Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Office of the Future

Its been a while since I looked at the business office of the next decade and what technological advancements will move companies forward. As a disruptor to the IP PBX and telephony market, Asterisk plays a role in this change. So do many other disruptors: iPhone, Android, Blackberry and maybe the new tablet computing modules.

What's unique these days is the increasing acceptance by a larger contingent of adopters of the new technology. This proves once again convenience wins over price or perfection. We know version 1.0 of anything has challenges. We know there are bugs in the software. We know budgets are being reduced.

Based on these data points, open source business phone system + mobile phone = new remote office. Its cheap, it's powerful, it works!

Now, that scratches the surface. Here are some other questions:

1. Will we use desk phones in 5 years?
2. Will we all use just a softphone or Skype for Business client software in 5 years?
3. Will we just use our cell phone which will essentially be a small PC or MAC clone with wireless network connecting to virtually anything and everything?
4. Will iPhone and Android "type" phones be our choice?
5. How will we buy our business phone system and cell phones? Web? Retailer? Vendor?
6. Will we have separate business and personal phones and/or computers?
7. In 2000-2002 during the meltdown, we had a huge increase in small business startups of 1 and 2 persons. How will 2009-2010 be in the face of today's economic times? Similar? Different?
8. Will Cisco be around as we know them or will they become different again?
9. Will Asterisk be ubiquitous enough to displace all traditional telephones as we know them today?

In general we think about these questions daily. Open Source developers subscribe to the notion of all choices being open source. Do you?


Digium Bill said...

Savant, Thanks for the comment. You are correct. One major trend we see is in Real Estate who add agents frequently without adding office space - all are virtual offices. Its all done with VoIP and find me/follow me and/or ringing all phones so agents never miss a call regardless of where they are. Same with call center agents where call centers can have large remote "virtual office" based agents. The cost can be simply a Skype connection or a simple VoIP connection.

goooooood girl said...

Feel good......

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