Art Rosenberg -- A True Visionary
While Art had vision and foresight, it was his passion and energy that most of us remember.
The UCC/business communications analyst community lost one of our own this past weekend, Art Rosenberg. I've known Art since the early 1990s, as we both covered the evolution of voice mail to the emerging market of "unified messaging" and then to "unified communications," a term that Art coined. I knew Art both as an analyst and as a friend, and was always impressed with his energy, passion, wit, and good humor.
What impressed me most about Art as an analyst was his vision and foresight. I'll never forget back in the late 90s, early 2000s, how he envisioned the future of what we now call smartphones, as well as unified communication. And yes, Art did indeed coin the term "unified communications."
In the late 1990s, the voice mail industry was transforming to unified messaging, thanks in part to Art's evangelism. Art and his colleague David Zimmer formed the Unified Messaging Consortium, focusing on the transition of voice mail to unified messaging to unified communications. Art and David worked with several conference organizations to present industry conferences to educate businesses, vendors, and service providers about this emerging market. As the Chairman of several of these conferences, Art invited me to participate as a presenter, and we even co-chaired some conferences together.
I'll never forget watching Art stand in front of the audience with a Palm Pilot in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, asking why he needed to carry around two devices instead of having the same functionality on a single device. He clearly saw the need for today's smart phones, as well as the integration of various silos to form unified communications solutions.
While Art had vision and foresight, it was his passion and energy that most of us remember. Whether it was on stage, on a phone call, or in a comment response to an article, Art's passion for technology was clear. He truly cared about the evolution of technology and where it can take us. He wanted businesses to adopt these technologies not for any personal financial reasons, but because he believed it would help businesses and individuals be more productive and effective. He was a true evangelist. We would spend hours on the phone discussing what's required to help businesses understand the value of unified communications and contact center solutions and what challenges they need to overcome. He was passionate and enthusiastic about technology and how it can make the world a better place.
Art was a prolific writer, providing his insights in a number of publications and websites. He also posted comments to other analysts' articles, and was never shy about sharing his views. Unlike many other commenters, however, Art was always polite and respectful. Even when he disagreed with what someone wrote or said, he would never disparage anyone, and was always courteous.
I am privileged to have known Art for many years, and to have spent time with him on the phone, online, and in person at conferences. Art was a real class act, and we all have a lot to learn from him. Art will be missed, but certainly not forgotten.
Art Rosenberg contributed many great articles to No Jitter over the years, sharing his experiences with our readers through his frequent insightful comments as well. Art was a gem, and will be missed by many.