I have taken some ribbing this week at the IT Expo (nice job, Rich) on account of my tanned complexion, earned at the Pacific Telecommunications Council and while giving a couple of keynotes for the Alaska Telecommunications Association meeting (Well, most of the ribbing came from Andy Abramson, I'd have to say...some people just thought I looked relaxed...)
I will say a couple of things about our Telco 2.0 panel at PTC, where I shared a stage with Network IP (Jaduka), MetaSwitch and IntelePeer.
First, I have maintained for some time (and reiterated from the stage) that Network IP is the most underestimated company in the IP communications space. As far as vision, they get it. As far as company effort to make that vision a reality, they are doing more than is apparent on the surface. I like "old time" telephone industry companies that grew up on voice and now are trying really hard to make sure voice is even more relevant in the future.
I believe Network IP/Jaduka will startle some people, soon.
I got a chance to work with IntelePeer again at the IT Expo, and likewise continue to be impressed with how much thought the company has given to "a la carte" approaches to voice and communications applications. If you knew the company five years ago, you might not recognize it today. But more important is the thinking behind ways new applications using voice can be created in non-monolithic ways.
Finally, at least one or two people might have been surprised to see MetaSwitch on the Telco 2.0 plenary panel. But, likewise, I have known this company for a while. It is among the firms firmly established in the "old" business that are working really hard to be even more relevant in the "new" business. I believe we will see further signs of that effort this year.
There are some people who continue to say that old legacy telco companies will not survive the world that is coming, or should not. Well, that remains to be seen. But I suspect some people underestimate their ability to change.
Human creativity and grit are not to be found only among the ranks of the bleeding edge "Web" companies out there. Lots of people in the old "legacy" business are quite capable of leading a transformation and transition to something that will look quite different.
I also will say that my time with the ATA members points out just how demanding this sort of work is. One has to adapt to the advanced technologies, while at the same time gearing those tools to be used by service providers and their customers who might not care a whit for the coolness and cleverness demonstrated at the leading edge.
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