The DroidDevCast

DataXoom Founder & CEO Chris Hill on Mobile-First Enterprise Solutions

Episode Summary

On this episode of The DroidDevCast podcast, Esper Platform Evangelist Rin Oliver spoke with DataXoom founder & CEO Chris Hill on mobile-first enterprise solutions, the finer details of 5G in the enterprise, and attempted to cut through the fog of what 5G will and won’t be bringing to the telecommunications industry in the future. Later in the episode, they explore the benefits of using a platform such as DataXoom in the enterprise, and the benefits that telecommunications providers and businesses both can get from embracing purpose-built devices, and understanding the thresholds of not only today’s technology, but tomorrow’s.

Episode Notes

On this episode of The DroidDevCast podcast, Esper Platform Evangelist Rin Oliver spoke with DataXoom founder & CEO Chris Hill on mobile-first enterprise solutions, the finer details of 5G in the enterprise, and attempted to cut through the fog of what 5G will and won’t be bringing to the telecommunications industry in the future. Later in the episode, they explore the benefits of using a platform such as DataXoom in the enterprise, and the benefits that telecommunications providers and businesses both can get from embracing purpose-built devices, and understanding the thresholds of not only today’s technology, but tomorrow’s.

In this Episode of The DroidDevCast: 

0:40 - What is DataXoom?
05:35 - What are some of the key benefits to utilizing single-purpose devices in the enterprise?
10:24 - What do you do differently that makes DataXoom unique?
17:31 - How do you see DataXoom positioning itself to meet the increased needs of those businesses (getting into 5G)?
24:15 - How do you see 5G impacting the industry?
28:13 - Where do you see the future of telecommunications going, and what do you think the world's going to look like in 10 to 15 years?

Episode Transcription

Rin Oliver (00:05):

Welcome to The DroidDevCast, the podcast brought to you by the team at Esper, bringing you the latest news, thoughtful discussion and insight to all things, Android, Android dev-ops, and open source software development. I'm your host Rin Oliver, platform evangelist at Esper. And today I'm joined by Chris Hill, founder and CEO at DataXoom, to discuss getting started with single-purpose devices. Chris, thank you so much for joining me today.

 

Chris Hill (00:25):

Well, thank you very much, Rin, pleasure to be here.

 

Rin Oliver (00:28):

You're very welcome. And as I mentioned, we're going this week to discuss purpose-built solutions for the mobile first enterprise, how the telecommunications industry is prioritizing the switch to 5G, and what that means for today's enterprises. So, Chris, to start us off, can you tell our listeners a bit about DataXoom? Who are you? What do you do?

 

Chris Hill (00:43):

Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to. And I'll give you some background here, so clearly understand this because what we're doing is a little bit different. But some of the keywords, you mentioned enterprise, purpose-built, and many terms for purpose-built, single-purpose. But what we do specifically, we support LTE for purpose-built deployments in the enterprise. To take a step back, the reason we founded the company is we found that large enterprise customers who are supporting and deploying these purpose-built deployments were being forced into these, what we'll call consumer models, right? So these large carriers have these consumer models. You had to build your solution around that model, right? Whether it be a data plan or contract, whatever that is. So we found that for these customers, they don't view the carrier like regular consumers do.

 

Chris Hill (01:36):

They view the carrier as a commodity. It's almost like buying electricity. So what we've done is partnered with these carriers. And so the easiest way to describe this is, till now you had to build your purpose-built solution around LTE, and now we've partnered with the carrier, so we can now insert LTE into your purpose-built solution. And that's a key thing because even though LTE is important, and in the consumer world, LTE is everything, right? The carrier is your lead partner, does everything for you. In our world, the purpose-built world, LTE is just a small part, like a small part of the entire solution. And so we do that. We're able to deliver that commodity to them.

 

Rin Oliver (02:14):

Actually, I had a quick question actually, on my part, if I'm understanding you correctly, traditional telecommunications providers, like the big names here in America, would try to wrangle enterprises into signing contracts with them?

 

Chris Hill (02:27):

And that's one small part of it. So yes, and contracts for enterprise that's not really that big of a deal. What's more important is the method of how they have to buy the mechanism, right? So think about buying things in a platform or in volumes that don't work for you, right? So these enterprise customers, thousands of deployments and devices, and they may be using small amounts of data, they may be using large amounts of data. That's not what the carriers are built for, right? The carriers are built for consumers. Again, 95% of their base is not purpose-built, they're users just like me and you, right? We pay 50, 60, 70 bucks a month to the carrier. And that's the same with a normal enterprise, for a normal enterprise user. And that's what the carriers do, right?

