If you want to see why this is the most exciting time ever to be in our industry, check out the latest No Jitter post from Andrew Prokop, Office of the CTO, ConvergeOne. Andrew describes, and then provides a video demonstration of, a test implementation of an Internet of Things-integrated communications scenario, front-ended with a speech interface.
In the video demo, he starts out his scenarios by asking the system for telemetry information on a fictional trucking application. When he receives information that requires exception handling by a team of experts, the application is able to move the collaboration session into Cisco’s Webex Teams for an impromptu meeting where data can be displayed and participants can IM to work together toward resolving the problem.
Just a few years back, it kind of rocked this industry when the Session Initiation Protocol came along and users were able to “escalate” a single communications session from IM to voice to video, in linear fashion. What Andrew demonstrates in his post is that the meaning of a communications “session” has expanded to include basically anything that’s connected to the enterprise’s network. And those applications can communicate with the end user in a way that’s almost indistinguishable from the way a human on the other end of the line might communicate. But instead of talking to a human who has to take time to look up data in an application, the path is direct, human to machine.
The only catch is that, for this all to happen, the applications doing the work must be able to connect to all of the other applications and interfaces via APIs. That’s not a particular problem -- APIs are everywhere -- but it does mean that if you’re in enterprise IT, you might have a hole in your skill set.
It isn’t necessarily that you need to learn how to code -- to be honest, I have no idea how much of the “everybody must code” idea is hype. But I do think that to take full advantage of the new opportunities for communications, you have to internalize the idea that you’re living in a world of APIs, machine learning, and IoT.
We decided that this need had to be addressed at Enterprise Connect 2019, and we’ve put together a General Session that I’m really looking forward to. On Monday, March 18, my colleague Beth Schultz will moderate a discussion with three enterprise end users, in a session entitled, “Empowering Your Organization for a Developer-Focused Future.” The discussion will focus on how enterprise leaders can break down the barriers that still tend to exist between the various disciplines, mindsets, and cultures within different IT groups. I really believe that developing this mindset will be critical to achieving the kind of results that we see demonstrated in Andrew’s No Jitter post.
And if you’re interested in a deeper dive into the experience of building these sorts of integrations, and you can get to Orlando early, check out the TADHack Mini Orlando hackathon over the weekend preceding Enterprise Connect. We’re delighted to be partnering with Alan Quayle, TADHack founder, again this year as he brings his series of communications hackathons to town March 16-17. You can get Alan’s own thoughts about the upcoming hackathon in a No Jitter post and podcast, as well.
Bottom line, do you have to become a developer yourself? Maybe not. But do you need to do some career development if you want to thrive in the future? Quite possibly.
Enterprise Connect is a great place to do a bit of that career development. I hope to see you in Orlando.