October 14, 2011

A day-by-day summary of CTIA ENTERPRISE & APPLICATIONS conference

The folks at CTIA did a good job running the CTIA ENTERPRISE & APPLICATIONS™ 2011 in San Deigo.  The event was laid back, much like San Deigo itself. In my opinion, the folks at CTIA under the leadership of  John Walls is running a very good social media program during these events. Here are key points to takeaway.

Day One Takeaway:
  • The theme of this event as indicated by the three keynote speakers on day one was innovation and disruption. It is fair to say, much of the innovation is being driven by the eco-system rather than the big telcos (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint etc).
  • The big telcos are trying to strengthen their competitiveness by driving internal innovation thru intraprenurship, example is AT&Ts Innovation Foundry, and collaborating with innovators in the ecosystem, as indicated by Verizon's CEO Dam Mead .
  • The focus areas that was discussed include apps, mobile healthcare, mobile payments and M2M
  • Steve Largent, CEO of CTIA, announced the results of the semi-annual wireless trends (http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10316). The big discoveries of this survey are: (1) wireless penetration rate in the U.S. is now 103.9%, in other words there are no wireless devices than people, and (2) there was a 111% increase in wireless data traffic from Jan to June 2011.
  • Largent repeated CTIAs stand over and over again - Wireless guys need more spectrum. This surely puts them at odds with NAB, the trade group representing TV broadcasters.
Day Two Takeaway:
  • Dan Schulman of @Serve by AmEx took center stage to highlight the innovation and gaps in the mobile payments ecosystem. The key points he made are: (1) NFC will not be mainstream for few years, (2) partnership is the only means by which mobile payments will become mainstream, and finally (3) check out their Serve service which is platform agnostics mobile payment system for the U.S.
  • Andy Miller, CEO of Polycom followed Dan. He pulled off the best live demo CTIA has ever seen. He live demoed RealPresence platform's ability to video conference on all three major tablet devices - iPad, Xoom, and Galaxy Tab- with over 4 people simultaneously. For me this was the best session. It highlighted that video on tablets is exploding due to device proliferations, network readiness, cloud delivery, and consumer adoption of mobile video. I bet next major growth on wireless will be multiscreen video.
  • The third keynote speaker was Don Butler of Cadillac. He showed off Cadillac User Experience (CUE) expected to come in next years models of Cadillac. CUE brings everything you have come to experience with tablet technology to your car. I expect major opportunity for multiscreen video delivery folks in automotive entertainment !

Day Three Takeaway:

I felt the format of the keynote followed by the panel dicussion to be the most informative. Third day was all about disruptive companies who are changing retail, payments, and personal communication. Quentin Hardy, Deputy Technology Editor for The New York Times did an awesome job during the panel discussion with probing questions to the three CEOs on the panel. The three panelist were Cyriac Roeding, Co-Founder & CEO of shopkick Inc, Daniel Mattes, CEO of Jumio, and Eric Setton, Co-Founder & CTO of Tango.me.
  • I should say, Tango.me CEO, Eric Setton, did a good job of resisting the pressure from Quentin to divulge more information about the premium service they are launching soon. Tango.me, a video calling service, grew to 24 million+ in 12 months time believes in working colloboratively with carriers and device OEMs to ensure the UX for their users is excellent.
  • Cyriac Roeding of Shopkick discussed how they are gentrifying brick and mortar stores by rewarding foot traffic in the store using social media. They see themselves as a loyalty program that rewards consumers based on their proximity to brands at retail location using a progressive reward system with biggest reward at the time of purchase.
  • Personally, I found Daniel Mattes Jumio to be an extremley disruptive technology. Jumio can revolutionize online and offline payments by turning any PC or cellphone camera into a credit-card payment processing system.

To conclude, in my opinion, this CTIA was small and it made up for its lack of excitement  compared to the Spring event - remember the news of AT&T and T-mobile merger - by being more intimate and interactive with smaller panels. From a multiscreen video perspective the takeaway is the proliferation of IP-connected devices, network readiness, and consumer attitude to mobile video is making video services more critical. The demand for video on IP-connected mobile devices is going to dramatically increase the amount of wireless data traffic.