 

Chris Hill (03:11):

You give them 50, 60 bucks, they give you everything, they give you a full experience. So there's been no alternative. So the carriers, and most specifically the enterprises have figured out how to adapt to that consumer model and how to acquire data for these very specific applications using this consumer model. And it hasn't been pretty, they've made it work because there's no other choice. So contracts are a part of it, but it's really about flexibility. It's being able to consume LTE as a commodity as they need it. Not as it's sold traditionally here in the US, which is more of an experience, right? You're paying for this whole experience. Enterprise customers for purpose-built, they don't need that. They just need the very basic commodity of LTE.

 

Rin Oliver (03:59):

So it's like, for example, if you're on a contract and you just need data, you don't need texting in a way?

 

Chris Hill (04:04):

Very much so. Similar to that, and also very much the way things are built. So you hear a lot about unlimited plans and things like that. Well, it doesn't exist, right? It can't, right?

 

Rin Oliver (04:15):

Yeah.

 

Chris Hill (04:16):

But the carriers market it to say unlimited. Our customers don't use unlimited because it doesn't work for them, right? Enterprise customers can't be throttled at a certain time or so forth. But an enterprise customer may dial in, there needs to be 1.3 gigabyte per month. And the ability for us to create very specialized rate plans that may include multiple carriers, multiple services, and also may allow them to scale up and down automatically, that's the model they need. Right now, the only model again, is carrier pricing is very difficult. You can pay $30 for two gigabytes of data or $40 for unlimited data, right?

 

Chris Hill (04:55):

It's not really a rational decision, right? It's kind of the supersizing effect. Again, it's marketing. And we remove the marketing aspect out of this because our customers don't need that. And let me be clear, that's not to say the carriers are doing anything wrong because when you're buying in that model, you're buying a whole experience from the carrier. And they're giving you that entire experience. A lot of times the equipment, all your support, they give you everything you need. Well, our very unique customers, they just don't need that. So to be paying for it, and also to be paying in a model that is based upon it is expensive, challenging, and inefficient.

 

Rin Oliver (05:31):

Yeah. That sounds very inefficient. So in your opinion, Chris, what are some of the key benefits to utilizing single-purpose devices in the enterprise, such as field service, healthcare, transportation industries, all of those have a tendency to have a great need for single-purpose devices that are built to do one thing and do it really well, how do you see that?

 

Chris Hill (05:48):

Yeah. So we, I'll say somewhat new to the purpose-built environment, and purpose-built from, and I've always been in mobility for 20 years or so. And so purpose-built was always something like a zebra device, or the easiest one is the FedEx guy who walks in, he's got a little gun on his hip and he can make a phone call from. That was a purpose-built device. Well, what we've seen is this transition from purpose-built being a device to purpose-built being a use case. And it's been a real big transition. And I think something that is really making the market explode. And here's what I mean. So now the use case is what is driving the purpose-built functionality. So what used to be purpose-built was a $2,000 custom device. Well, what now is purpose-built could be $120 smartphone. But it's all the infrastructure around that use case.

 

Chris Hill (06:42):

So some of the characteristics of purpose-built, forget about the device, it's how complex it is. So usually in an enterprise, if it's purpose-built, there's multiple stakeholders in multiple different departments, whether it be finance, dev-ops, operations, software development, security compliance, right? All these different stakeholders vested in this purpose built solution. And then you've got all the partners, right? Companies like yourselves providing specific security layers, mobile device management, you've got the carriers, you've got companies that deploy the equipment, that manage the equipment. So there's this large ecosystem of partners that support this purpose-built solution.

 

Chris Hill (07:21):

That being said, the single-purpose device has never been, I'll say more cost efficient. So now with these devices costing less, with companies like us and other partners that have built these solutions, which now allows customers to deploy these purpose-built solutions. And it's really critical to understand purpose-built is solving a very specific business problem. And generally speaking that cannot be done if you can just solve it with your cellphone, right? So in other words, if you're an enterprise and you just put an application on your cell phone, the user cellphone that solves all the problems, well fine, you don't need a purpose-built solution. What we do and what our customers do, purpose-built really is there as a specific need that's being solved. And whether that's healthcare, whether it's transportation, whether it's retail, all the things we talk about. The ROI now, because of just technology and the cost of LTE, the availability of LTE, the cost of devices, the cost of technology, and the fact that companies like you can lock these things down, right?

