VoIP Is About More Than Replacing The Phone

from the realizing-this dept

For way too long, most of the attention on VoIP has focused on how it's a cheaper telephone replacement option -- which a few people have pointed out is the wrong lesson to take from VoIP. Yes, it can provide cheaper calling, but the real value of VoIP is that it opens up the ability to add new and useful applications to voice communications. When looking for game-changing ideas, simply doing something cheaper tends not to be nearly as revolutionary as enabling something that couldn't have been done before. That's why it's been disappointing to see so many VoIP providers focus on price wars rather than offering something different. The good news is that we're starting to see some companies offer something different using VoIP. The disposable phone numbers idea seems more like a gimmick (though one that some folks might find useful). However, what's more interesting are the features the service is looking to add on top of the disposable numbers, such as the ability to offer specific content to callers. Who knows if this particular solution will catch on, but it's nice to see companies trying to provide something more than just a telephone replacement service when it comes to VoIP.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Tin Ear, May 30th, 2006 @ 1:35am

    Woot! First Post!

    This sounds like a good idea. I don't know about the micro ad aspect of the service, but I can see where a throw-away phone number can be an asset. I have a phone # through Skype at the moment. I'm renting a room and can't afford a land line hook up, nor a cell phone. As far as I'm concerned, land lines and cell phones are WAY overpriced, for the service, and the minutes. I guess I just don't use the phone enough to make the services worth the cost of a land line, and I absolutely hate counting minutes on a cell. I would rather not have a phone in that case.

    With my Skype line, it's inexpensive enough to keep the service and it gives me a phone line for my 'outside' contacts.

     

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  2.  
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    norberto caubat, May 30th, 2006 @ 2:52am

    AOL's 'AIM Phoneline' offers free local phone numb

    I read news that AOL's 'AIM Phoneline' offers free local phone number and An upgraded version, AIM Phoneline Unlimited, will cost $14.95 a month for calls to all local and long-distance numbers and 30 foreign countries. i wonder if anybody of you got this service at your location. Since then I never heard from AOL if this service is already offered somewhere. Please give me some input..thanks

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Me, May 30th, 2006 @ 5:27am

    Something Different

    We have got a client that has offices all over the world. I just set them up with VoIP, omg there is a lot of fun little apps that helps them out. We have it set up so the can transfer calls all of the world and tell who is on the phone all over the world. I am just a lowly IT guy and was able to configure and set these phones up, all through "firewall" looking devices. VoIP is going to be a whole to world for telecommunications. (Not to mention Video .....)

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Diogenes, May 30th, 2006 @ 6:00am

    Market Entry

    Yes, the very cool things that can be done with VoIP have yet to be explored, but there is a reason that price is the main focus of the vendors at this stage. That's the market entry strategy. SOMETHING has to drive widespread adoption.

    I've been providing IT management & strategy consulting to companies for years, and no matter which aspect of VoIP I chose to really push to help a company move forward, when I really needed them to move on the issue it was cost savings that got the deal done. Phone systems in business environments for so many years have been major headaches - combined with absolutely predatory contracts and equipment lease structures that made it a serious point of pain for a company to switch vendors.

    So in the end, I could parade feature after feature after feature and future potential application integration - and they would all be received well. But then the discussion would invariably center on the pain of changing the system, the hardware, getting out of existing lease and service contracts and training staff on the new system and the discussion would bog down...until I brought out the savings figures. For a small to midsized company, saving $100,000/year is a really big deal, and the one that got them to pull the trigger.

    Only then can you push to get them to use features that will make a long term difference.

     

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  5.  
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    Wake up and smell the coffee beans....., May 30th, 2006 @ 6:19am

    money talks. Bottom line. You can complain about price wars all you want..... you can whine about "most of the attention on VoIP has focused on how it's a cheaper telephone replacement option" but, in the end... you focus on the selling point that is going to get people to sign up. Sales and marketing 101. DUH!!!

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    gasjl, May 30th, 2006 @ 6:46am

    two words - coochie coupon

    Face it, the guy got served. Now she can decide whether or not he can contact her again. The Flash cartoon is nice, but it needs a more realistic setting, say at a bar or on the street? It looks like the two are already at her house. This concept of temporary contact can apply to VoIP for free, as long as someone is using Asterisk instead of some VoIP provider.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Mark, May 30th, 2006 @ 7:31am

    The next great SPAM vehicle


    but the real value of VoIP is that it opens up the ability to add new and useful applications to voice communications.


