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Putting VoIP In It's Place

Many of the pundits are all basically saying the same thing about VoIP.

Some are calling it dead. Others are saying it's changing. I'm saying that things like VoIP, SIP, etc. are terms for what has become the foundation level building blocks for the 21st century communication.

Some call the notion of a discussion a rehash of things we've all be saying. I say, we're entering the era where communications as we know it begins to change and is also a needed change. We're wel beyond the era of POTS based mentality. For example, how many people use phone company supplied voice mail. I don't mean, have it take a message, which it does well. But for many of us, we use the number that was called and just return the call as we want real time interaction, not voice mail tag. For me, I get few voicemail messages. My calls are either a) scheduled b) triggered from an IM session c) a result of a Twitter exchange d) a result of an email exchange e) those that are random are screened first by either CallVantage, GrandCentral or Webley f) Caller ID has gotten to the point where I know whose calling. While this isn't everyone's behavior, for the connected types it is more and more the norm. Many people just don't listen to VM, but they use SimulScribe or SpinVox to text them the message also.

Next is the growing use of cell phones. People don't want to play tag so they give out their cell number as their primary reach me number. What's missing is the 2.0 services from the cell phone networks, not the interest. Instead of lock me in contracts, carriers need to offer "lock me in services." The kind of services that Alec and Jeff and Ken and Jon and everyone else loves to use, but we all have to go over the top to find them. I'm talking Speech based calling from Mobivox, WiFi based calling from Truphone, roaming services from MaxRoam and SIM4Travel, etc.

At home, I'd rather take a call over my desktop or laptop connected to a Polycom mini speakerphone or right on my Polycom desk phone. The call is higher quality because the HD technology is there. Services like HighDef Conferencing and Calliflower make the call not only sound better, but provide a richer group calling experience.

Marrying these kinds of services together is the era we're entering. It's not about VoIP or SIP or Skype, its about the experience, and that experience is going to be three types. Business, social and personal. Buzzspeak is VoIP, SIP, Skype.

To me, the winds of change are evident. Call me the Revalator, but it is time for a change.


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Liked your perspective on this. VoIP is definitely far from dead, just depends on your perspective. VoIP is like a platform to develop advanced application and that application is surely not dead. Read more on

Andy Abramson

Not exactly Michael.

I'm implying about the overall experience. Calliflower and HighDef differ. One offers a very rich sound and an easy to use back end. The other offers a very rich front end, live participant experience.

Sorry for the confusion. I'm thinking end user experience, not early adopter level.

Michael Graves


You imply that Calliflower is a wideband (HDVoice) capable conference bridge. I don't believe that this is the case. I've never had a Calliflower conference that triggered the HD indication on my Polycom IP650. Nor have I ever felt that they sounded better than G.711.

In fact, I've never been able to join a Calliflower call via SIP URI. The call was always established using a PSTN number or through a specific service provider like Sitfono or TringMe. I presume that this is a reflection of their revenue model as much as their technology.


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