A Phoenix rising from the ashes -- not sure this is the appropriate image but it sure is colorful
A few people have asked me recently to throw my hat in the ring about the health of VoIP. Many bloggers have been eulogizing the technology while I was on vacation - ironically using more VoIP than I ever have.
It is worth mentioning that bloggers are so far ahead of the curve they sometimes don't realize that businesses need to catch up to where they were years ago.
SMBs are just now slowly learning about SIP trunking for example and they are beginning to use it. Enterprises are just beginning to deploy UC, CEBP, telepresence, HD voice, FMC and so many other technologies which are intertwined with VoIP that it is incredible this morbid topic would even come up.
But getting back to VoIP - the transformation which began before IP telephony - namely CTI started opening up communications in ways we never imagined. Concepts like unified messaging for example were dreams over a decade and a half ago. Now, an entire wave of IP communications related technologies are being deployed across companies and households around the globe.
Some may say I have bias or I depend on VoIP for my living. This is actually untrue - I rely on the TMC audience for my living and they rely on my honest feelings on topics like where VoIP is headed.
Is it dead? Absolutely not. Ask the cable companies, telcos and wireless operators who are all transitioning to or all out using IP networks. Ask the home user who likely uses VoIP on their PSTN lines and/or or Skype or calling cards.
Is the industry losing innovation? I say perhaps. There are however new companies being created all the time and new platforms such as the iPhone which allow these applications to flourish (well the ones allowed to run on the iPhone anyway).
There is certainly a lack of imaginative applications - who can argue that? But as Om Malik points out and Ted Wallingford seconds, last year showed us perhaps the worst parts of business, politics, and just about everything else I hoped I would never see in my lifetime.
2008 marks an era which has come and gone. A pretty crappy one if you ask me. I just hope 2009 is the exact opposite in every way and becomes a time when we begin to see more innovation, ethics, honesty and a sense of pride in everything we see and do. I get the feeling that in the fifties the American worker was much more proud and ethical and less materialistic. Perhaps this is just a dream on my part but I hope when I open my eyes and get back to work next week, I will get some of that 1950s feeling inside me.