Why Do You Look at an iPhone That Way?

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

Why Do You Look at an iPhone That Way?

The promise of the iPhone wasn't that you could make HD voice calls. Actually the original promise was a beautifully designed cellphone. Then it became more with iTunes and the app store and the ecosystem.

The ecosystem is the environment around software like Apple, Amazon, Google or Microsoft. It stretches pretty far and runs up and down the stack. It isn't just horizontal; it is vertical too. It makes the company pervasive in your life.

The brand of the iPhone became a status symbol, ease of use, security, luxury, and becoming part of the clique - the Apple/Mac/iOS clique. (I am often told I don't get it because I am an Android/PC guy).

The iPhone, and then the Samsung line of phones, is now the promise of a digital leash. Anyone can contact you, any number of ways at any time - voice (rarely); text; messaging on Kik, FB, whatsApp (encrypted); Snapped at; tweeted at; DM'ed; and on and on.

Due to ubiquitous cellular networks and not quite ubiquitous wi-fi, we can look anything up; research and buy; and even pay with this little device. This little device that people would not give up despite the growing expense - monetary, health, privacy.

Now ... that same consumer is being asked to buy a desk phone to go along with your state of the art unified communications platform. How silly is that?

They have a phablet in their pocket that has more computing power and more applications that the IBM 3033 mainframe I used in college at RPI by a thousand-fold. Yet you want them to still use a desk phone like it was 1999? The whole idea behind cloud is flexibility, mobility, scale and productivity.

The beauty behind the iOS app is that it looks similar across devices - laptop, tablet, phone.

Users are not adopting UCaaS deep enough or broadly enough to be sticky. Partly because UCaaS means that they have to Change (and people hate change). Party they haven't been trained. Partly the story they have been told sounds awful.

Along comes UC-One revision 21 on Broadsoft, now there is a softphone and mobile client that is similar across devices. Now you ease of use, elegant design, a Slack-like interface and functionality across devices. It has presence, chat, video and voice calling, click to call, drag to conference, integration with Office365, universal address book - all in the app.

There is no need for a desk phone. This will run on your PC, laptop, tablet and phone. Up and running as soon as we port the number.

As slick as it is, only DSCI, soon to be a TelePacific company, is running revision 21 in the USA. This isn't BroadCloud; this runs on DSCI gear.

It has been awhile since I have seen UC-One. It looks like this could help make the desk phone obsolete.

The funny thing is that there is a PR firm emailing me press releases about new handset manufacturers entering the market (Yeastar being one of them). Polycom has likely peaked on the number of handsets that they will sell (or has one year left to peak), since Yeastar, Yealink, Grandstream, OBihai, snom and others are aiming to pick away at the desk phone and location phone market. Jabra is attacking at the speakerphone sector. The DECT and cordless phone sector needs help; it is limping along on dialysis because it needs an infusion of models that work with longer battery life.

For companies with employees who are mobile, virtual, in sales or knowledge workers, which is about 25% of them, a desk phone is a waste of money. Here in lies the softphone problem. ITSPs spend far too much time on the phone debate - how much, lease/buy, RMA. Why?

Probably for the 75% who still want a handset.

Mast Mobile combined an MVNO with a UC company. Cool idea, but the story and go-to-market are lagging. There is also the matter of most everyone has a cell phone right now.

Things are changing. We get caught in the trap of This is how things are done. We always sold it this way. Once we can learn to shift out of that comfortable rut, things will improve.

One reminder: you are not a handset distributor. You are not selling a phone system. You are providing a platform for communications in 2016 that allows for productivity and efficiency. If you don't believe that just go sell bandwidth.

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