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a revolution? Well it looks like you've got one -- at least that's the word on the street (and at the rash of recent industry events) from our esteemed industry leaders.Yes, everywhere you turn these ...


May 1, 2000  


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a revolution? Well it looks like you’ve got one — at least that’s the word on the street (and at the rash of recent industry events) from our esteemed industry leaders.

Yes, everywhere you turn these days cabling and telecom professionals are talking about a bona fide communications revolution. This is likely not news to anyone who has been in the industry for any length of time. However, it really does seem to pack more of an ‘authoritative wallop’ when it is spoken about by the likes of Pat Russo, Executive VP and CEO of Service Provider Networks at Lucent Technologies.

“There is clearly a communications revolution underway,” Ms. Russo told a crowd at the Lucent Insights 2000, a company-sponsored event held in Toronto in March. “This revolution is having, and will continue to have, probably the most dramatic impact on how we work, live and play, that we can imagine.”

Citing some rather awesome statistics, she noted that nearly eight billion emails are sent globally every day; Internet usage is said to double nearly every 120 days; and there are an estimated 180 million users on the Internet world-wide. And here’s another: in 1998, TV viewing decreased for the first time ever. Now that’s astonishing.

Similarly eye-opening facts were revealed at a recent seminar from AT&T Global Network Services held in Toronto in April, where Scott Perry, VP of Strategy and Business Development at AT&T, spoke about this “enormous change of direction” in the telecom industry. He broke this down into a series of shifts — business shifts (national to global), technology shifts (traditional voice and data services to wireless etc.), marketing shifts (product focus to market segment and customer focus) and mindset shifts (defensive to offensive).

A shift, a revolution, a massive overhaul — call it what you will.

Perhaps few can speak more articulately about this so-called phenomenon than Ian Angus, President of Angus Telemanagement Group Inc. “This industry went decades — almost a century — with minimal change, and suddenly it got turned upside down,” he recently noted.

Speaking to a crowd at the Lucent event, Mr. Angus gave pause for thought by musing that just ten years ago, the debate was still going on in Canada about whether telecom was capable of change and whether competition would be a good thing. Those who argued against it called telecom a “mature industry, which had reached its potential.” Imagine.

Today, this is not a mature industry, but rather “an industry in turmoil, an industry that changes itself at an absolutely phenomenal pace,” said Mr. Angus.

This rapid pace is evident in all aspects of our lives these days — at trade shows, in the press, in our workplaces, in our homes. In fact, it seems you can’t go a day in this industry without someone discussing Voice over IP (VoIP), eBusiness, next generation wireless — topics that were not everyday conversation just a few short years ago.

All of this points to how fast things have changed. Yet it also gives us pause for thought. For as far as we have come, we need only listen to a few of these industry experts, or just take a good look around, to perceive how far we can go.

Perhaps Mr. Angus’ own “slogan for 2000” best sums it up: “So far it’s only been practice.”

Who knows? The real revolution may still be yet to come.


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