Two New VoIP Offerings

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

Two New VoIP Offerings

IDT is an international LD company doing about a billion bucks globally. Last year, it finally entered the Hosted VoIP world through its Net2Phone brand. Net2Phone launched in the channel. Net2Phone also launched an inbound service (like Google Voice or Citrix's Grasshopper) called PicUp. Those terms are interesting.

TOS: "If you provide Feedback to Net2Phone, then you grant Net2Phone a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty free, fully paid up right to publicly display, broadcast, transmit and distribute the Feedback (and derivative works thereof), including but not limited to Your name and company name for attribution purposes. During the beta trial period, You will receive 1000 free inbound minutes per month calculated from the date of sign-up; provided that, if You do not use a minimum of 25 minutes per month, then Net2Phone reserves the right to close Your Account. Once Your free minutes have been used during a month, Services will be suspended until the next month begins. Net2Phone may terminate your beta trial service for any reason or no reason without prior notice. Once the beta trial period ends, Your free 1000 minute per month plan will automatically convert into the then-commercially available 100 minute free plan."

It looks like they are just lab testing. A 100 minute inbound plan seems like it would be for a very small business. That's less than 2 hours per month. Oh, well.

They did buy some functionality via the acquisition of LiveNinja. "Net2phone will combine LiveNinja's customer messaging and live chat service with PicuP, which gives small/mid-size businesses a self-service platform to deal with inbound calls, including auto-attendants, customized welcomes and voicemail to e-mail."

"LiveNinja offers a messaging application that facilitates companies and their customers having seamless conversations across multiple messaging and chat channels including live chat, SMS and Facebook Messenger," according to SeekingAlpha. Riddle me this: why would Google Voice service with 100 inbound free minutes need multi-platform chat integration? It seems that this should have been integrated into Net2Phone's Hosted VoIP offering instead of the stripped down PicUp service. It is a crowded space. Not sure they have product-market fit yet.

A similar service to PicUp launched from 3 VoIP veterans. David Walsh and Evin Hunt (from Shango); and Jason Tapolci (from VoIP Innovations) just soft launched their hosted VoIP service that is a mobile app only called Vocaly.

Launching an offering isn't cheap but it isn't that expensive either. There needs to be more experimentation in the space. A bunch of failures before we get some new, fresh ideas that work.

I give Verizon credit there because One Talk is an experiment with their Broadsoft platform that is powering other traditional offerings. We need IDT, Verizon and start-ups like Vocaly and to experiment and see what happens.

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