Who Cares That It's VoIP?
from the just-what-is-it? dept
Vonage and Skype are two very different things. However, since both are considered "VoIP," it's confusing plenty of people and making them shy away from anything having to do with VoIP. It is a problem for the industry that the idea of "telephone replacement" services are being lumped in with PC-to-PC software apps. There are some areas in which they overlap -- and that should only grow over time, but there's clearly a lot of consumer confusion in the market. People are increasingly aware that VoIP exists, and that it might be useful, but they're worried that it could mean giving up their phone or having to make calls via their computer, when that isn't necessarily true. To be honest, it's still not entirely clear why the VoIP industry has focused so much on selling "VoIP." The average consumer doesn't care: sell the real benefits of the service, whether it's cheaper phone service or simpler communications. Selling "VoIP" by itself is just adding to the confusion. A few companies seem to get this (plenty of cable companies refer to their offering as "digital telephone service" rather than VoIP), but it hasn't gone far enough. Also, in forcing VoIP companies to focus on selling the benefits, maybe they'll finally realize that they can offer a lot more in terms of features than traditional telephony, rather than just trying to replace it.