It was an important year for security, unified communications, wearables, WebRTC, and Wi-Fi. For this Q&A, we spoke with Krista Geiger, director of marketing, and Brent Baker, network services manager, at Powernet. The company, whose website is www.powernetco.com, provides voice, data, Wi-Fi, and SIP solutions to businesses nationwide. It will be participating at ITEXPO Jan. 25-28 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
What was the most impactful development or trend in 2015 that is changing how industry players need to do business?
Competition in the UC space is only going to grow and prices are going to be driven down. Industry players need to be efficient and have the right tools in place for their customer’s to be successful.
So has UC adoption finally reached an inflection point?
I don’t think we have reached that point yet. In my experience, most users don’t take advantage?of all the features in their UC solutions. I think this has to do with the fact that VoIP solutions are pushed as a cost savings opportunity more than anything else. The new system is built to replicate the old system, and the user training on new UC features is lacking.
Will WebRTC live up to the hype?
I think it will live up to the hype. It’s just something new that is going to take a while to be adopted. The best looking implementations of WebRTC are applications that have been custom designed for a specific business need. This means that there is a cost and development cycle that is going to be unique for each project.
Has corporate awareness of – and action related to – security threats increased over the past year?
With several high profile data breaches over the past year, awareness has certainly increased. For large enterprise I think that practices have been adjusted. In the small to mid market I don’t know if they have on a wider scale. Good security practice is expensive and smaller organizations can be hesitant to spend money on IT.
Will wearable tech become a major enterprise technology?
I think it will for businesses that have a large workforce that isn’t tied to a desk. Warehouses and delivery services come to mind. A wearable that allows them to move faster with better accuracy would likely be embraced by these types of companies.
It can be very useful in the right situations. Anywhere a heads up display would be beneficial schematics or other documentation could be displayed right on a Google Glass-type device.
What are you doing related to big data and analytics tools?
We have a product called Beyond Wi-Fi that brings big data analytics to public Wi-Fi. This completely changes the game in Wi-Fi as it can shift the model from being paid to design/build/operate the network to using valuable data to subsidize the cost of the network.
To what extent are you and your partners doing deals with line-of-business leaders who are not in IT or telecom departments?
Our Beyond Wi-Fi product collects a lot of information about users of a public Wi-Fi network. Marketing departments love this stuff and have been able to open some doors for us. As a result we are looking to target them rather than a corporate IT department.
What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO Ft. Lauderdale?
We are excited to be back this year at ITEXPO meeting with new vendors, clients, and customers as well as learning about the latest trends that are happening. This year, Powernet will be presenting on Wi-Fi analytics and how we can help businesses create a positive ROI from their hardware.
Why should attendees seek out Powernet at ITEXPO?
Powernet is not new to the industry but this is only our second year at ITEXPO. Since we have primarily focused on selling through the agent channel some attendees might not know us, but if they attend our presentations, they will see the new technologies we have to offer as well as how to effectively sell them to their clients. We look forward to presenting and speaking on innovative topics including Wi-Fi analytics.