IMTC, Free Radicals and Calendars

If you are puzzled by the title, don’t be – it will all make sense along the way, I promise. The post might be a bit long, but it will be easy to read.

Last week, IMTC conducted its first ever CTO Roundtable. IMTC is really an engineering consortium, so the idea of bringing together a group of people defining today’s and tomorrow’s communication technology and solutions was brewing for a some time.

However, it is not enough to bring together technologists to talk about their favorite subject (as to putting more and better bits on the wire) – all is great in a simple world. We (IMTC member companies) are developing communication technologies and then there are people who are actually using them every day – and it would be great to hear from them, our users. And to keep us all honest and focused, we invited analysts to lead the discussions.

So we actually managed to do it. About 50 people got together in the room at AT&T offices in Middletown, New Jersey, on March 8 and 9 – CTOs, Product people, our users and analysts. Then we heard about great promise of the technology, and we heard about pain (often unexpected) it causes to those who have to put it together and make it useful. Need example? How about 700 conference rooms, fully equipped with video conferencing equipment and literally not being used in years?

We found that our industry is polluted. Polluted with free radicals. One of the analysts, David Yedwab, compiler together a list of issues rose during presentations – words ending with “ion” = free radicals. Same as free radicals in our bodies, they are doing destructive work and should be contained and put under control. Curios? Here is the list:

Proliferation Translation Integration Solution
Collaboration Interaction Federation Session
Interoperation Organization Adoption Communication
Simplification Compression Automation Authorization
Operation Standardization Telecommunication Fragmentation
Iteration Location Connection Reservation
Vision Champion Assumption Application
Optimization Transcription Caption Production
Selection Facilitation Mobilization Disruption
Monetization Personalization and (least common) Denomination

This blog post is too short to discuss all of the issues. However, if we can focus for a moment on just one of them, it was my personal revelation to see that one of the biggest obstacles in making video communications useful in enterprise is … Calendar, or in the other words, scheduling of the resources need  to conduct successful communication session! It is a problem in the big organization to be able to schedule (time to invent a word for another free radical: Schedulization) a video conference call and request and allocate all logistical resources with one simple click of a button.

Had being involved with IMTC and video communication industry for almost 13 years now, I’m definitely glad to note that we’ve grown up immensely. There was no talk about bad quality of the audio and video being a show stopper. We mastered the basics, and it is time to move up to the next level, and let all the technology work together – and be headache-free to use. We managed to identify the issues – we need to move forward to solve them, one issue at a time. IMTC will work on it, but consider this an open call to action – it is the time to join IMTC and be the part of the solution…

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