More on VocalTec

One of the more popular things I have written recently has got to be my brief history of VocalTec and judging by the responses I received, I struck a chord with a number of people. On the one hand there are e-mails such as the one below:

Dear Rich,

I read with interest your comments on VocalTec, and I also read the article you referenced.

I certainly remember when VocalTec launched their first off-the-shelf software VoIP product, and I remember them at the Computer Telephony Expos, too (back when Dialogic and Harry Newton held sway).  As an industry market analyst, I could never really figure out VocalTec’s business model. Were they a software house, an equipment vendor, a turnkey systems house, or what?

When the Deutsche Telecom deal was announced, I thought I had their business model tied down, but a year or so later, their lead PR lady said, "We think of ourselves as a software house." But even then, I detected the arrogance you mentioned. For at least two Expos I had a difficult time arranging an interview with anyone of import at VocalTec. I was always shuffled off to some sales hack or PR person. In short, I gave up on trying to figure them out.

After the telecom nuclear winter reached its nadir about 2002, I stepped away from tracking the VoIP market and began to concentrate more on the wireless market. But now, the wireless world has finally realized that VoIP is its future, so I’m back again.



Will Strauss             wis(at)     
Forward Concepts        Tel: +1-480-968-3759
1575 W. University Dr.#111  Fax: +1-480-968-7145
Tempe AZ 85281 U.S.A.

Yes, we all miss Harry. If you don’t know who he is, don’t worry about it. If you met him or read his work, he usually makes a lasting impression. Here is a link to his site In Search of The Perfect Investment.

I also received a comment from someone in the marketing department at VocalTec right around the time I stated there were problems in marketing. This person was certainly not one of the people that contributed to the problems at VocalTec so I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lump everyone working for the company in the same category. As I seem to be writing more and more lately, a few bad apples…

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