"Entrepreneurial Thinking" was created to provide personal experiential advisory and rich information resources to entrepreneurial executives in order help open their minds, enhance their vision and extend personal perspective. Further, we will try to help navigate the evolution of the entrepreneur's businesses in the areas of equity/debt financing, M&A, strategic planning, new product or business model development, market timing and related sales/marketing efforts. Finally, we will also attempt to provide some wisdom in order to help balance the entrepreneurial workload with family.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Utility of Advanced Unified Communications...Really!

For the past several months I have been working as the EVP of Corporate Finance and "CFO" of Darkstrand, Inc. As the commercialization agent for the National LambdaRail there appeared to be limitless possibilities. Also as an early proponent of the "ASP" (Application Service Provider) which was declared "dead" by Information Week in 2002 and what is now known as SaaS (Software as a Service), Cloud Computing (a misnomer, really), etc., I was well aware that the limiting factor at this point for true commercialization and utility was no longer cost but was connectivity (bandwidth). The NLR network mitigates the bandwidth issue (if connected at 10Gbps) and is demonstrative of what the world will eventually come to know as personal high performance computing (or "PHPC"). The starting point for PHPC where HPC becomes "utility" will be in the office. This will come in the form of telepresence based unified communications. Take it a couple decades into the future and you have yourself walking into the Holodeck on the USS Starship Enterprise where Jean Luc Packard says, "Computer...I want to shoot sporting clays in Antigua"...and you are there!

With the promise of unlimited bandwidth and grid computing coupled with data center virtualization and 10Gb+ Ethernet between supercomputers - everything becomes possible... Now, back to basics and the beginning of the "(r)evolution". As I have been putting together strategic initiatives for Darkstrand and talking to investors it has become evident that will likely become evident in the office over the next few years through perfected unified communications coupled with integrated HD and then 4K telepresence.

You should also check out the iTV wall in Babylon A.D. - the movie is a little hokey but the technology it's just around the corner...

Instead of picking up a phone and dialing a number, you will point & click or use IVR (intelligent voice recognition) to engage a contact in your database (Skype on steroids with all the associated data captured and intelligently stored) and work collaboratively as though you were part of the same computer (remember Tron?). Before you even try to call a colleague, you will know his or her status (the colleague opting in with preferences, of course) including location, availability and perhaps even mood (wouldn't that be a welcomed forewarning?). With "mood" you will immediately know whether to call, email, text or video conference, etc. :-)

I love the promise and prospect of the future... The best part is that we are on a logarithmic path to getting there...

With several open source platforms(that's really the key - mass collaboration accelerating innovation...) downloadable for "FREE" and supported by large developer communities (M1's StarPound, BroadSoft [no quite as open :-)] and others) these capabilities are here now with forward thinkers/companies reaping the efficiencies and increased productivity of and through unified communications. Imagine a completely virtual office with cloud based intelligence helping you manage your business/personal relationships and recommending exactly how to interact based on circumstances. Anything from anywhere access and interacting seamlessly therein...VERY COOL...

If you want the ultimate history lesson and direct analogy or object example (applicable to numerous things including computing) you should read Nicholas Carr's "The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google". This book directly compared the way companies previously and are now looking at their IT infrastructure and computing resources. Many look to this book as a very influential example to even a manifesto for the inevitable migration for all of us to cloud computing on every level. Carr demonstrates exactly how technology changes industry by analysing the effect of power (originally starting with the dynamo and DC migrating to AC) on companies and how they migrated/innovated to survive. Eventually the power "industry" was formed and power became utility. It is no different with the eveolution from main frame >> PC >> networked PCs >> internal intranets georgraphically dispersed >> web services integration therein >> true cloud/grid computing eliminating internal IT infrastructure and data center (dynamo in power) >> 10Gbps fiber to the home and personal HPC >> and who knows... Imagine walking into your home and your personal cloud based advisor/monitor tells you, "I have monitored an anomaly in your biosystems indicating a possible aneurysm and have notified your personal health services provider" (all HIPAA compliant of course).

Or...you could really go for it and read Ray Kurzweil's, "The Singularity is Near - When Humans Transcend Biology"

Fasten you seatbelt...

All the best,


1 comment:

Unknown said...

You and I definitely think on the same level where the future of information, bio and nano technology merge with the human mind.

Ray Kurzweil's, "The Singularity is Near" is sitting in the back seat of my car. Funny you mentioned it at the end of your post. I thought of it after reading the first paragraph. We as a human race are in for such a mind blowing, accelerated trip into the future that I often wonder how we will handle it. Seems like our own brains could be left behind as technolgy races along. To think of a computer in the future that could out think the entire human population yet fit in the palm of your hand is exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Maybe that's what the other 9 tenths of our brain was set aside for. All I know is I am truly enjoying the ride.

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