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Acano: Removing the technology focus is the key to mass adoption

News   •   Jun 16, 2014 09:57 BST

Part 3 – Different perspectives, different results

OJ Winge, CEO of Acano, has worked with video communications for a number of years and has seen the industry develop. That is; he saw all the advances the industry has delivered when it came to voice, web, video and mobile. But when it came to the vision of unified communications – of combining them all and offering it to everyone, everywhere, very little progress had been made. Someone had to bring it all together.  

Acano is doing just that.

Having worked across various segments of the communications market, first at Tandberg and later at Cisco, OJ says that the time and technology for integrated unified communications has finally arrived.

“Until now, vendors have had to focus on developing solutions and optimizing for too many discrete technologies. Enabling mass collaboration requires supporting all technologies, not only focusing on your old stronghold,” says OJ. 

Many companies have solved specific problems with specific technologies for specific use cases. What was missing, according to OJ Winge, was a solution where people could still do what they liked in their existing solution while making it all work together with other platforms and technologies.

Just make it work

Apart from the inability to peek over the silos and try to find common standards, there has also been this total focus on technical aspects such as better image, better sound and lots of complex features. But what has been missing, according to OJ, is a usability focus. Too much focus has been on incremental improvements on today’s technology, rather than innovating new desirable experiences.

“When the iPhone was launched, the greatness wasn’t so much in the technical specs as in what you could do with the phone. Everything was easier than before, logical, and user-friendly. Nobody asked what standards it supported. Users just started exploring it. Why? The experience.”

According to OJ, video communications is finally becoming mainstream. Mass collaboration will be a reality. There are several large-scale projects and implementations within industries like financial services and healthcare pointing in that direction. Telemedicine, for instance, is an area that he is confident will develop rapidly as a means to handle the challenges of Europe’s aging population.

The complexity should be hidden

“I don’t think that we will see a single standard take over on the market. But the complexity of all the mixed technologies and standards should be hidden from the end user. There clearly is a large demand for solutions that can manage this in the background.”

OJ believes that the industry is finally ready to drive mass adoption of rich communications in the workplace. Cisco, Skype, Google, Apple, and Microsoft with Lync, are now rapidly doing what wasn’t possible in the past 10 years. But they also bring even more standards into the mix. For Acano, their mission is to make sure the complexity never meets the end user.

We need to make unified communications a completely natural and seamless part of how we interact with each other. Switching to a face-to-face call can’t involve going somewhere and setting something up. It must be there, whenever and wherever we need it.” says OJ. 

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