VoIP: I had no idea there was so much going on…

Like you, I take incremental changes and small moves in technology and disruption in stride. Then something will happen to make me sit up straight in my chair and say, “Whoa!” as I realize how much is going on in some given space, the pace of change within it and how much disruption is occurring when my attention was elsewhere.

Since I don’t specifically follow the telephony space, I sat bolt upright today as I realized that there is A LOT more going on in with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) than I’d ever dreamed.

Yesterday’s post about Skype vs. Gizmo and their respective call-out pricing, had two guys weigh in with comments: Kris Tuttle who is a researcher with interesting things to say about this space and a guy named Ken Kennedy who left a comment with this amazing link to VoIP providers around the planet.

Over lunch today I went through a few dozen of these links (skimming only, of course) and thought about what was happening with voice. I was stunned by how many providers are offering robust and interesting voice services. Of course, interoperability between providers is key (and the basis for the open SIP protocol) for a level playing field of services to explode with use.

I’ll come back to this post on Skype and the disruptive innovation occurring in telephony and that, “Telephony companies are on life support (and arguably have been for
years) but their death may never come even though they may be in a vegetative state for decades. The voice over IP (VoIP) disruptive innovation is going to continue and, in my opinion, accelerate as always-on, ubiquitous wireless internet connections proliferate.
” The kicker? Most people I know:

a) Won’t take the time to play with most of these providers and figure out how to use them

b) Just want to pick up a phone and dial it to connect with someone

c) Won’t bet their personal telephony use — or especially their business use — on some unknown provider or service that can’t give them a service level agreement or ensure a qualitative experience for callers

d) Don’t care and get pissed off when they do choose a provider and can’t call between services. The mess with instant messaging is a great example as AIM, Yahoo, Microsoft and Jabber users couldn’t interoperate and IM each other across services.

Throw in companies embracing the Asterisk open source PBX for businesses (which is SIP-based) and we’ll experience growing demands for seamless and quality interoperability. I also see this entire space as one just waiting for someone to herd-the-cats together and offer an infrastructure from which interoperability between services can occur

The good news? All of us will win with all the energy, effort and enthusiasm being pored into internet telephony as services make this space better and better.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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