Chris Kranky

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VoIP – is this how we’re really going compete?

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

ottI worked for a VoIP supplier. It’s a sad life. My day goes something like this.

I visit a big telephone company and tell their executives that they move to all of their old TDM based equipment to IP immediately. I fib a little and tell them they’re behind and missing a  great opportunity so they need to hurry up. A tad scared they ask what they need to do. I tell them they’re gonna need a roomful of these things called SBC’s to keep the boogie man away and mostly because after years of working on VoIP the industry can’t seem to agree on any standard, another roomful of application servers to provide a bunch of features that no one really uses and then a building full of gateways (because TDM is still gonna be big).

I tell them if they get really big they’re definitely gonna want an IMS network to impress their friends. What’s that? Ah it’s a layer of proxies upon proxies  which ends at what looks like an Oracle database but will require a specialty database that will cost you a fortune. Your whole staff will have to be retrained to deal with all this but hey progress is never cheap. Finally, with all of the new stuff you’re going to re-write your entire back office infrastructure (billing, customer care, network management).

The executives gasp. I’ve got them now. Yes, you really need to do this and you need to move now or risk near certain death.

They recover and ask, will we get more revenue from this investment as our traditional voice services business is in decline. I cross my fingers behind my back, get that little smirk on my face and answer. My god man there will be hundreds of new voice applications with a ton of revenue potential. Like what? Let’s move to the next chart.

I then move on to the Grim Reaper charts. Ever heard about Skype, Viber and any of 100 other telephony applications you can download on your phone. I throw in Facebook and Google and Microsoft just for extra fear. These guys are all going to be doing voice and robbing your baby from you. You need to act, call now operators are standing by.

This order is going to be mine. Poor bastards.

In a few, and I mean few, rare cases, someone outsmarts me and asks “So I need to buy all this stuff from you so we can compete with this group we’ve code named ‘OTT’ providers (otherwise known as the bad guys), now are these OTT providers buying stuff from you.”

I move to the next chart ..