Is There Any Telecom Disruption?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Is There Any Telecom Disruption?

Today, was featured on ProductHunt. In the discussion, was mentioned.

Despite consolidation and analyst predictions of 20+% CAGR, we haven't really seen any real disruption in the space.

Low price by itself is not disruption. We have seen plenty of low cost or free providers come along - including the giant killer, Skype.

Fone's disruption is the simple setup coupled with being browser based. It took no time to configure (5 minutes maybe), reminding me a little of Google Voice, just with a few more features. (I have not run through it yet) is like, in that it is for customer support environs. The bonus is that Aircall integrates with many other apps including Desk, Pipedrive, slack, zendesk and more. Integration is what I feel will be the winner going forward - even in the small business space.

From people who have used it, I have to say that Slack has a shot at disruption. But right now (to me) it seems like a business version of FB Messenger or WhatsApp. It is just one more chat app. It needs better presence, click to chat, file share and maybe screen share before it will be a true workforce comms tool.

TMC likes Redbooth, #89 on the 2015 INC5000. "This summer, the firm added click-to-call to its growing list of features making it the first in the industry to offer seamlessly integrated real-time business messaging, search, file sharing, HD voice and video conferencing, and in-stream task management, all unified in one user friendly virtual workspace. And, the recent integrations with OneDrive and Microsoft SharePoint serve as the cherry on top of this UC sundae, putting the offering in a class by itself," writes TMC. It is like something that NTT's Arkadin should be offering.

Here are a few problems for Disruption to solve:

More than one-third of the US population are freelancers. How do you include freelancers into workflow platforms for a business? It has to be easy administration to add/delete users, place permissions, monitor activity. Not sure who has this yet.

Employees are NOT adopting UC, according to Arkadin in this article. Part of that is that it is Change - and everyone avoids change. The other is UX - the user experience. It is all built by engineers for engineers (especially BSFT). It isn't built FOR users. That hinders usage.

For UX: Think iPhone. It has to be that simple.

Companies like Zapier, IDEA2 and IFTTT (and similar platforms) that allow for easier app integration. That will be the key to productivity and workflow.

That is the power of the cloud, too. APIs for connecting software that users already use and like to other apps. This is business automation and it is a direct benefit of the Consumerization of IT that folks hated 2 years ago.

When I think about Twilio, the elasticity coupled with the ability to add telephony to many different apps was magic. It is almost as popular as AWS.

Trello, Evernote, zendesk, Google for Work, Office365, Dropbox, Box, Sharepoint and so many other popular apps can all play together -- and should. Remember the promise of single sign on (SSO) of the late 90s? Maybe this is close.

Another company that I thought would disrupt the space at one time was Ringio. The rich communication platform stood out because it remembered who called and who they talked to. It was an efficient system. It did not catch fire like I thought.

Is it because so many are just busy keeping their me-too service up and running while struggling to even sell that? As Seth Godin says, "The Marketing has to be baked into the Product:- or you will have to spend a lot of money selling a me-too product.

The other Disruption that has not happened yet is the niche players, the ITSPs' that went deep in a vertical. Only one did - chasing dentists. Tsk tsk.

FYI, I like this mashup of Trello and RescueTime for productivity and tracking.

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