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ITEXPO Speaker Greg Plum: Android Operating System Has Great Future

September 03, 2010

In looking at the big picture, Greg Plum, director of business development for The Conference Group, says there is a breakneck pace at which technology is changing in several aspects of the communications industry. The most amazing trend is how non-telecom companies are clamoring to get a piece of the pie. Google is a good example.

He also believes that the Droid phones will win the current battle among the smartphones. He predicts, too, that out of all the wireless operating systems, Android will see the greatest success over the next three years.

Plum will be speaking on “The Next Generation of IP-based Conferencing” during ITXPO, Oct., 4-6, 2010, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, CA. He will cover recent developments in desktop video services and the differences between some of the options available today.

Plum recently spoke with Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC, in an interview provided in full below.

Rich Tehrani: What is the most significant trend in communications today? Why?

Greg Plum: While I am amazed at the breakneck pace at which technology is changing in several aspects of our industry, the clamoring of non-telecom companies to get a piece of the pie (think Google), makes these some very exciting times.

RT: What is the one product or service the market is most in need of?

GP: Convergence. A single portal for a consumer to handle all internal and external communications is the logical next step in communications maturation.

RT: When will unified communications go mainstream?

GP: When it becomes “brain-dead simple” and cost-effective.

RT: Who will win the smartphone wars? Tablet wars?

GP: I believe the Droid phones will win this battle. Having used both a Blackberry and a Droid, the intuitive nature of the Android platform, coupled with its “social” format, make it my choice for smartphone technology. 

I don’t see an argument for a “tablet war”, given the power and portability of today’s smartphones.

RT: Has social media changed how you communicate with customers?

GP: Definitely. I spend time every day on LinkedIn just to grow my connections organically. In some cases, my communication with certain individuals has been conducted primarily via LinkedIn, rather than through email. Like many, I am still feeling my way through the social media maze in an effort to grow my business and better support my client base.

RT: Nearly every phone manufacturer is now incorporating support for wideband codecs. Will we finally see widespread HD voice deployments in 2011?

GP:  No comment

RT: What are your thoughts on the viability of mobile video chat or conferencing?

GP: This is definitely a buzz in our industry. With the latest iPhone being equipped with a forward-facing phone, and others following, we will certainly get to test the waters with this new “wow-factor” service. The question is whether or not it will survive the novelty stage and make it into our everyday operations.

RT: Which wireless operating system (Android, iOS4, Microsoft, etc) will see the greatest success over the next three years? Why?

GP: I am partial to the Android platform. See #4 above.

RT: Some have suggested wireless networking will soon replace wired networks in the enterprise. Do you agree? Why or why not?

GP: Most businesses are still operating in crisis mode. A network overhaul would require dollars that might be better suited to business development, rather than replacement of a backbone that is perfectly functional. 

RT: What impact has the growth of cloud-based services had on your business?

GP: Our conferencing services, including audio, web and video, have always been offered as a SaaS-model, which in my opinion, is a form of “cloud-based” services. There is a natural fit with our services integrating with the newer cloud-based services hitting the market in force. Customers no longer feel the need to OWN the technology. They are perfectly content to SHARE it, provided their data is secure and the economic benefit is substantial.

RT: What do you think of the net neutrality debate?

GP:  No comment

RT: What is the most over-hyped technology in your opinion?

GP: The iPad. I tested one just to see for myself if it could change my life. I put it down when I could not access an application that utilized Flash.

RT: You are speaking at ITEXPO West 2010. What is your session about?

GP: The session title is “The Next Generation of IP-based Conferencing.” I will cover recent developments in desktop video services and the differences between some of the options available today.

RT: What will attendees take away from your session?

GP: Attendees will see that migrating up the conferencing food chain from audio and/or web conferencing to video conferencing is no longer the quantum leap that it used to be … for both sales partners as well as enterprise clients. Thanks to aggressive, flat-rate pricing models, today’s desktop video conferencing services are within the grasp of all companies, even sole proprietors.

RT: Please make a bold technology prediction for 2011.

GP: Skype will be looking over its shoulder at a Google who is gaining ground in a race that Skype thought was already won.

To find out more about Greg Plum and The Conference Group, visit The Conference Group at ITEXPO West 2010. To be held Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Plum is speaking during “The Next Generation of IP-Based Conferencing.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Ed Silverstein is a contributing editor for unified communications's InfoTech Spotlight. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Ed Silverstein