Is There Anything Impressive About VoIP?

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

Is There Anything Impressive About VoIP?

I am getting peppered with email invites to lunch-and-learns, webinars and other events to learn about "impressive" companies. Is there anything impressive about VoIP? Is anyone doing anything really unique? I am having a hard time thinking so.

Unique would be that you have a product set targeted at one sector of the marketplace, not all of them. Now some people will say that buyers don't know what they want so you need a variety of solutions in your pocket. "It could be NetSapiens or Broadsoft or SIP or Skype for Business." That selection is from three varying tool boxes.

I used to receive a similar argument from PBX interconnects, who only wanted a Hosted PBX solution in their back pocket. "Just in case the client won't take a PBX on premise." That doesn't sound like it would work. "You want this box?" "No we don't." "How about this one?" No we want VoIP." "Okay, we have this Hosted PBX option." "Yeah that." (Does it ever work that way?)

What is "impressive" about two VoIP providers merging? It has been done before numerous times - and the whole is not greater than the parts. 1 + 1 = 1.1

"X Telecom offers an impressive voice product portfolio that includes Hosted PBX, SIP and Local services." Ummm, so does literally every single other Hosted VoIP provider out there. In fact, the fastest selling product is SIP trunking because that is what voice is now, a SIP trunk for dial-tone.

And if you are going to lead with your "nationwide Feature Group D network" then you aren't fully grasping why companies are migrating from old premise PBX to the cloud platforms of Broadsoft, Netsapiens, Cisco and Microsoft! And if you can't grasp THAT, you are doomed.

Instant Messaging, external collaboration, decentralized Presence are reasons that Slack was adopted so fast. Not only do you have to understand that shift in comms, but you have to learn to leverage it and integrating it into your product set and messaging to survive.

No one talks about something like this: "We deploy a solution that the customer adopts and uses successfully 99% of the time." It is never about the deployment, which is really where the whole customer experience takes shape. It is about products and features, which, by the way, the customers doesn't care about. The customer also has no idea what your product name or product set is. UC? SIP? Yeah, they don't know what that is.

How about the training? "We train our customers and their employees ever six months on ways to leverage the platform for success." Productivity is about getting seconds back per task, being efficient, less swivel chair, fewer windows open, etc. How do you measure that? How do you demonstrate that?

One other lesson from Slack, an app that in just over two years has 2 million users daily. The market will swing fast -- and it will be an upstart that takes market share, not someone in telecom. Beware of a mashup like Citrix GoTo with Grasshopper or worse Amazon's WorkMail. Office365 is Microsoft's fastest selling product, but that doesn't mean much either because anything can take its place.

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