    Yeah, like giving low-cost telemarketing capability to spammers!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    against VOIP, May 30th, 2006 @ 8:29am

    clogged internet

    with voip, will come new features and they already have voip video phones..
    if everyone were to use this, the internet bandwidth will increase so much.. and demand will drive up cost.
    ill be damned if all my neighbors switched to voip with video making my connection laggy causing me to get fragged or not frag as much on CS. DONT LAG MY GAMES FOR YOUR STUPID PHONE CALLS!
    thank you.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    against VOIP, May 30th, 2006 @ 8:29am

    clogged internet

    with voip, will come new features and they already have voip video phones..
    if everyone were to use this, the internet bandwidth will increase so much.. and demand will drive up cost.
    ill be damned if all my neighbors switched to voip with video making my connection laggy causing me to get fragged or not frag as much on CS. DONT LAG MY GAMES FOR YOUR STUPID PHONE CALLS!
    thank you.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Jesse, May 30th, 2006 @ 8:34am

    Vonage

    With VOIP looking to the future. Will Vonage be the brand everyone goes to. Their recent IPO was/is a flop. Who are the major players to bring VOIP to the next level?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Topher3105, May 30th, 2006 @ 11:00am

    OK, Sure

    However, Vonage ISN'T doing anything more then offering a service that is cheaper then regular phone service. I mean, this is their major marketing drive, they have a cost calculator linked on their home page to determine how much cheaper it is to use them.

    Vonage doesn't offer anything revolutionary to the VOIP market, I mean, they don't even offer such features as being able to block incoming calls for specific caller ID's, a feature that any VOIP service should excel at. I asked their customer service why they don't offer this feature, and they say they are looking into it, as if it requires lots of research and development.

    I know on the open source PBX Asterix used with VOIP this is a very easy feature to implement. Once you add a software layer to telephony service, it is easy to implement this feature, you just block the call from going to the phone or extension if it has a certain number in its caller ID header. The fact that Vonage doesn't offer this service seems to suggest they are more interested in keeping telemarkeing companies happy by not having Vonage customer block their numbers.

    Sorry, still bitter about switching to Vonage, but I mean, in the VOIP business, no company is looking for to offer more then cheaper service compared to the telcom giants. If anything changes in VOIP it will be more marketing and advertising which will ruin this industry.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Ed, May 30th, 2006 @ 12:07pm

    To be honest...

    Hi,

    Disagree! The major advantage of VoIp is the cheaper price. At least for who live in places where the normal phone companies charge 3x or 4x more tha in UAS, or 10x more than i.e Skype.

    Lets try a call about 5 minute and you'll pay ~$12.00, using Skype ~$1.20

    []

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    steven williams, Jun 2nd, 2006 @ 4:58pm

    Innovating with Voip

    I think this is a good point. I haven't seen too many of the majors except Skype trying to push the envelope. The skypecasts announcement a few weeks back was pretty cool - basically allows moderated 100 person group conversations.

     

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  14.  
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    chris (profile), Jun 7th, 2006 @ 10:46am

    three words: moves, adds, changes

    you want to see VOIP trump everything? get a VOIP phone and then move. move to a different city, or a different country and see what a pain POTS phones are, regardless of their price.

    for big companies and organizations it can take days to get a new phone extension, or to move and existing one, or change the class of service for something. a voip phone extension is super easy to install or move. soft phones are even easier.

    for redisdential users, move from NYC mexico city and teach your family to call you. with a VOIP service, the only thing to get used to is you ansering the phone in spanish.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Lisa Olsen, Aug 12th, 2007 @ 3:47am

    obituary

    I read your message in the recordnet.com/obituary of my mother Genoveva Caubat. As I know you want to contact us. If you read this letter please response me.
    I'm the youngest daughter of Genoveva Caubat. I live in Denmark.
    I would like to hear from you. Ok?

    Lisa Caubat Olsen

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    bert, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 4:04am

    Re: obituary

    hi lisa its me bert. karon lang naku nabasa imong message. anha mi uban anak si jonathan sa inyo ha pero sa next year pa 2008. regards,

    best

     

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