TMCnet recently spoke to some of the industry’s movers and shakers about their thoughts on 2013 and the year ahead in tech. Here’s our interview with Karl Dahlin, director of strategic partnerships at VCI-Group, an independent organization dedicated to working to influence the development of industry-based standards for multimedia collaboration technologies and applications, to improve industry products and services, and to facilitate the exchange of information among its members.
What was the most noteworthy acquisition of the year, and why?
“Without a doubt the most noteworthy acquisition of 2013 is Microsoft's play with Nokia. We all know mobile communication has a big future and this allows Microsoft to keep up with Google and Apple (News - Alert) in this important space, not to mention bailing Nokia out of a difficult situation. Win win.”
Which companies are prime candidates for acquisition?
“Polycom (News - Alert) is a prime candidate for acquisition in the next 12 months. They are without a clear leader or strategy but have very good collaboration technology that would be a great addition to a larger UC portfolio.”
Who is 2013’s most interesting person in tech?
“I'm a big fan of Elon Musk, so he's definitely my pick for most interesting in 2013. Besides the amazing things he's doing with SpaceX (News - Alert), this year showed that Tesla is a very serious car company and having not only a major impact on development of electric cars, but our entire transportation infrastructure including roads and fueling options.”
What was the biggest tech failure in 2013?
“BlackBerry (News - Alert). One of the biggest falls from industry hero to zero in modern business history. Yes, they've been struggling for a while after plenty of early success, but they've had so many chances to get back in the game and become relevant again but failed to execute on a viable turnaround strategy in 2013.”
What was the most important tech development of 2013?
“I consider 2013 to be the year of WebRTC. This was the year we moved beyond the hype and were actually able to use commercial products and see why the world will be forever changed going forward because of WebRTC.”
What was the top startup of 2013?
“For me, the most exciting young companies to watch are the new visual collaboration cloud services that are disrupting the entire industry. In 2013 the two that had the biggest impact in my opinion are Blue Jeans Networks and Zoom.”
What do you expect to be the hot topic(s) of 2014?
“I'm not sure what the hot topics will be, but I hope they will certainly include video interoperability. We keep getting more visual collaboration solutions as startups continue to innovate and find ways to improve the quality of audio and video, but when do we start making it all work together? I mean really, it's about time we were able to call from any video system to any other video system the way we do with telephones today.”
What are your top three 2014 predictions for our industry?
“Polycom gets acquired. Vidyo (News - Alert) goes public. And world peace?”
If there's just one thing related to tech that businesses need to know going into 2014, what is that one thing?
“Make it mobile. If it doesn't support users on the go and isn't available in the cloud, maybe you should keep it in the lab.”