FUD and TAG

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

FUD and TAG

Perhaps you are wondering what got me going on this whole FUD thing and IP Communications. I was recently on a panel at the Technology Assurance Group National Convention. This is an exceptional organizational consisting of 120+ major VARs and dealers. The purpose of the panel was to impress upon the group the urgency to begin understanding and selling SIP Trunking solutions. We had a planned agenda to define SIP Trunking, present the value proposition and then close with a discussion of the current market demand and uptake rates. I am never a fan of Q&A after every speaker, as it tends to disturb the flow of the presentations. However, I also understand that the audience is mostly to ask questions immediately after a speaker concludes their portion. Our moderator selected audience members at random but within a very short period came the inevitable question...

"Isn't VoIP or SIP Trunking inferior to TDM? I mean don't you suffer from "garbled" voice?"

The other panel members began an earnest discussion of how to set up your network connection to avoid "garbled" voice. The need to have direct broadband connections, the best speeds, no DSL, no cable, the right equipment and so on. I sat and listened quite befuddled. At no time in the last year had a customer or VAR contact me and complain about "garbled" voice. I held my tongue though because perhaps Broadvox was different. Perhaps our network was unique in its level of quality. Perhaps our provisioning process with pretesting of connectivity made all the difference in a customer's experience. Perhaps the rest of the serious ITSPs out there were indeed still clueless. Yes, that was it. They were indeed clueless. They were arguing a point set up by AT&T, Verizon and other ILECs rather than discussing the true experience of their customer base.

I could feel the audience beginning to become less enthusiastic about selling IP PBXs and VoIP/SIP Trunking. It was important to bring them back from the precipice of this FUD. I began the final leg of the panel presentation and decided to take a risk. I reminded the audience that I did not consider other ITSPs as my competition. They, along with Broadvox, were taking the necessary steps to educate the market and seize market share from the ILECs. We had in total maybe 100,000 businesses using SIP Trunking. There were still some millions using out dated and costly TDM services. The debate about voice quality was a red herring laid before us by the ILECs. Broadvox receives very few customer complaints regarding voice quality. We proudly point out that our voice quality cannot be differentiated from that of a TDM-based provider. We proudly point out our success at supporting fax using T.38.

I scanned the audience again. Now was the time to make a dramatic statement. I needed to do one more thing...

I'll share that with you on Friday, our final day of SIP Trunking FUD.



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