VoIP: “If you hadn’t nailed its feet to the perch, it’d be pushin’ up the daisies!”

by alec on December 31, 2008

Yesterday’s 2008: The Year that VoIP Died generated a slew of interesting responses.

Jon Arnold and Andy Abramson wrote me in email to say that I had made the same points that they had.  While it’s true that I made many of the same points, my view of their meaning is perhaps different.  I don’t see a bright future for those who are in the “VoIP business”.  I do see a very bright future for communications innovators.

In 10 points about the death of Voice over IP Ted Wallingford lists his own reasons for believing that VoIP is done, including noting the fact that “Everywhere you look, former VoIP honchos are turning to social media applications as a focus area–from Jeff Pulver to Ken Camp to myself. It’s a trend. Social media is where the opportunity for innovation in unified communications still exists.”  There’s some truth in that statement, no doubt!

On Twitter, VoIPSupply’s Garrett Smith and I mixed it up, with Garrett asserting that “VoIP lives – just not how it was once thought of by the collective.”  I should clarify that I believe strongly that there will be a market for the VoIP communications devices and products that Garrett sells. They’ll be sold as “Unified Communications” products and platforms for businesses.  At some point in the not too distant future VoIPSupply will likely re-brand — away from VoIP.

CircleID’s Ali Farschian also contacted me and asked if he could repost the piece on CircleID.  It generated two comments, one agreeing  and one defending Vonage.  And, not to be left out, Ali also reposted Jon Arnold’s original piece

In VoIP is NOT Dead, Jeff Pulver wrote his rebuttal, finishing with the line “VoIP is dead.  Long live VoIP.”  Interestingly enough, in the first draft of yesterday’s piece, I alternated between using that same line as both a subtitle to the original title, and the closing line, before landing on “Ding dong, VoIP is dead”.

Andy Abramson’s one-liner in comments simply said “The real point is VOIP is NOW part of Telecom and it is now Mainstream.” Amen to that sentiment, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Ken Camp declared the whole discussion boring, noting that he had written the same commentary on VoIP as plumbing at several times in the past and finished with the immortal one-liner “2009 – No bullshit. No VoIP. Be real and create real solutions for communications.” Ken then tagged the whole post “beating a dead horse“.  Lee Dryburgh agreed saying “plain VoIP is quite frankly boring. Cheap calls generally with inferior quality. Nothing to stay up on a Saturday night about.”

And we said all of this without one reference to Skype, cloud computing, or the intersection of voice and the web. More on that tomorrow. 

Keep those comments coming, and Happy New Year!

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