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A Bright Future for New Telecom

I haven’t written much commentary of late, due to the Near Future of VoIP series, but this morning I caught Om Malik’s piece on the bleak future of telecom via Techmeme. The story reminded me that – contrary to Om’s statements – telecom does have a bright future.

It’s not, however, in the way we once knew it. If we have learned anything this past week from the Near Future of VoIP interview series is that telecom is thriving – but new telecom has a different look and feel from the one that Om described.

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The Problem With Video Phone Calling

Video phone calling technology has been around for quite some time. It holds a very promising future. Despite this, it has never seemed to gain the sort of prominence many folks would have thought.

I now know why.

The problem with video phone calling (not Skype), is that the experience is not plug-n-play. And it needs to be.

Over the last few days I have been playing with Video phone calling and I can say that I was hoping for a bit more of a plug-n-play scenario. Unfortunately, the experiences I have been having are less then ideal and akin to what I have experienced in the past with video phone calling.

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Microsoft is Coming! Windows is Coming!

Okay. I am no Paul Revere and thankfully the sheer magnitude of this “ride” will undoubtedly be far less impact on history then his. However, this big new competitor, one who for so long has been looking in on the VoIP industry from a far, is now quickly coming down the hills, up the road and walking into the doors of your customers. Windows based telephony platforms are coming on strong folks – and they are ready to invade the small medium business telephony marketplace in a big way.

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A Half Decade in VoIP

Five years. More specifically, the last five years. Where have they gone?

It dawned on me earlier this week, that this week marks my five year anniversary at VoIP Supply and as a part of the VoIP industry. For most people, a five year anniversary is a little more than a yawn. Not for me. When you couple the fact that I have the attention span of a kindergarten student on meth and that five years accounts for almost 20% of the total time I have spent on this planet,  it is pretty easy to see why this five year mark is special to me.

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When Phone Systems Become UC Systems

If you follow any of the work I have been doing over the last few weeks you will notice that I have been spending time on the Microsoft Response Point software and accompany product lines. In anlyzing the product’s positioning and relevance within the small business space a glaring trend emerged:

Phone systems are becoming unified communications (UC) systems

Today, systems from the likes of Digium and trixbox are no longer phone systems, they are really unified communications systems that offer a “phone system” as one of the many features of their product. In fact, these two companies are not alone in their creation of “more then a phone system.” Almost every company I talk to, work with, or am watching, is moving their phone system to a UC system and the culprit is our friend, integration. For as soon as phone system opens-up, integrates with everything and ties together historically separate communications systems, it has crossed the chasm from phone system to UC system. It is no longer a phone system, but a UC system with phone system capabilities.

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