Combine top-of-mind topics with some the top minds to discuss them, and you’re likely going to hold a very successful three day event. Wavefront’s recent Wireless Summits achieved exactly that.
The first day-and-a-half highlighted valuable conversations about the fast changing ecosystem, and the rich opportunities presented in the machine-to-machine technology space, while the final day and-a-half focused specifically on the equally robust wireless industry. Building and driving productive connections proved to be an accurate overarching theme for the three days.
There’s little doubt valuable lessons were learned, but more importantly business is getting done. The emerging and nimble entrepreneurs had the opportunity to connect with the big and established players; the foyer and back-rooms were all about winning new customers and forging future partnerships.
There were too many highlights to share them all. Many of the speakers delivered memorable lines, thought provoking statements, and key future considerations. Edelman’s Sr. VP of Mobile Strategy Tim Hayden offered this: “We have had a few million years as a species of being upright and mobile. It’s only recent history that’s seen many of us tied to a chair with a screen at our noses. Mobile technology is empowering us to get off our duffs.”
He also suggested that “social media brought to us the dance, and mobile got us on the dance floor.” Our whole notion of customer engagement of shifting, as the “old” model of brands and agencies are no longer simply listening, responding, reacting and engaging. As Hayden points out, “mobile is changing the game, now more than often the customer is at your door, in front of the counter, not in front of their desktop.”
Henning Schulzrinne the CTO of the FCC delivered one of many outstanding key note presentations, highlighting the challenges the US is facing regarding spectrum availability. There is no more spectrum, that’s the harsh reality. The challenge is reallocating this valuable and finite resource. When I asked what keeps him awake at night, he was unwavering in offering “the aging communications infrastructure.”
The shift from copper to wireless and fibre,presents the spectre of leaving people behind. There’s the obvious urban versus rural infrastructure issues. A bigger issue to address is the question of who’s bringing forward the next generation of hardware, applications, and services for those who are hearing, speech, and visually impaired.
Schulzrinne also shared with me a real concern that we need to ensure some basic level of communications service to all. I’m confident he left everyone in the audience mulling over the notion of the “social contract”; we need to ask ourselves, who really owns the airwaves? HP Fellow and futurist Will Allen‘s take is that “mobility is not fundamentally about the device, but the device is a fundamental enabler
Terry Stuart, Chief Innovation Officer at Deloitte, shared some very sobering thoughts on the sorry state of our country’s productivity, suggesting “this could be the first generation where our kids have a lower standard of living than their parents.”
Tim Bray, a Google Developer Advocate, undoubtedly left some of the career enterprise guests shaking their heads. He was rolling out a great mantra about open source development, and startup culture, simply stating that “enterprise software is doing it all wrong.” When comparing working in a consumer product environment versus the enterprise, Bray said only one thing matters: “does the end user actually like your product?”
He has tried Google glasses, giving me his “two thumbs up.” Bray also shared with me his belief that China needs to stop censoring the Internet and let their citizens have a world of information freedom. Information technology needs to focus on delivering a better human experience.
Our ever-expanding and hyper-connected world is not just about the coolest personal gadgets, wearable devices, or appliances that communicate. The world of connected sensors, accelerometers, robotics, will have a substantial impact in terms of re engineering key sectors of our economy, such as health care, transportation, manufacturing, constructions, mining, and agriculture.
With business opportunities abound, it’s wise our entrepreneurs recognize the playing field is complex and diverse. Ask the right questions in terms of standards, regulations, jurisdictions, partner requirements and expectations—and remember Wavefront as a go to source for many of these answers.
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