Happy Birthday Werner!
200 years ago, on 13th December 1816, Ernst Werner Siemens (von Siemens from 1888) was born. This German inventor and industrialist became the founder of the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens.
And why talk about Siemens? Well, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. Unify today is of course an Atos organization. However, what Atos bought was a company with a rich history in communications; Unify.. Siemens Enterprise Communications.. GPT… Mercury.. Rolm… Plessey.. a bringing together of organizations with one goal – to innovate communications, just as Werner did. From transatlantic cabling, to telephone exchanges, right through to Project Ansible – the first to market in web RTC collaboration, now known as Circuit.
I digress. Back to Werner’s birth date – 200 years ago.
Two hundred years.
Two HUNDRED years.
That’s a pretty long time! Things have changed a *little* in that time.
Werner started his working life during the Industrial Revolution, where workers began to benefit from such ‘luxuries’ as gas lighting. Hours were long, conditions were arduous and poor, and pay was minimal for most.
Just 7 years before Werner’s birth, life expectancy of the average person was under 40 – globally. People communicated face to face – or by letter, that was it, and communication en mass was unheard of. Nor was there access to worldwide news. Everyone lived in their own little bubble, disconnected from the world and it’s news. Your wider network would be 100 mile radius – at a stretch. Opportunities to discover new places and people were limited – nothing like the connections made online today.
Today, communicating is a breeze. Omni channel lines of communication at our fingertips, world news available in milliseconds. We live in a connected world. Social networking boasts billions of followers and posters and likers and sharers.
We communicate with wafer thin mobile phones with a plethora of apps and uses. No longer a telephone, these devices are enablers. We are able to find our way home with gps, capture moments in time in high definition photographs, control technology in our homes when are not even there.
Our working lives are unrecognisable as anything that Werner could have imagined. Flexible working, remote working, anywhere working. We can work for anyone, anywhere – no longer are we tied to being walking distance from our jobs, which opens up new opportunities for employers and employees alike – widening the geographical talent pool.
Our challenges are different, mobility, security, increased expectations of simple interactions – all being overcome with more innovations and solutions to new problems.
Where will we be working in 2216? Indeed – what will we be working as? What jobs will be needed and not have been replaced by machines or indeed become obsolete with the changes in our world, environment, wants and needs as human beings?
In the 21st century we are striving to create ‘more’. More efficiencies. More consumer delight. More speed. More channels of communication.
In another 200 years – will communication be telepathic? Will we have the technology that enables such an idea? At what point will evolution see us born with built in transmitters and receivers!? Whatever the future of communications holds, we at Unify are determined to continue shaping it in the spirit of innovation that Werner von Siemens still inspires. Happy Birthday to our founder!