In November, I tuned into some of the keynote speeches at VoiceCon San Francisco. These VoiceCon events are where “enterprise communications’ vendors gather to talk about their latest initiatives desktop business phone systems. I really do think there’ll continue to be a separate market in voice and video communications for people who inhabit cubeland. But the vendors ruling this shrinking area (Siemens, Mitel, Avayatel, …) are lumbering around like brachiosauruses. There are faster, smaller creatures that will soon take their place.
I am writing this post on a consumer-grade Dell Dimension PC that lives on a tiny LAN, reaches out to my ISP for email, and relies on the cloud for many applications. It’s not an unusual set-up, of course. But it’s easy to overlook the bigger picture: it beats the keypad off of the IT plumbing and software found in most bureaucratized corporate environments.
At home, I don’t have to deal with a sluggish corporate LAN, a poorly managed MS Exchange email server, and all sort of barriers preventing me from working with neat ‘apps’ in the cloud. And, I do just fine reaching out to friends on my non-business grade cell phone.
When Avayatel’s Alan Baratz talked about a new large-screen programmable device with video capabilities that would be part PC and part phone, I had a sense I had heard this before. Wasn’t Apple, er, working on something like this?
Whatever is announced on Wednesday by Apple, no doubt their iTablet will find a place in the business environment. When given a choice, most healthy humans prefer their consumer electronic devices and open software to the “any color as long as its black” model-T phones, business computers, and software.