 

Chris Hill (08:27):

So a few years back, if you put an LTE device in the field, you were just hoping nothing bad happened. So now for, what we'll call inexpensive dollars, comparatively speaking to what has been in the past, we can deploy these solutions. And they are so powerful. And what's more powerful, even though we call it a single-purpose device or a purpose-built device, that doesn't mean it just does one thing. So now what we're seeing is this evolution of a purpose-built device still being different than a consumer device, but being able to do many things, right? And that's one, partly because the devices are just so powerful, and the software providers have built software that allow these things to replace so many... And so we're talking remote patient monitoring for healthcare and the number of things you can do. And so for retail inventory management, procurement, POS transactions, right? One single solution device that is solving five, six, seven, eight business problems, critical business problems.

 

Chris Hill (09:27):

So purpose-built, to us, is very exciting, it really is. It's, I think, in its infancy because many companies have been using and running their businesses off of purpose-built for a long time. But there's this whole new world that's just opened up, and healthcare being... and even what we've experienced with COVID and the changes in HIPAA, and what's now being allowed, and what we're doing right now, right, remote. The ability for purpose-built devices, the use cases for them, the ROI for them, the fact that the infrastructure is there to support them, the devices are cost-effective. It's really an exciting place to be.

 

Rin Oliver (10:07):

That sounds, it is an exciting place to be. There's so much happening. And it seems like every time you turn around there's something new. So in that note, speaking of something new and something cool, why don't you tell us a bit about how DataXoom is differentiating itself from the traditional way of doing things? What do you do differently that makes DataXoom unique?

 

Chris Hill (10:24):

Sure, sure. So, first off, let me explain that, I've done some talking about LTE support. And first off to understand what LTE really is, what I'm talking about, right? So there's only four major carriers in the US, they're the ones who own all the towers and networks. Now there's these hundreds of other secondary carriers, right? Spectrum Mobile, TracFone, Straight Talk, all these different MVNOs, they're called, or wholesale partners. And so the market's really cluttered. So where we fit is we resell LTE, but we work directly with the carrier. And the difference there is when you're a partner of a carrier, a wholesale provider, you have to access their network through your own, basically carrier network. So what that means in essence, right, if I had a whiteboard here, I draw the big Verizon network, and if you're going through an MVNO or a smaller wholesale provider, to get to the Verizon network you've got to go through this small server somewhere.

 

Chris Hill (11:21):

So you've got this single point of failure. You've got a different experience. And for consumers, that's fine, right? Because it's all about cost and price for consumers. But in the enterprise, this stuff is mission critical. So you can't add these layers. In many cases, you can't add these layers of single points of failure and things like that. So the first point to understand is what we really do and what our niche is, is working closely with the major carriers to resell their services exactly as they deploy them. So we're in lock step with the carrier. We don't compete with the carrier in any way, shape or form. We're working closely just to serve their customers better. Now, how we do it? So the first thing is our platform. So we've built this platform, it's a carrier grade billing and rating platform. It's for lack of a better term, we kind of say, it's the real deal.

 

Chris Hill (12:09):

And what I mean by that is the only people that have built something like this are actual carriers. But we built it because we saw a need for it. And think of it this way, our platform is very robust, it interacts with the carrier networks and allows enterprise customers to fully interact and manage all of their services, but we're billing them in a way that fits them. So this platform, again, I liken it to an 18 wheeler, right? You either have an 18 wheeler or you don't. And so we've built this tool, which is like an 18 wheeler, and most customers, and most specifically the carriers, the reason they've aligned with us is simply because of that. No smaller partners have built or gone out and bought an 18 wheeler just for the heck of it, right? They'll have pickup trucks or whatever you normally need.

 

Chris Hill (12:58):

Well, we have. We've built this tool. Our platform is very robust and it does some amazing things. So the carriers understand it and have allowed us to resell their services because of this platform. Now, the platform, we first built the platform, because of the platform we really built strength with the carrier relationships. They took us seriously. They saw the platform and they said, "Wow." And we started doing some work for them with some of their very unique customers saying, "Hey, DataXoom, can you guys help us bill this customer?" And we did. And so we found this niche of working closely with the carrier. In addition, we've got the first part of our... so we got our platform and then what I call our ecosystem. The first part of our ecosystem are the carriers, and they're primary carriers.

