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Of Machines & People


October 3, 2016  


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By Paul Barker

There was yet another new buzzword that surfaced at the 14th edition of the Canadian Telecom Summit held recently in Toronto – The Exchange of Everything or EoE.

Five weeks before appearing on stage to discuss EoE, David Walsh, president, CEO and chairman of Genband, posted a blog on the company’s corporate Web site in which he described a vision that merges the Internet of Things movement with Real Time Communications or RTC. It also formed the basis of his speech at an annual conference whose speaker content has morphed greatly over the years.

“Where I see the world expanding into a completely disruptive realm is at the intersection of IoT and RTC – what I am calling the Exchange of Everything (EOE),” Walsh wrote.

“Machines and people continue to live in more intuitively bonded ways – we can do just about anything on our smartphones, and with the combination of more powerful and affordable devices, bigger and better networks, easier and still secure access through cellular, Wi-Fi, mesh and more – exponential doesn’t even begin to describe the telecosmic growth over the next few decades.

“When we bring every endpoint – and everybody – onto the Exchange of Everything – the opportunities for creativity and creating value are limitless. This is why we created Kandy. When real-time communications are embedded into how we live, we are no longer dialing the phone, but intuitively and almost invisibly living digitally.”

The theme of this year’s summit was Transforming Our Digital World: The Journey to Universal Connectivity, and to that end, Kandy, Walsh said in his speech, the firm’s communications Platform as a Service (cPaaS), can play a critical role.

Genband defines it as a disruptive real time communications software development initiative designed to help companies build communications that are more integrated and immediate.

The company is also bullish enough about Kandy that in early June it announced the opening of a new Cloud Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Ottawa.

Paul Pluschkell, founder and CEO of Kandy, said that the appetite for embedded real-time communications is only growing, fueled by the Internet of Things and a recognition that contextual real-time communications are the best avenue towards value creation in today’s digital landscape.

“The CoE will enable us to further propel our development of these solutions and Ottawa, aptly named the Silicon Valley of the North, allows us to draw on a tech-savvy talent pool while participating in a thriving ecosystem.”

There is, Walsh said, in an interview with Connections+ following his speech, world-class talent in Ottawa that is every bit as good as Silicon Valley.

“It was a logical place to put it. We are investing in the Kandy platform upwards of $25 million annually in R&D. This is in addition to the billion dollars worth of intellectual property that we have either created or purchased.

“We see an incredible demand for embedded real time communications. It’s like drinking from a firehose. We have serious pressure to develop real-time communications capabilities.

Walsh added that real-time communications is making everybody’s apps more human: “When you make something more human you get better engagement. What we are seeing is that a lot of our engagement had been with IT people, but now we are seeing engagements into enterprises is more with the business heads. People who are running their business or marketing people who are promoting their business.

“You don’t need to have technical skills to make things happen.

“The applications that are most interesting are a combination of things and people. Things are being measured, but there is a person that is being engaged. It’s like Uber in the sense that there are a combination of things and people that are being put together.”

Canadian Telecom Summit co-founders Mark Goldberg and Michael Sone likened such activity to a “big data world that relies on light-speed sharing of information for personal and commercial purposes.

“The ICT sector is more than indispensable; it is the lynchpin of the global economy,” the two wrote in the conference show guide. “Not only does it continue to enable business and consumer interaction at the micro level, but also drives Canada to a leadership position in a global digital economy.

“As always, technological innovation presents us with social and cultural implications that need to be considered. With the Internet of Things impacting all facets of the economy and with shifts in the nature of service and device competition, the next 12-18 months promise to maintain the heightened level of activity that has come to characterize the industry.”

Dragan Nerandzic, chief technology officer with Ericsson Canada, pointed out in his presentation that 2015 marked the first time that the number of mobile devices was higher than the entire human population.

He also shared findings from the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, which tied into Goldberg and Sone’s theory about IoT. According to the report, between 2015 and 2021 the number of IoT connected devices is not only expected to grow 23%, but within two years will overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device.

Of the projected 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, upwards of 16 billion will be IoT devices.

There is, he added, consistency in the report’s projections. The industry is growing and the use of networks and the use of communications are growing rapidly, Nerandzic said.

“What is amazing is that mobile communications is becoming the primary access to the Internet,” he said. “We see that the industry is in a very strong position to expand its addressable market and that market extends into the IoT space.

“When you get into that space, you end up with completely different challenges. There are so many different types of usage and different types of devices and needs. It is not easy to address.”

The inherent challenges are expected to spur on the rapid adoption of 5G, which Ulf Ewaldsson, senior vice president and Ericsson chief technology officer, recently described as the “biggest opportunity ever” for the telecommunications industry.

5G, said Nerandzic will also expand the growth curve for “every industry around us. They will all be supported by mobility.”

Before that happens, he added, the allocation of spectrum must be addressed, “because without it you cannot build a network. In order to allocate spectrum you need policies in place.

“5G trials allow us to determine what the minimum amount of spectrum needed will be and how much is practical.”C +


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