The PR factories are pumping out releases working up to IT Expo West. At least, they changed it from puking on me to invitations to speak with an exec. This came in about an hour ago:
Free phone service wasn't even a thought ten years ago. New technology breakthroughs are lowering costs for providers and increased competition with new telecom startups and the growing number of Voice over IP (VoIP) users is bringing prices down. ..... Would you like to speak to Mr. Exec about when and how free phone service will be a reality as well as Company X's platform?
Dave Rusin asked yesterday where all the innovation went. And I make my clients change the pitch. It is NOT about how low can you go. It is about What Can You Do For Me?
If all you have to say is we are the Cheapest, well, join the club: Net2Phone, Voiceglo, Vonage, Skype, SunRocket, MagicJack, and yadda yadda. And we will start a Death Watch on your company. [I give Vonage until the end of 2Q09].
How about some Innovation? And I don't mean your user portal. Yawn! Remember Vertical's TeleVantage? That was the first user portal and all others are mere copycats. What about "HD Voice" or Klipsch like speaker quality? (I know mainly hardware innovation.
Service wise, it has to be about ease of use and productivity (like Broadsoft Anywhere).
The Jetsons had Video Phone long before we did. Yet BrightMind and other services rely on a video phone (Grandstream in most cases) to negotiate with a similar model. From tests by clients, ease of use isn't there yet.
I think "free phone" is becoming a stale marketing plan, but the reality is even ploys like MagicJack at $20 per year are not sustainable models.