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Sales are down, lets raise our prices!

It’s common practice during tough times for companies to play with pricing. Common business sense tells you during tough times it is easier to survive servicing current customers rather than investing in acquiring new business.

With these two thoughts an observer of the VoIP market place would expect to see rapid price decreases. VoIP companies dropping their shorts to meet the demands of existing customers to save on their acquisition expense.

Would you be shocked to hear that the opposite is happening?

Alright, so you already knew that. My title gave it away.

¬†Everyone’s sales are down and some have raised their prices.

Over the last five months for a number of stated reasons – none of which I fully believe – a few VoIP companies have quietly increased their costs to existing customers. In the face of one of the worst economic periods ever they raised their channel partners product costs.

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SIP trunking’s popular, but still not for everyone

One pervasive theme in the VoIP industry over the last 12 months has been the emergence of SIP trunking. While I never have and still don’t like the name, I can’t argue with the fact that SIP trunking has grown in stature of late.

But, is SIP trunking really driving service providers of all shapes and sizes to get into VoIP?

A lot of experts, pundits, bloggers and vendors would like you to believe that – unfortunately it isn’t true.

Take your regional ISP. You’d think that they’d be foaming at the mouth to offer SIP trunking services to their existing business customers. After all, it’s another revenue source for them – possibly even a way to steal customers from a larger player.

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Apple Should Buy Skype

I know. Enough already with the all of the predictions over the fate of Skype and who might acquire them, right?

But give me just five minutes of your time. I want to explain to you why I think Apple should buy Skype.

Let’s take a look:

  • Apple has the cash. Apple is sitting on $18 billion in cash. Spending $1 or $2 billion on Skype (eBay’s reported asking price) is a drop-in-the-bucket for them.
  • Apple owns distribution channels. Apple has all of the necessary sales and marketing channels to GROW Skype’s usage and bottom line. They don’t have to find or create – all they need to do is leverage!
  • Apple has the hardware, but understands software. Apple has an entire line of products that could run all or portions of the Skype technology. They can GROW Skype’s usage and bottom line by shipping Skype pre-installed on their desktops, laptops, cellphones and the iPod Touch. Oh and they have one of the best marketing department’s ever, so they can reach “mainstream” customers to drive adoption. Don’t forget about their retail outlets either, where Apple can take the time to explain Skype’s value to consumers and prosumers.
  • Apple loves tying their hardware to their software. The iPod is tied to iTunes. The iPhone is also tied to iTunes, but why is a cell phone tied to media software? Would it not make more sense to tie a cell phone to a communications software? I think so. Plus…
  • Apple’s got clout. And has shown it with cellular carriers (look what they got out of AT&T). They also have enough money and marketing might to ship an iPhone or iPod Touch with Skype as the native communications software – allowing iPhone and Skype users to have native VoWiFi and Vo3G capabilities, in addition to all of the other things that can be done with Skype.¬† If any company could push the hand of cellular carriers and change user habits, it is Apple.
  • All signs point mobile as the future of communications. When it’s all said and done, the future of communications is mobile and that is where Skype’s true promise lies. Who want’s to be tied to their computer or desktop phone? I don’t. Skype going to a fixed line telephony (or VoIP) company, a software company or a gorilla of a hardware player would be a waste.

Well, my five minutes are up. What do you think? Skype to Apple, or to someone else?

Those Who Can Do, Those Who Can’t Complain

Some people – really smart people – just don’t get it.

Thanks to the economy there are lot’s of people – some of whom are really smart – pointing out the compensation that many of the nation’s top executives are raking in this year.

Me? I could really care less how much some CEO or VP at “insert company here” makes. This is a FOR-PROFIT world that we live in.

Some people – really smart people – just don’t get it.

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FMC and UC: Optimistic, Pessimistic or Realistic?

I recently started reading the blog of Carl Weinschenk over at ITBusinessEdge after working with him on a story about Mobile VoIP. One post that caught my attention had to do with Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), Unified Communications (UC) and whether supporters of the technology should be optimistic or pessimistic about the prospects of both technology.

It’s a valid question, but I would say that optimistic and pessimistic are both incorrect stances – proponents need to be realistic.

User habits take time to change – regardless of how advance or fast a technology is coming to market. Users don’t care a lick about half the crap that comes out in these spaces – because it asks them to radically change their habits.

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