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Posts from July 2006

Skype Is Everywhere

Skype is being credited with being everywhere in this news account. What it is about is called a "market domination" strategy that is very similar to what I used over 14 years ago to help build the market wide reputation via PR and Sports Marketing for a sports licensed products company that caused the leading industry publication to name us the number three company in the space behind Nike and Budweiser.

A market domination strategy takes advantage of a few factors.

1. The lack of consumer marketing smarts on the part of the competition. If you think about it Vonage, Yahoo Messenger, AOL, MSN and Google all market to the online, more advanced user. Skype markets to anyone who has a need to talk.

2. Skype uses OPM. Much of the noise being generated is via the partners, especially fr the WiFi phones which I predict will enable Skype to have more users than Vonage using a phone, not a computer to talk to someone within Six to Nine months because the mass marketing aspects are there. The only problem I see is that "Joe and Jane Average" won't understand how to make them work as easy and hours of online hold time with support centers in India will alienate many people.

3. Skype is finally appealing to the Mac crowd, just like Gizmo Project and SightSpeed already figured out much earlier. That crowd is the alpha influencers, so get them using something and it impacts those that use PC in a much more rabid way. Market Dominators know how to use the thought leaders.

4. Skype plays the news game very well. They use the "whispering winds" of the blogosphere and get the news out around the traditional press, so the press has to cover it, but where the "authorities" have already led the way.

All this is why Skype is now being perceived as "hot."

Om Question WiFi On Mobiles

Om questions the enthusiastic support of WiFi on Mobile and points out the hurdles. He failed to point out how easy the Nokia 770 tablet is to use though, but I bet for good reason, it's not a mobile phone.

The key is the mobile carriers, and they have to make it easy, not hard for the Mobile devices to be able to work in both worlds, especially in hotspots, like T-Mobile's network. That said, operators like Boingo are busy working on clients to let users do just that, and so are companies like PCTel.

I don't disagree with Om at all, and put the burden to make the dual mode world work squarely on the shoulders of two groups. The mobile operators and the handset manufacturers.

More People Thinking of Working Anywhere

This survey from Intel pretty much sums up why I started this other blog. With more people finding it harder and harder to disconnect, the concept of working anywhere has matured to become part of the cross over between work and life.

VoIP will play a major part of the lifestyle change we will all experience in the next ten years, as IP connectivity makes it easier to "stay connected" and work where ever we may be.

CallVantage Lowers Price, Pressures Vonage

I meant to blog this but it just slipped by, so read Jon Arnold, who did.

The price drop by AT&T further goes to support my belief that cost of phone calling will continue to drop to zero, and that the business models of companies like TelEvolution with PhoneGnome and iotum, GizmoProject (i.e. SipPhone) and even AOL with AIM PhoneLine's future plans will be the real winners in the straight out VoIP game as they all get the applications angle very clearly.

AT&T from the start with CallVantage focused on an advanced feature set that delivered smart "locate me," conference calling, do not disturb, speed calling and more. So too did TelEvolution's PhoneGnome, which has continued to add features that people want and need to have as they desire more connectivity and a single solution.

Vonage on the other hand has not added much, if anything since their inception, and only dabbled with even looking at anything new, other than some spam, um, email lists to lure new customers.

So with AT&T and likely others lowering their prices, Vonage will at some point either have to lower prices, thus putting more pressure on their stock price, or find a way to innovate.

The latter could occur, but there will need to be many more changes inside the company for that to occur. AT&T on the otherhand will likely roll CallVantage into a cross over play with Cingular Wireless, plus their IPTV and WiFi efforts, as the IP platform is built for the future, not for the past.

Rich Tehrani has some points on this as well that he posted late last week.

The VoIP Non Event Of The Month

Yahoo Messenger with Voice is out of Beta...YAWN :-(

Sorry Jeff and Brad, you may be my pals and all, but having your agency send out a press advisory on a Thursday is about as silly as it gets if you want anyone to pay attention to what is supposed to be real news. But then again, maybe this wasn't really news.

First, in the biz, you put bad news out on a Friday, so tipping us off on Thursday via the agency, gave it less importance than I would have expected to come from Yahoo. Then to make matters worse, it seemed to give some details about the plug ins, but then shifted to the Microsoft Interop which from all accounts is still in beta.

So if the beta is over, and the Interop with Microsoft is a Beta, doesn't that still make the software beta until all the bugs between the two services are ironed out....

Oh, and still no final Mac I guess the beta really isn't over....Yawn.