Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rethinking Technology, Is it Really Me against You?

Jim Van Meggelen made several interesting points and redefined a few items for us at Ecomm 2008. He is one of 3 authors of Asterisk: The Future of Telephony (found on Google Reader, Amazon, in your local library and more). He takes you into the mind of an SMB who is generally not as turned on as you are by new technologies nor taking risks but needs what will work to meet his needs.

He describes the typical IT department, often no one or the son of the owner. ;-) This is just a piece of the presentation. I learned much more from him and his partner Joel over dinner Friday night, but even more fun, we kind of became a new collaborative think tank for each other.

The company he represents serves SMBs with phones that don't lock them to one vendor, services that feel like the old stuff but better, with commoditized platforms, more flexible and scalable than they ever dreamed of.

Last, I grabbed a memorable quote: "If we don't hang together, we will hang separately = Co-opetition." Kudos to Jim! (I taught English for 16 years and always enjoyed the coining of new words to help the listener/reader to understand more the speaker/writer's thoughts. )

And besides, it's exactly one of DIDX's reasons for existing! Co-opetition. Throw out the "we are better than you," "change for the sake of change," "we are cooler than you are," and "fill in the blank _______ is dead" = the digitally smugs' attitude. How utterly claustrophobic. Ditch the digitally smug peer pressure and let's gather the best value in all of us from the past and present, the telco and the rethink, the incumbent and the web 2.0, traditions and innovations. Entities previously perceived as competitors cooperating with success for all.

Jim is the President and CTO of Core Telecom Innovations, a Canadian-based provider of open-source telephony solutions. (See everyone on Facebook and in person at VON.x in San Jose!)

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