Revolutionizing Collaborative Communications using Distributed Applications

October 1, 2022

Having recently finished work on a project involving holographic videoconferencing (which was totally awesome, by the way), my mind now drifts back to one of the things that is near and dear to my heart: the concept of distributed applications in the space of collaborative multimedia communications.

Those who know me know that I was championing this concept for several years just as the 2008 financial crisis took a grip on the world. Before that global recession, there was substantial momentum and interest. It’s a non-obvious concept, often confused and conflated with the concept of “disaggregated media.” It usually took me explaining the concept to hardware vendors, like TV and device makers, for them to understand it. However, the reaction was always positive once the lightbulb went off in their heads.

I’m back to thinking about it again. I put together a new presentation on the subject of
Revolutionizing Collaboration Technology using Distributed Applications.” It is hard for me to not think about this concept because the concept is powerful and has the potential to truly revolutionize the way we communicate. It opens the door for innovation unlike anything we have seen to date in this space.

As I take inventory of the current collaborate communications landscape, I see an unfortunate trends in the industry, including more isolation, disregard for standards or interoperability, and more centralized control. I am convinced that a more open collaborative communications platform can be created that not only creates more value for users but can simultaneously create more customer loyalty and profit growth. I have heard many users express a yearning for more interoperability, and it is frustrating to them (and me, quite frankly) that it isn’t just seamlessly possible to jump on a video call with anyone in his or her address book because different people use different vendors.

Building a distributed application platform is not trivial. I have been studying this for a long time. I understand the challenges and there are plenty. At the same time, if done properly it opens the door for substantially more user adoption and collaboration among people. This is especially true for those who need to communicate with industry partners, vendors, etc.

Perhaps most neglected of all in all of the existing collaborative communications offerings is the consumer space. I understand why. And while there are many non-interoperable solutions from which to choose, the abundance of non-interoperable options is one of the biggest problems. I, and I think most users, would prefer to select a preferred communication application provider and, from that application, be able to collaborate with anyone. This is achievable.

Are there any companies out there with vision, drive, and motivation that want to revolutionize the world?

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Paul E. Jones

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