 

Chris Hill (13:44):

Now the next part of our ecosystem is our partners. And in a purpose-built solution, we may have touched upon it earlier. There's so many layers of partners. So mobile device management, enterprise mobility management, telecom expense management, kitting, staging, deployment, finance, LTE, all these different partners. And our ecosystem connects to those. So our platform we've built to integrate and support all of these partners. And so we don't compete with any of these partners, we provide a platform that just gives them access, and also the end customers access to their data. So let me give you an example of what that means. You've got a customer, they come to us and they want to deploy X number of devices. We sit down with them, we understand, we build off the data modeling to what they need. And then we also understand, "Okay, who is your MVN provider? Who is your enterprise mobility management provider? Who are the key people?"

 

Chris Hill (14:44):

And then our platform, we work with all the major providers in all the areas. So we now don't try to resell them on other things, right? So we don't go into this customer and say, "Okay. You got to buy our mobile device management. Or we're aligned with this partner." We don't do that. What we do is figure out what they already have or what they need and build the ecosystem around that. And the other thing which we've done is those are our ecosystem partners that we're supporting. We also work with companies like Salesforce.com, and ServiceNow, and Oracle, where we're taking all of our information along with our ecosystem partners information, and putting that into enterprise CRMs. And the end goal there is that an enterprise CRM now has the ability, whether they're using their own CRM, or using our platform or someone else's to be able to control all of the LTE based services that are in the field, right?

 

Chris Hill (15:38):

You don't need a separate system to do it. We're trying to integrate into their model. I'll mention one last part of what we do. And we've really gained a really specific view onto how these deals happen and the importance of things. And I'll call it our expertise. But we don't really have, I hope this is okay, but I don't have a have a better way to say it, but we don't really have a dog in the fight, okay? Meaning we're selling this LTE, and there's a limited amount of what that is. But as far as devices, as far as partners, we're not aligned, we're just there to support whatever they need. So we have this unique position working with our customers that we're not compensated by one partner versus another. We're not pushing them in one direction or another.

 

Chris Hill (16:22):

And there's a lot that goes into those decisions. Our decisions easy, it's LTE, do you want AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile? It's easy. Or Rogers, or something like that. These other decisions are very complex. And we've got the ability because of our platform and what we deliver to be a part of those decisions, and to understand the progression of them, and the importance of things. So in a very high level, it's our platform, our platform drove all of our agreements with our carriers. That has really driven this large ecosystem of partners that we work with and support. And the end goal is, again, delivering to the customer what they need, not what we're trying to sell them, but building these solutions around their infrastructure. So they don't have to change for us or our partners or carriers, but we're building it for what they need.

 

Rin Oliver (17:10):

Absolutely true. Being able to provide customers what they need instead of what they don't, and that's also critical business value in general. So that's great that you're able to fill that need without shoehorning them into a solution that they don't need. That's wonderful. For my next question, I was wondering with many of today's largest telecommunication network providers making the switch to 5G, how do you see DataXoom positioning itself to meet the increased needs of those businesses?

 

Chris Hill (17:31):

So this is a great question, great topic, hot topic. And I'm going to do this just because 5G is this mythical thing, right? And just it's everywhere, right? You look up and it's 5G. This is 5G. 5G, it solves everything. But I want make sure people understand what it is we're talking about. So first off 5G is just a standard. So there was 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, and there's a standards board, 3G standards board that says, "Okay, 4G standards mean X. It means you can... data speeds of 100 megabytes, and bandwidth of certain things." So it's just a standard. So that's what the standard is. So now understanding the standards, I think is really, really critical. And I hope this doesn't go too far off of topic, but I think it's really, really important for anyone here to understand what 5G means.

 

Chris Hill (18:20):

And again, I'm talking about this from a very specific perspective, the purpose-built perspective, not the consumer perspective. So I'm going to use something called the elevator principle. And the elevator principle was something that was told to me years and years ago by an executive of a large elevator company here in the US. And he was just telling us that, the elevator world has hit its pinnacle, there is no more innovation that can be done in elevators. And I just was puzzled, right? I'm like, "That's ridiculous. How can you stop innovating?" And he said, "Well, here's the issue. If we go too fast going upwards, people pass out. If the elevators too fast. If it drops too slow, or drops too quick people throw up. So we are limited." They've hit the technology threshold.

