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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: David Guthrie, CTO of PGi (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, May 17th 2012

SM: I’ll defer to you on this. This whole game is going to come under tremendous margin pressure. Everybody innovates. Everybody will continue to innovate. There will be new players that will apply more pricing pressure, but anytime it becomes a major telecom game, including cloud storage, these are all pricing games, and they’re going to come under tremendous margin pressure.

DG: Yes, I can say that about any technology. It does over time, but you have to continue to enhance, make new versions, bring new value to the users to justify price and upgrades, and that’s what we do. We recently released a new version of GlobalMeet that adds new features and functionalities that we believe brings value to our customers.

SM: If you look out five years, what is a vision for real cutting edge virtual conferencing solutions? What do you see that’s truly differently shaded and interesting?

DG: Well, before I look at five years, let me just start with right now. The ability to take and host a meeting on an iPad or tablets versus just being able to that on a desktop even a year ago, that’s how things are changing. The ability to, instead of dialing a number or having a service dial you, you just click a button and it logs you into the call automatically. I didn’t have to dial a number and enter a pass code. That’s old technology that’s been around for 20 years. I click a button, and I’m in the call immediately. We can do that now on mobile phones. We can do that with soft phones that sit on top of the mobile phones. We can do that on tablets and iPads. It won’t matter in the future where you are. You’re sitting on a 3G connection, a 4G connection, over your tablet, over your phone, you can run and host a meeting of any type. You’ll have access to any of your files. You’ll have access to any of your rooms to share information, and it’ll be virtual, and you can leverage it around the world. It won’t matter whether you’re dialing in from Atlanta or from Bangkok. The service recognizes who you are, receives the authentication, and lets you in and allows you to run the people with hundreds of people around the world simultaneously.

Software and cloud-based deployment allows you to do that effectively. To be able to say that those technologies accomplish the task today is not the case. That’s vision that we’re moving toward and a vision we think we’re ahead of our competitors on.

SM: Right. But I don’t see that as that far out. I think we understand that everything needs to be available on the mobile devices and so forth. There are bits and pieces of things that are missing from different solutions, which will get plugged within the next year or two. But going back to my question, what are some compelling visions five years out that are truly pushing the envelope. I don’t consider availability on the iPad pushing the envelope. That is a given. That is an obvious extension of functionality.

DG: The iMeet, which is our video meeting product, we’re going to continue to extend that. We think doing that through application stores for the virtual environment that we provide, allowing you to pick and choose what kinds of functions and technologies they would want in that as options and extend it based on certain niches. In other words, bringing certain types of technologies, like auto transcription, auto search and recording, digital video recording, not just recording of the audio but recording the video and all the elements that make that searchable. Those are things that we will expose in that app store and ultimately, allowing developers to build their own applications through APIs that we’re making available through software developer kits. That’s how we plan on extending. I’d love to have a perfect view of every new technology we’re going to deploy in five years, but that gives you an idea of the direction we’re headed in. In software, you have to marry it with hardware changes as well. Five years is pretty far out when you’re thinking just software.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: David Guthrie, CTO of PGi
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