Times, they are a changing….

So in my last installment, I had just undertaken a bit of a digital detox – it was a great experience for me, and I’m back with a renewed energy. I’ve learned that everything I said in the previous post is true, and I’m learning how to better make communications tools work for ME, instead of making me work for THEM.

I just came back from a cruise (a work conference venue) and while networking with my peers and some industry leaders, something became more apparent to me than ever before… times are a changing.

Back in the late 90′s, early 2000′s when I was first getting into collaboration, it was ‘voice’. Voice was the new enabling technology that was about to completely change the way data networks function, and it did exactly that. Technologies such as QoS went into rapid evolution, and the apps began to ramp up features as quick as you could blink. But here we are, 2016 going into 2017, and those apps have reached what I consider to be a point of maturity. They work, hell, they work rather freaking well. We’ve all but mastered enterprise telephony. But a shift is coming – it’s already begun.

You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again. Over the next 5 years, we’re going to see technologies such as Cloud, IOT, and Collaboration merging together. Technologies such as Tropo and Spark are going to force us to stop being ‘voice engineers’ and become ‘collaboration engineers’. This is going to require us to learn new skill sets, and think differently. We’re going to be doing more that just voice VLAN’s and DSCP, we’re going to be thinking about API and functions and automation. Let’s even give it a name – for now I’ll call it ‘CollabOps’.

So what’s next for those voice engineers among us, who are aiming to become a collaboration engineer…. learn a programming language (PHP, Python, Ruby – you choose) but learn the fundamentals. Over the next few years, the knowledge we have of communications is going to be combined with these new skills, and we’re going to create some epic stuff. Stay tuned!

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