 

Chris Hill (19:02):

We can make them lighter and more efficient, but as far as an experience, nothing more can be done. You can't have people passing out, you can't have people throwing up. So it's very important to 5G to understand what 5G means. So just to give you a quick analogy, 3G, if you remember 3G, think of that as a two lane highway, each lane can go 65 miles an hour. Okay, so that's great. If there's only two cars on it, one car going each way, that's a great experience. And, oh, by the way, 65 miles per hour in wireless terms, that's a really good experience. That's watching video. You can watch video, maybe not high-def video, but you're watching video, you're streaming. So that's 3G, right? That's 20 years ago technology. But that's what 3G standard said, right? Two cars. Now, one problem is, okay, it's a two lane road, so if you get more than two cars, man, traffic starts backing up very quickly.

 

Chris Hill (19:49):

Okay, let's go to 4G. So 4G, that's like a six lane road, right? So you've took two lanes to six lanes. And now your data speeds are like 200 miles an hour, right? But here's the thing, kind of like the elevator principle, you're still only going to drive 65 or 70 miles an hour. There's some people that may drive 150, but that's not a normal thing, right? There's not really a need to. But what's really more important about 4G is, you have three lanes on each side so that you can... you have six times the amount of cars enjoying that 65 mile an hour experience. So 4G is really good. And I will tell you, 3G, some people have experienced over the past couple of years, as the networks on 3G have become, they've removed subscribers, people have in remote areas, have had really amazing 3G experiences because the lack of people. They had a two lane road with no one on it.

 

Chris Hill (20:38):

They were just cruising, flying up and down it. So 3G might've been better than 4G. Okay, now we have 5G. So what 5G says, "Okay, we're going to build a 50 lane highway that you can drive 1,000 miles per hour on." And it's like, "Wow, that's great. That's really, really, it's amazing." And that's what the technology does. When you see some of these data speeds, it's really unfathomable what data can be pushed through that. However, the key point is what are we going to use it for? Now, we know what the carriers use it for. The carriers need it to make better coverage, to reuse the frequencies, and it's also marketing, right? It's the next thing. But what does an enterprise use it for? And so it's like an elevator, okay? So how much faster can you go up? Because once you're at about 20 megabytes per second, or even 12 megabytes per second, which, oh, by the way is the average 4G speed.

 

Chris Hill (21:26):

That's about the best wireless experience you can have, right? You're getting a great experience. Where these massive speeds come in, really start impacting download times, right? So 5G, we do a lot of this and we understand that the single most important use case for 5G right now would be the following. If I'm late for a plane and I'm running down the terminal and I want to download a two gigabyte movie in five minutes, 5G is going to allow me to do that, okay? Which just means it's like taking an elevator that can hold 5,000 pounds. It's not increasing the speed at which it goes up, it just allows it to do more. So there's very unique use cases for actual 5G standards. With that being said, 5G is going to build and begin driving all sorts of technologies, and really more infrastructure.

 

Chris Hill (22:16):

And that's where, I think, in the enterprise, we're going to see the big wins. So it's not about data speeds, it's not about hype. It's about, okay, all this additional infrastructure that is being deployed because of 5G. And it really is where it's going to be. And it's all about coverage, right? The fact that if you've got a mission critical application, purpose-built, everywhere you go you should have coverage. And that's what 5G, not now, but in several years is really going to produce because basically every router, right, every cable box that's in everyone's house, and every fixture that's outside is going to have additional access points or routers. And that's going to provide better coverage. Now, there's all kinds of security issues around that. There's all kinds of hurdles that have to be overcome, but we have to start somewhere. And we've started.

 

Chris Hill (23:06):

So from an enterprise perspective, I don't see an immediate impact. That being said, I think it's very important. And I think as anything that is early to embrace it, understand it and find out where it can really help us. So that's what we're in the midst of doing now, really quantifying it, really understanding it, getting past the hype, and seeing where 5G is really going to make healthcare better. And it will, it will. How we get there, and also candidly, the ROI, it's got to make money, right? It's got to make money for companies. And so figuring all those pieces out. And right now 5G, the carriers, it's really a consumer marketing model and it's good. It's exciting. But as far as impacting real world mission critical solutions, not something we're seeing in the near term, in the next six or 12 months, probably nothing, and really probably the next couple of years. But we're seeing pieces of it infiltrate. And that's a good thing.

