2008: the year VoIP becomes disruptive

by alec on December 28, 2007

VoIP News published its round up of the top 25 VoIP blogs for 2007.  I was flattered to be included on the list. Readers will note that this has happened despite the fact that over the past 12 months I've written less and less about pure VoIP and more about the web, social networks, and other technologies. I even changed the tagline of the blog part way through the year to include the web and other technologies. Pure VoIP is now old news.  No doubt there's a market for moving more bits more cheaply but that's an incremental improvement as opposed to a disruption.  At this point, minutes are cheap or free for most people, and that market is self limiting.  

The coming disruption is the next phase of VoIP.  When we first set out to create iotum in 2003, we saw quite clearly that VoIP would commoditize the existing telecom market before it could move to an innovation phase.  We believed that this innovation phase would be the creation of new voice applications built around the fusion of the web, PC's and voice via web services.  That phase is now underway and much richer than we originally thought it might be as mobile has become part of the picture, despite the lack of regulatory pressure to open.  In addition, there's a growing interest in "social communications", which is the fusion of social networks and real time communications.  As does Luca Filigheddu, I believe that 2008 will be about "solving a problem", as opposed to making voice cheaper. 

 Three of the most important voices in this new market are:

  1. Jeff Pulver — his blog has evolved from VoIP to social communications with a strong focus on social networks and how voice and video fit with these.
  2. Tom Howe — his company, the Thomas Howe Company, and his blog are focused on the the mashup of business processes and voice via web services.  These guys are leading practictioners in this new area.
  3. Andy Abramson — he continues to provide daily, up to the minute coverage of what's happening in VoIP.

Happy disruptive New Year to you all!

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