Is thriving too strong? Better than expected? Better than average. You choose the terms but you must admit things are better than many thought they would be.
In the toughest economy in my lifetime, IP communications including VoIP is doing well. First there was the blockbuster attendance at ITEXPO in Miami. Then there was Cbeyond getting named to the top 10 fastest growing tech companies by Forbes. Then there was a casual conversation last night with Ooma execs who tell me January sales were quite strong. Finally there is the 8×8/Packet8 news that they now have 15,000 SMB customers.
Again, I am cautiously optimistic about the future of communications and to some degree tech as the companies in our space are doing better than most. Yes we do have our casualties like Nortel and others who are saddled with huge debt loads. But as an industry, we can’t be better positioned as long as we continue to focus on saving customers money while providing superior value through productivity and other improvements.
One surprise to me is the weakness being felt in the consumer electronics space. This was just such a strong area a year ago. To see IP communications growing while the CE market contracts is unexpected but still relatively good news for most companies in the communications market.
Expect SaaS, open source and segments of wireless to also be strong performers in this economy and once things turn (your guess is as good as mine as to when this happens) we will see the momentum behind SaaS, IP communications and open source continue for some time to come.