Schulich Tech Leader Talk - Musing on AI and Machine Learning

Got my MBA here in Toronto at the Schulich School of Business (nee York University) a long time ago, but I stay involved, and am part of the Technology Alumni Group, which you can follow and join here on Linkedin.  

Last night, I attended their latest Tech Leader Talk event downtown, and the topic was a good one - the outlook for AI and machine learning (ML). If you follow me, you'll know that these technologies are finding their way into the UC/collaboration space, as well as customer care. While I didn't expect to hear much on that tangent, the bigger picture is of great interest on many levels. That said, two of the panelists did talk about marketing and customer journey applications, and that alone would have been enough for me.

In short, the panel was moderated by Jordan Jacobs of Layer 6 AI. Joining him were speakers from two household names - IBM and Salesforce, along with local startup Canopy Labs, and consulting firm Idea Couture.

Waving the hometown flag, Jordan started things off with some facts and figures touting how Toronto is a global leader in AI R&D, and just how in-demand data engineers are today, especially coming out of academia - wow. A bit late in the game for me, but not for my kids!

Otherwise, there was a lively roundtable discussion about all the cool applications coming, and akin to the Internet of Things, every industry, line of work, job, etc. is somehow going to be transformed by AI/ML in our lifetime.

Sure, the hype cycle is running hot, and these things always take longer than planned, and we've been hearing about AI for decades, but there's no doubt that the stars are lining up.

Of course, the audience was quick to ask about the implications, the downside, the ethics, etc. Lots of good discussion there, and one comment that I think resonated with everyone had to do with what jobs will be hot 10 years now.

No doubt there will be tons of jobs displaced in sectors like transportation and manufacturing, but the consultant, Shane Saunderson, posited that philosophers will be in big demand then. I'm with him on this, as once AI/ML matures enough to disrupt/transform daily life, we're going to need big picture thinkers to consider what it all means and understand the implications/opportunities for humanity and the planet. Sign me up!

That's all I have for now, but will leave you with two things. Below is not-great photo of Juan Carlos Sanchez of the Tech Alumni group introducing the panel. Secondly, the event was live-streamed on their Facebook page, so if you want to watch, here's the link.

My Next Webinar - Machine Learning and Utility Asset Management

Time flies when you're busy!

Last week I was at the SCTC conference and between speaking and playing music with the SIPtones, I didn't get any blogging done. Just getting a free moment to blog now, and while it's short notice, I have another webinar to tell you about.

Actually, I have three webinars coming up before year end, and will have posts coming soon on the other two.

Tomorrow's webinar has me wearing my Smart Grid hat with Zpryme, and I'll be moderating on the topic of machine learning and  how it's impacting the way utilities build and monitor their power networks.

Very similar issues to the service provider space, actually, and am looking forward to it. Joining me will be executives from Spark Cognition and Duke Fossil and Nuclear - all the details are here, and it's not too late to register!

MoNage Conference - Quick Post

MoNage Conference - Quick Post

Am just here for two days at Jeff Pulver's new event, MoNage. This is about messaging - Messaging on the Net, and the 2016 world Jeff is trying to get a fix on. Learning lots here about how this space is evolving and what it means for, well, just about everything. It's really a startup event, but as first takes go, it's pretty good.

Jeff has done a great job bringing a lot of the band back together from the VON era, along with people half our age we don't know, but are clearly at the cutting edge of messaging. It's a cool mashup, and everyone is meeting new people and learning new things. I'll have more to say in a future post, but I need to get back to the sessions. 

Read More

My Writing Roundup - July and June - and the Bigger Picture for JAA

I've been doing a monthly digest for a while here on my blog to summarize my top posts in one place.

Most of my followers don't know that I'm published regularly on four different portals, with one of them being 12 posts each month. Additionally, I post original content here on my blog, write one-off articles that turn up in a variety of places, share my current white papers here, ghost write posts for select clients, and am cited in the media from time to time.

In short, I produce a lot of content, all of it fueled by my ongoing research and involvement in the UC&C space. These monthly digest posts are a good way to get a taste of my current thought leadership, and I hope that leads you to explore more about my practice. Almost all of the above forms of writing can be accessed here on my website, and part of the refresh I just went through was to make it easier for visitors to find everything. 

For example, if you only follow me on Ziff Davis or UCStrategies, you may think that's all I do. Spend some time here on the my site, and you'll get a fuller picture. On that note, I should add that this new site is still in beta mode, and there's LOTS more content coming soon.

Enough said, so let's get on to the roundup. This time around, I'm doing a double digest, as I didn't get a chance to do June, mainly due to the cutover from my old site to here. There's a lot to summarize over two months, so I'll just hit the high spots, and perhaps you'll explore further here on your own.

Tomorrow's UC - Nobody's Talking About Voice, UCStrategies, July 28

Should our video strategy be built by lines of business?, TechTarget, July 27

UC's Future Ain't What it Used to Be, Enterprise Management 360, July 26 (article runs on pp. 5-8; PDF version available on request)

Choosing the Right Partner for UC,, July 25

The Communications Gap - it's Business and it's Personal, Vonage, my new white paper, July 25 (scroll down this page - you'll find a few references to the WP there - PDF available upon request)

Welcome to my New Site!, my blog, July 21

Three Ways IoT Impacts your Contact Center for UC,, July 18

What collaboration tools are right for my organization?, TechTarget, July 14

What Connected Customers Mean for Collaboration,, July 12

Reconsidering the Value of Telephony, Part 2,, June 29

Assessing Deployment Options for UC, ShoreTel, new white paper, June 23 (PDF available upon request)

How Community Drives Collaboration,, June 21

Is Interactive Intelligence an Exponential Organization?, UCStrategies, June 20

Five Forces Driving Collaboration,, June 13

Choice - Perhaps the Best Reason why SMBs Should use Hosted VoIP,, June 10

Interactions 2016 - Reimagine the Future, my blog, June 9

Welcome to my New Site!

Blogging has gone quiet for a while, not just because I was on vacation where there wasn't much broadband, but because we've been getting this new site ready for launch.

The site went live about a week ago. but the blog wasn't fully ported over until last night. I can finally blog again, and there's a big backload of posts coming.

For now, I just want to get the early word out about my new site. As you may know, until now my blog and my website were standalone entities. I'm very old school, and when I started out as an indie back in 2005, I had a strict church and state thing about keeping my objective content/analysis separate from the commercial side of my business. Being an indie analyst, I have to do both telling and selling, and felt they needed to be kept separate.

Things are different now, and being established, I can live with these under the same roof, and that's a big part of what's happening with this refresh. Apart from that, my practice has evolved since 2005, and so has my messaging, and hopefully the new site reflects that.

I hope you stick around and explore the site, and better yet, let me know what you think. There's still a lot of content coming, so I'm treating this as a soft launch. The basic content is in place, so if you're trying to figure out what I do and how I can be of service, you can do that now. I have tons of links coming that provide examples of my work, so the site will be in beta mode for a bit.

Until then, I hope you like what you see, and there's a signup form if you want to follow my blog, as well as links to my Twitter and Linkedin feeds. Stay tuned, lots more to come!