media environment?  Whole world of media is moving in this direction.

Overcoming online piracy may not mean the end of counterfeit content: the pirate that lives by the (technological) sword, dies by the sword.  The technologies that once allowed piracy to flourish are being used to turn the tables.  Deep packet inspection companies like Sandvine are flourishing.  What does that mean for Net Neutrality?  Can carriers inspect packets like that?

Music will get tangible again: how do you gift wrap an MP3 file?  Or to quote Olivia Newton-Jon: "Let's get physical".  Canadian sales of CDs are down 20% this year, 50% over a decade.  People want packaged media though…. how about a flash stick with music from the live event on it sold as you leave the event?

— Telecommunications —

50 countries now have more than 100% penetration of cell phones.  How to capitalize on the $10 mobile market?  Demand elasticity stops working at some point though.  Stop selling to people, start selling to machines.  2 way cellular on old slow 2.5G networks as people move to 3G.  est 3 to 6 billion machines in the world that could have low cost 2 way wireless applied in 2008.  real time monitoring on power/water meters for example.

Mobile GPS technologies.  Location, location, location… these are the three things that matter most in cellular technologies. Doesn't believe that GPS will take-off on mobile devices in 2008.  Too many problems to overcome around coverage.

Gray is good.  ROI from making telecom accessible to all. The rise of the silver surfer.  The internet isn't just for kids any more — some of the faces on Facebook Mobile have wrinkles.  Biggest seller in UK last year was the "big button" phone.  40% of people age 54+ take, edit and distribute photos from mobile.

— Environmental —

US cleantech index up 37% last year.  Hot space.

The challenge of water scarcity.  Water is the new oil.  Canada is in a happy place.  9% of the worlds fresh water, but 0.5% of the population.  Problem: oil extraction… needs water. 4 bbls water per bbl oil.  desalination needs energy.  Vicious cycle.

Nanotech.  From zero to green hero – nanotechnology's green renaissance: make molecules do our dirty work. Micromachines have been a bit of a bust, but  membranes, coatings, etc. are taking off.   Huge potential in water purification. 

2008 is the year when LEDs go green.  They're bright enough, cheap enough, and people are starting to like them. Builders are loving them. Brighter and brighter with the right color mix is the key.  Incandescent is an insane technology.  5% of US air conditioning in the summer is used to cool down incandescent bulbs!

Virtualization: Rethinking the virtual machine revolution.  Not ever app makes sense for virtualization, but environmental benefits of server farms are real.

Living room is public enemy #1.  Giant TV's suck power.  Living room is estimated to be 50% of household electricity consumption in some countries. Why is their no equivalent of Energy Star for home electronics (there is, Duncan!)

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Nokia and Facebook sitting in a tree…

January 21, 2008

You know the rest of that old rhyme, I'm sure. One by one the dominoes are falling.  First there was Apple with Facebook on iPhone.  Then RIM with Facebook on Blackberry, and Microsoft with Facebook APIs on Windows Mobile.  Now it looks as if Nokia might be getting ready to integrate with Facebook and make […]

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TalkPlus: first look.

July 1, 2007

For the last week I've been using a promising new application called TalkPlus on my Nokia N95.  In beta now, it does three things: Allows you to attach more than one phone line to your mobile phone.  There's no need to have multiple SIMs or accounts.  Rather, TalkPlus lets you simply add phone lines — like […]

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Presence 2.0

June 20, 2007

This morning I had the good fortune to be part of Enterprise 2.0's panel (chaired abley by Melanie Turek) on Presence 2.0.  Five panelists, including myself, Parlano's Nick Fera, Microsoft's Paul Haverstock, IBM's Dave Marshak, and Jabber's Joe Hildebrand.  The panelists universally viewed IM presence as an early presence application, and focused on where the […]

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Wallingford on social networks and cell phones

May 5, 2007

Ted Wallingford's riff on social networks and mobile phones is worth a read.  His basic points are: the main end user control point for identity will become the cell phone. social networks are formed around a core of identity. phones are just now becoming devices that are capable of supporting rich social networking applications. Provocative […]

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The tip of the iceberg

April 29, 2007

When Gartner Group put iotum in their annual cool vendors report, they had this to say, by way of explanation: Enterprise users aren't lacking in ways to communicate — with multiple phones, e-mail systems and messaging platforms, users spend too much time managing their communications systems. Presence is a solution to this problem, but managing presence […]

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Twitter's competition is Facebook

April 24, 2007

Contrary to the bloggerati's chatter from a few weeks ago, Twitter's biggest competitor is not Jaiku.    Rather, it's Facebook.  With Facebook's new ability to update via SMS, Facebook is Twitter plus: aggregated feeds from outside sources significant personal / professional profile information available from members large networks of friends to draw from events, and groups to […]

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Talk-Now Update adds new features

April 24, 2007

We slipped out another update to Talk-Now, last night.  And, we're particularly proud of it because it's got one of the most asked for features that we've built yet.  For the first time, Talk-Now can not only notify you when the person you wish to speak with becomes available, it can also notify that person […]

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Not so duh, Rick!

April 21, 2007

My buddy Rick has discovered the virtues of turning notifications on email and BlackBerry off.  In fact, he's manually configuring alerts, now, on a person by person basis so he can be notified when really important calls come in. It's a great idea, and I've been doing it manually for a while too.  Imagine if you […]

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