Social networks light up the cloud
Morris Kaplan, one-time stockbroker and venture capitalist, brings his finance skills and recent experience as a business journalist and writer to IT, with a special interest in telecoms and how communications is being transformed by technology.
A teenager today would not dream of walking out of their home without their mobile phone. Indeed most would say that this is today’s mostly important personal accessory. Perhaps all of us in a few years will admit the only really important personal appliance will be the smartphone (or whatever its successor will be called).
Australia’s 26 million mobile phones are rapidly being upgraded to smartphones substantially based on Apple, Android and other operating systems. Teenagers are showing the way it seems as they literally adopted sms as their own means of communications. In less than five years, data has overtaken voice calls as the main mode of traffic with a huge percentage of traffic now being data coming from laptops which are wireless enabled with cards and sent to smartphones. Much of the growth is also coming from social networking through Facebook, Twitter and the use by business tapping in to these networks and offering ‘deals of the day’.
In an increasingly wireless world changes are afoot not just for teenagers but for mobile ‘warriors” too. The growth of cloud computing has been exponential in the IT and telecommunications sector. One industry category which is also showing the way in telecommunications is the call centre. The traditional contact centre is a large, fixed and high capex investment. Far from being the vast caverns located in Mumbai, they, like the fixed line of yesterday are adapting to new telecommunications technologies. Small business owners are waking up to the opportunity that the internet offers. They can have access on demand, when needed without the need to have a physical setting and an investment in equipment and people.
Smaller, more affordable call centers, ‘cloud’ enabled, make mobile call centre workers agile – they can work from home or on the road with calls, SMS and emails being sent and received as though they were sitting in the call centre. Calls can be routed to any phone nearby including mobiles (or even a hotel room in Singapore) so it becomes imperceptible to customers where the mobile worker is. The great thing about the cloud is that cloud-based software offers solutions to allow small businesses to compete with larger business.
The mobile ‘warrior’ has embraced mobility. Sales people can navigate to meetings faster, access real time news and place orders totally outside the office. The road warrior becomes a powerhouse of communication and connections. In some cases a road warrior can be more connected and productive outside the office where the technology streamlines interactions and actions.