 

Rin Oliver (24:03):

I agree completely. So on that note, answered my second question a little bit for this segment, how do you see those little segments of 5G and what 5G could eventually bring to the table impacting the industry and your work at DataXoom, if it's not even close yet, what do you think is next on the horizon?

 

Chris Hill (24:20):

Well, yeah. And I want to be careful, 5G, the technology is here, it is being deployed. But it's now what the benefit of that deployment is. And it's also to understand how wireless network works is, every wireless network is connected to a wireline network in the ground. And so you can't have one bigger than the other. So for example, you could have this massive wireless network, but if your underground network can't support the wireless network, it won't work. So you've got to have everything working in tandem. And so 5G is just an extension of that. And so 5G has really allowed technologies to work at higher spectrum, higher frequencies, and doing some really cool things. So where we do see it is, again, the understanding that, okay, so here's something that we think is, in healthcare we have these large cable companies, and a lot of these cable companies like a Spectrum Mobile, they're selling mobile phones, right?

 

Chris Hill (25:17):

They're reselling carrier networks. Well, each of those little cable subscriber boxes they have in millions of homes, they could become a 5G hotspot, right? So that when you walk into your home, you're now on a 5G network and off of LTE, which means it makes LTE better, and it makes your experience in 5G better. 5G does have some limitations, it doesn't work very far, right? So a lot of times 5G access points are literally 100 feet, 50 feet. So it's like a hotspot in your home. What's going to be really important is how that mesh network is built out. So what the carriers are doing now is they're doing a really good job deploying it in areas where it can provide the most bang for their buck and really learn, learn how it's impacting.

 

Chris Hill (26:00):

And so I think you see in a lot of cities, there's very specific areas where 5G, and if you happen to get on 5G, it's generally a really good experience. But again, where we see it changing is, and where bits and pieces is, so one is security, right? So look at healthcare and security, and enterprise security. Well, people have had to change how they view security, right? HIPAA compliant has been turned upside down in the last six months. And I think what we're seeing in 5G is some of that same thought, right? So you used to have this closed Verizon network, this closed AT&T network. You can manage security there. Well, now all of a sudden it's not a closed AT&T network, it's 20 million hotspots interacting with someone else's network, and moving these transactions through those networks.

 

Chris Hill (26:50):

So the security aspects of it. So I think we're seeing, and will see the ability to better manage security. And whether it could be changing our own understanding of security, like I think HIPAA has done most recently. They've had to relax some of their guidelines. It's the way it is. Either you relax guidelines or you don't help people. And so they've chosen to relax some guidelines and really help people. So I think that's where we see the inroads. There'll be some smaller things where a certain area, right, you may be in downtown Boston and you're at a certain area and say, "Wow, I've got 5G. It's a great experience." But if you're in a purpose-built solution, moving around, you're going to spend 95% of your time on LTE for the next several years. And so the innovation that has driven the amount of companies engaged of wanting to deploy this, I think it opens several things from equipment manufacturers, to people willing to push their own understandings of restrictions and limitations around security, and all of these things I think are being moved forward by 5G.

 

Rin Oliver (28:00):

That makes a lot of sense. And on that note, let's look a little bit towards the far future. My colleague, Billy, actually wanted to know where do you see the future of telecommunications going, and what the world's going to look like in 10 to 15 years? Let's really stretch it out here. He remembers getting a flip phone and having to do the, don't call me until after 7:00 thing. I really want to hear this one.

 

Chris Hill (28:26):

Well, and I think we've got to set our proper [crosstalk 00:00:28:29]... So 4G LTE launched in 2000, early 2000s, and it really became prevalent just a couple of years ago, right, that you could actually live off of. As a matter of fact, 3G networks on all the major carriers still exist today, they're not being turned off until next year. So it's always this iteration. Now, things are moving so quickly, right, with technology and what we're able to do. And just in the last couple of years, and now with what we've experienced the last six or 12 months, most specifically the last six months, I think, some things can't change, right? The elevator principle, a body can only go up so fast before passing out, right? So those are some constraints we have. And those constraints are, "Okay, you've got a wireline network and wireline carriers. And you've got wireless networks. And they have to work hand in hand. And then you've got all the middle layers and software providers."

