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You, the Market and the Manufacturer

Everyone sees the world through a different lens.

At no time has this fact struck me harder then at a recent partner event. The event was designed to bring channel partners from around the world into one room to learn and discuss the future of manufacturer’s product direction.

Now any time you get folks from all parts the of the world into a room there’s bound to be differences of opinion, but I was shocked by the reality distortion of some individuals when it came to certain topics, like product roadmaps.

This not to say that their reality was distorted negatively; it’s just that many failed to see that there is no such thing as one size fits all or one way to please them all. An especially vexing position for a manufacturer to be in, considering they have to attempt to serve many masters.

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The Channel’s Problem Child

This is the third in a series on the VoIP equipment channel designed to educate, bring transparency and inspire change for the good of all channel members. You can read part one here and part two here.

Wild Wild West.

Or is it the world wide web? Eight years ago they were one in the same.

At least for the VoIP equipment channel.

While our service brethren were busy disrupting Telecommunications industry using the Internet as a new transportation mechanism for voice, the equipment channel itself was going through the same exact disruption lead by a number of young guns who thought of distribution in an entirely new way.

At its core equipment distribution is similar to any other form of distribution; whether it be knowledge or media. And just like the Internet disrupted and transformed the way in which we both find and consume knowledge and media, the Internet proved to be a capable medium driving awareness and access to equipment for this new market.

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Cisco UMI: Coming to a business near you

Month’s ago most pundits torched UMI, Cisco’s high-end home telepresence offering.

They said it was too expensive. They said no-one would pay $24.95/month for video calling.

Oh and who were they supposed to call?

Yesterday, while flushing Flip down the toilet Cisco announced that UMI would be rolled into their business telepresence unit. I guess the pundits were  right.

Or were they?

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The Under $100 Turf Wars

There’s a battle on the street folks.

Hide yo’ momma. Hide yo’ daddy. Hide yo’ kids.

The under $100 turf wars are on!

It use to be that the only VoIP phones you could find under $100 came from Grandstream or some unheard of Chinese manufacturer. After all this VoIP technology was simply too “advanced” for it to be “cheap.”

As the years rolled on, Grandstream dominated this market. That is until late 2007/early 2008 when other manufacturers started to sense that under $100 was where it was at.

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Why Would You Pay $20 To Port Your Number

I still don’t get why people are on Google Voice like it’s a dog in heat.

It’s a half-baked Frankensteined service. It’s greatest feature, contextual voicemail, is bad at best.

While I have an account and occasionally use the service it nowhere near as good as the plethora of alternatives available.

WooooHoooo one number to ring them all! That’s so 2000.

So today when the fan boys circled the wagon once again to tout the almighty service, I had to chuckle.

“Google Voice to offer local number portability to select customers for $20.”

Why would you pay a company $20 to port your number to them? Especially Google Voice, which despite the fan boy’s best efforts to support the contrary, simply isn’t worth the money or the hassle.

And since when did,¬† “Hey Mr. Customer, pay us $20 so we can test our own ability to port numbers,” become such a huge piece of news. Usually people are up in arms about paying for anything.

After all, I thought you Google Voice users were cheap?

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