August 06, 2014

Xorcom Sees Mobile Workers, Wearable Tech as the Wave of the Future

Some might think it odd that a company which makes business phone systems would be so strongly in favor of its staffers working remotely, but that dichotomy is working just fine for Xorcom. Established in 2004, the company designs and manufactures business telephony solutions that support both traditional PSTN and VoIP communication. All Xorcom products are based on the Asterisk open source platform, making them easy to install and maintain as well as being cost-effective, since there are no per-user license fees. Various utilities that maximize system uptime include backup and restore, dedicated redundant power supplies, and TwinStar – a unique award-winning hot failover solution for the entire PBX.

Visitors can hear the whole story when Xorcom opens its booth at this year’s ITEXPO is Las Vegas. According to company CEO and co-founder Eran Gal, “Attendees will see the new Blue Steel IP-PBX system featuring redundant power supplies and hot-swappable drives, running the latest CompletePBX version 4.5 that supports smart provisioning, enhanced security, better class of service management, and more.” In addition, he added, “we’ll be demonstrating our Orion multi-point video conferencing solution.”

TMC recently had the chance to hear from Gal on his feelings about remote workers, BYOD and where this technology is set to take us:

TMC: Is the BYOD trend slowing down or is it still gaining momentum? 

Eran Gal: In my opinion, BYOD is part of a change that we see happening all over the world during the last decade or so, where the boundaries between one's “business identity” and “private identity” are disappearing. We used to work in the office and do other things at home. Today we work in the office, at home, on the beach and so on, and we receive private messages on the same mobile phone we use at work with apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and others 24/7, whether at work, at home or when traveling. We connect with our business partners, customers and suppliers via social media, and even if we don't they can see a lot about us with a quick search on the Internet. The boundaries are no longer clear and BYOD is just one more expression of the same issue. On a recent trip to Alabama I met a dealer of ours, a 10-person company, all of whom were happily working from their homes. We see more and more such businesses, as technology infrastructure allows it to be easily managed. This is no longer just BYOD, this is “BYOO” – Bring Your Own Office.

TMC: Has mobility changed the way you and your team work?

EG: Mobility has certainly changed the way we work. We have employees working from home, either part of the week or the entire week, including some on different continents! All are easily reachable, using their office extension at home, having calls directed to their mobile and calling through the PBX while on the road using an IP phone on their mobile or laptop. Document collaboration has also come a long way, and combined with mobility allows us to decentralize some of our activities and also easily work with sub-contractors and partners around the globe.

TMC: How has mobility impacted the way you interact with your customers?

EG: Everyone is closer now. It is relatively easy to get ahold of people. On the other hand, you need to know them better and to respect their lifestyle. It is important to realize that people around the globe have different working hours, different time zones, different holidays and sometimes even a different work week. And while everyone is more or less available most of the time, we need to be more sensitive to when and how they actually want to be contacted. The good part is that mobility also helps relationships grow closer. When you are connected with a customer or partner via social media you see other sides of their personality that you would not see on a business call or in a meeting, and that allows for more intimacy and empathy.

TMC: Will wearable technology have a more significant impact in the enterprise or consumer segment?

EG: Let’s take a simple example: Say I have a hearing aid; is that a business or consumer technology? Of course the decision about which device to purchase is a personal, rather than a business decision, but the application is relevant for business purposes as well. Why did I choose the hearing aid as an example? Because we are becoming a kind of cyborg faster than we imagine. Teenagers that own smartphones today relate to them almost as part of their own bodies. Whether we like it or not, smartphones for them are like eyes and ears for experiencing the world. When these teenagers join the workforce, they will not leave their eyes and ears at home and work with something else. Now combine the hearing aid I mentioned, which is a very old type of wearable technology, with the way people view their personal mobile device. If my assessment is correct it will go to BYOD wearable devices that take us one step closer to becoming cyborgs.

TMC: What are you looking forward to at ITEXPO?

EG: This year, for the second time in a row, Xorcom was the exhibitor that stimulated the most ITEXPO visitor registrations, so we are very excited about meeting all those people who are coming to see us. At the end of the day business is done by people, for people, and ITEXPO is a great place for us to meet with those who are relevant to our business.

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