Live Blogging the Connections Conference

by francine Hardaway on June 25, 2008

Did you know there is something called the Multimedia Over Coax Alliance? It’s supposedly the standard for home entertainment networks, and will power all your entertainment.

BUT: it’s the usual story. It’s not really there yet. Representatives from ActionTech, Netgear, Best Buy and D-Link talked about it on a panel this morning at the Connections: Digital Living Conference and Showcase presented by Parks and Associates

No one technology will power the digital home, but this means we hear constantly that the industry lacks simplicity. Consumers buy these home networking products, get them home, can’t use them, and bring them back. And that’s because they are not developed beginning with the customer and they don’t interoperate well. Return rates now are 20% That means the industry has to change.

Interestingly enough, bringing this same kind of simplicity to the enterprise is equallly important because the workplace has become consumerized. Providers to the consumer have to think about what’s being done in the enterprise and vice versa, because the llne between what people are doing at home and what they are doing at work is blurring. (Best Buy employees want to get on the Internet and do personal things at work when they’re on a break.)

People are bringing their home applications to the workplace. Everyone knows that Web 2.0 is present in the enterprise, even if it has been implemented on a departmental level and circumnavigating IT.

A significant percentage of the workforce is ACTUALLY working from home, because of generational differences and the realities of travel. In Cisco, if people collaborate globally, they are probably working mostly at home. If they have to collaborate with people in the same building, they are more likely working on site.

This means the consumer field needs to concentrate more on communications technology. Cisco is going to bring its Telepresence product to the consumer space soon, so watch out if you are in the consumer electronics industry. Telepresence may come to the consumer as a service, instead of a product as it is now deployed in the enterprise.

Part of this is driven by the green movement. Telecommuting is increasingly driven by costs of business travel and environmental reporting.

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