Much to no one's surprise, Google finally got around to adding VoIP to GoogleVoice. Hmmm...Having been involved in the original Grand Central VoIP was something that was always on the roadmap. There was for a while even an integration I helped foster with Gizmo Project that sort of added it. Back story I needed to use GrandCentral in Europe as I was planning my wedding there so then co-founder of Grand Central Vincent Paquet and then head of Gizmo Jason Droege did a simple SIP interop and instantly Gizmo and GC were connected....to this day I don't know how many other users used that but I sure did, as it gave me a combination of being reachable on my then Nokia N90 and more.....but I digress.
The move to add VoIP to GoogleVoice could be seen by some as forerunner and a route for Google to seek to find a way to get into the voice business as an add-on to the G Suite. something long time VoIP industry consultant Dave Michels has been sniffing out for a while.
Whether Google's VoIP efforts is to test scale and get an understanding of how VoIP plays out in the telecom world is anybody's guess. VoIP is at this point ubiquitous in telecom. With WebRTC making it easy to make calls, which is how GoogleVoice is likely connecting to the Chrome browser Google is taking the best of the three Gs...GrandCentral, GIPS (both former Clients of mine) and Gizmo (I made that introduction if anyone remembers) and put all that technology together to finally get around to a VoIP play....
Why? Well if you look at how many millions of users GoogleVoice has, Google can connect them all over data without touching the PSTN domestically. It also opens up the international market for calling between GV users. All of that will reduce costs to Google, which each operating unit has to do as they need to be moving towards profitability or extinction. If you recall there was some speculation that Google might kill of GoogleVoice in the past.
With this move that possibility is lessened, and Google gets a way to add calling to the G Suite. Remember, all Google services that go into beta go to the free users first, and most of them are Gmail users already, so this is one more historical proof point that Google has dreams of business voice. Ironically, Google still has not allowed GV users who tied their number to a personal domain to be in the beta...
All in all I see GoogleVoice with VoIP a nice addition to the service. It's not groundbreaking or trendsetting, but really just one more reason to keep using it.