 

Chris Hill (29:16):

So in the next 10 or 15 years with the robust nature of the infrastructure that we continually... I still believe that if COVID would have happened a few years ago, I don't think we had the proper infrastructure to be able to support what we've done from a work from home perspective and remote schooling, even three to five years ago. I know in my own city, many areas have been upgraded over the past two years, that without those upgrades... and these are companies putting fiber in the ground, putting new routers in. Without that, that couldn't have happened. So as all the infrastructure, which is really being driven, and when you see the amount of 5G infrastructure, and as the software insecurity advances to where seamlessly you've got wireline and wireless, and all these various wireless technologies working together.

 

Chris Hill (30:04):

I think to see this world in 10 years... And there's two types. One is the whole, how we act as a person, right, and how technology impacts us. And I look at my phone 300 times a day, right? So I'm just getting rid of that. Hopefully I fix that. But the flip side of it, health and the benefits of technology and the access. Listen, just the advent of how people have opened up their ability to communicate using Zoom, right? Six months ago, people were afraid to get on zoom. They were afraid to show their faces, and that's a normal thing. But now it's just, it's like meeting someone. So everyone's inhibitions have been reduced. And, to me, all of those things working together. So again to go back to 5G technology, what this looks like in 10 years or 15 years, I think, it really is, the infrastructure needs to continue to get there. I think within three to five years, the infrastructure is going to be to the point of the elevator, right? It just can't get any faster. How much faster do you have to send a bit of data from somewhere right?

 

Chris Hill (31:05):

Now, it's what we do with it, and how we make healthcare better, and how we make education better. And those are the things that are just so exciting. And we have a lot of retail and transportation logistics companies, and the things they're able to do and how efficient they're able to build their routes and get goods from one place to another, and transact with their customers, all of those things. It's hard to speculate except that we just continue to get better and the infrastructure. And that's where something like 5G, I think, is really, really important. It may not change what I'm doing tomorrow, but it's leading the path to where in 10 years we look back going like, "Wow. Do you remember when we had to do this that way?

 

Chris Hill (31:47):

It's almost like saying, "Remember a few years ago when you had to call up to buy a plane ticket. That's the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard of." But 10 years ago, that's what you had to do, or 12. As these things change... So it is really exciting. And I think we need to harness the power for good of all this technology and communications. And I think we're doing that. And so it's exciting, and I think our world is going to be better. I think our kids are going to be smarter. I think people are going to be more healthy and hopefully, I hate sounding too overly optimistic here, but it'll make things better as it always does. And hopefully within that, some very specific things that can help, in EMS and emergency services, and all of those types of things that are really... There's some really incredible things coming to systems that are already pretty good. And those will be the things that I think are going to be most impressed and most impactful to us. And we're right there. And we've got the, I think, right company is working on it and there's the right acceptance.

 

Chris Hill (32:49):

The companies we're working with, they're excited about this stuff and they see the old way and the new way. It's not easy. It's not easy changing from... I make an analogy where, it's like going to the grocery store in the milk section and buying gasoline. And the reason I say that is the world is changing, how we interact. And it's so difficult sometimes to understand that we're so used to going to the supermarket to get eggs. That's where you get them. That's where you've got them for 50 years. Well, things are changing. And so as much as technology is there, it's also up to us to embrace those different changes and adopt the change. But I see that happening and I do think there's never positives when something like COVID hits, but we learn from them. And I think there's a lot that's been learned that will turn into good things post-COVID.

 

Rin Oliver (33:44):

Absolutely. That definitely answered the question. And I agree completely. I think that's true because I think people are going to see a lot of improvements to schools, improvements to public service, ambulances, hospitals, et cetera. And the world's just going to be better in a lot of ways. And I think that's really important. Yeah. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it.

 

Chris Hill (34:04):

Rin, thanks for the form, and Esper is a great partner. And so I think doing some really good things. So these type of, the ability to have joint discussions and really understand all aspects of what we're all doing, I think is really, really helpful. So thank you for the format.

 

Rin Oliver (34:22):

You're very welcome. Thank you so much for joining us on this episode of the DroidDevCast. We'll be back next week with another exciting show for you. Please remember to like, subscribe, and share this episode on social media. You can also follow us on Twitter at @Esperdev, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest happenings right here at Esper. You can listen to The DroidDevCast on Apple, Spotify, Simplecast, or wherever you get your podcasts from. Thank you again for listening.