I have to admit, the voice space has been, well, rather boring the last few years. And, with it, VoIPWatch has become less and less a VoIP focused blog and more and more a news blog featuring stories that I find interesting, and which I've started to share here and within the Comunicano Communique (which you can subscribe to HERE).
Thankfully, over the past few weeks, a few Voice related services and apps have renewed my enthusiasm for voice as it is clearly alive (as it has always been) and inventiveness is far from dead.
Let's look at a few of the more interesting activities in Voice that I'm now closely VoipWatching:
Dialpad - The company formerly known as SWITCH.co Perhaps this should be named Dialpad 2.0 as veterans in the voice world will recall the original company, then the acquisition by Yahoo, the creation of Yahoo Voice with it, and then its demise.
The New Dialpad is reminiscent of the line in the The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" ---"Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss" -- as it's almost the same team as the old Dialpad as Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet were two thirds of the Dialpad team that sold it to Yahoo, with YIPTV founder Mike Tribolet (original President of Vonage) being the other executive.
With an updated logo (see the d and p) and new apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, a kick butt plug in for Chrome, and most of all, VoIP calling over Wi-Fi and mobile broadband, Dialpad may very well be the first real carrier scale provider of mobile PBX services. With extension dialing coming soon, an app for the iPad around the corner, enhancements to all types of enterprise services, the new Dialpad is a major upfit to Switch.
Telzio - It's always fun to be part of growing an innovative start-up. Telzio is one of those. About a year ago I became an advisor to the L.A. based VoIP company aimed at bringing really big ideas to small company communications. Now that I'm living here my friendship with founder Peter Rank Schroder has only boosted that engagement. A few weeks ago Telzio rolled out integration with the Amazon Echo, an idea I first proposed after really getting a lot out of the "must have" device while traveling across Europe last summer. First up was the integration with CounterPath's Bria. Next on the innovation front is an native iOS app that's in beta now, as is their Zapier integration (you need to be a customer and invited into the beta) so I have Telzio working with Slack very nicely now. What's so cool about Telzio is the simplicity, speed and elegance of all their integrations, which rivals their insanely low price offer, of $1.00 a month for phone service.
Wire- Started by pal Alan Duric and many of the Skype ex-pats led by Jonathan Christensen, Wire has been steadily evolving over the past year or so into a Skype replacement for many of the Voice Comms Mafia members who are also regulars on the VUC. Now with encrypted communications, upgraded video capabilities, Wire is picking up where Skype left off after its acquisition by Microsoft. The big benefits are the services elegantly clean UI, a fast set up and a HTML5 version that works within the browser (Chrome for sure) and the end to end encrypted comms.
Slack - One of the most used productivity apps around, Slack is now testing in beta Voice calls. What's neat? Well for starters, they have it working in both within the browser and inside their native apps. More importantly is the integration going on with Slack by others.
Yodel -A team from Austria, with an aptly named app, have begun to use WebRTC, dial up numbers for inbound and outbound calling. Now in beta.
Ottspott - brought to us by the Apidaze team out of Paris, they know WebRTC rather well and as a result have come up with a more elegant and complete solution than Yodel for now where calls are placed and received using Slack.
In both cases, Ottspott and Yodel are showing what's possible with WebRTC, apps and services that start outside the browser in an app.
With these new developments, I'm happy to say my VOIPwatching is back..