Telecom Technology – It May Be Older Than You Think

Many of our modern telecom technologies and devices have a history that goes back further than most of us would imagine and were invented by persons we would never have imagined.  The first automatic telephone switch was the Strowger switch.  It was invented by a man named Almon Brown Strowger, and patented in 1891, who at the time was an undertaker.  His motivation apparently was that his competitor’s wife was a telephone operator and he believed that she was intercepting calls intended for his funeral home, and directing them away from him and to her husbands business.  Although these types of switches have been replaced with newer technologies, the functionality of being able to pick up your phone and dial another person with no live operator in the middle is a capability we all recognize and use today.  Another item that is in common use that has its beginnings over a century ago is the fax machine.  The facsimile machine has its roots in two inventors, Frederick Collier Bakewell and Alexander Bain who, working separately, developed the concepts and later a functioning facsimile machine – and this was in the 1840’s!  The telephone was not even patented until 1876!  Interestingly enough, much of the mathematics that drives today’s telecommunications networks and devices was postulated and derived over 50 years ago. (Remember Dick Tracys watch!) 

My point to this (besides that I think telecom history is interesting) is that technology requires more than just a good idea.  It requires the means to make use of it in an economical fashion and it requires that people be ready to use it.  While there are many telecom technologies that were ‘invented’ before many of us were born, it required new manufacturing techniques, using semiconductors and miniaturization as well as a high capacity global communications infrastructure to make those technologies affordable and thus useable.  It also required changes in the way people think and interact with technology so that they would be adopted. 

I believe that SaaS is in a similar position.  Today we are seeing the convergence of ideas and technologies with a new generation that is ready and able to adopt and use the concepts around Software as a Service.  InContact has appropriately adopted the stock ticker symbol of SaaS.   As with your cell phone, today inContact is combining a variety of technologies, new and old, that combined with an increasingly large and more reliable internet, is making hosted contact centers and at home agents a reality.  This is demonstrated by the growing number of businesses using inContact and the excitement that is building in the growing market of the hosted contact center. 

InContact, an idea that both technology and people are ready to support.

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