Thursday, April 5, 2007

"VoIP isn’t a business category anymore"

...says Alec Saunders in his latest post on

"VoIP isn't the reinvention of the telephone which we all foresaw five years ago. At least, not the VoIP peddled by the likes of Vonage. It's ordinary telephone service… delivered on IP. While popular, it has failed to deliver the revolution industry types envisioned. "Innovations" like web-based dashboards are long in the tooth, and the truly revolutionary applications which could have been delivered have never seen the light of day.

It's time to stop talking about VoIP as a business category, or an industry. Companies using VoIP to deliver service to customers are really just one more instance of a competitive service provider, albeit with different tarrifing and competition rules. Viewed from that vantage point, it's no wonder that this "industry" is struggling."

One might add that IP also is simply the way application and service providers--including incumbents of all stripes--are going to deliver features and make money in the future. All of which is simply the latest evidence of a trend underway for a couple years now: VoIP is voice; voice is communications; no more, no less.

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