Take a little bit of GoogleVoice, throw in some Bandwidth.com, hook in some UberConference as the spice and you get--->SWITCH. perhaps the UBERphone for businesses of all sizes and the service that in my mind will wreck havoc with the likes of 8x8 and RingCentral to name a few. Right now it's in private beta and they are taking requests. To me, their "we're here" blog post explains a lot, and TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler has more details.
So with Switch Craig Walker, Vincent, T.R. and the gang have taken a swing at three of the giants in one time at bat. Let me tell you.....
Why (to) Switch?
For starters the guys and gals behind SWITCH know Voice and mobile very well. They have been doing it together since their DialPad days, and really did change the way people use phone numbers with GrandCentral. So, from a pedigree perspective, they get it. They also have funding from Google Ventures and A16Z, so together their collective insight into cloud, Google Apps and opportunity is well known inside the business. Lastly, and most importantly, the changes inside Google with GoogleVoice and Hangouts, as well as the API's around Google Apps, make this a timely market entry with a really well thought out mobile PBX play.
For starters, Google Apps/Works adoption is growing, and the defections are coming from the world of Microsoft Exchange thus making Switch (an awesome name by the way) a formidable rival out of the gate to Lync. What's more when you look at how many services via IFTTT and ZAPIER can interoperate with GoogleApps and then bring in SWITCH the degree of eco-system competency they will have is astounding, trumping Lync and Exchange out of the gate. But there's more reasons for this.
For starters Google Voice is limited to one user. Switch overcomes this in spades. How? imagine porting your GV number over to Switch and making it possible to transfer calls over between colleagues...next is the addition of video conferencing without hardware using Hangouts. To me, after Microsoft feels the pain comes the hurt to Polycom. For years Polycom has been chasing the ITSP to sell their solutions. They've partnered with Broadsoft for a cloud solution that was so expensive it was cost prohibitive to both the ITSPs and their customers it was so costly that not many of the ITSPS really sell it much, and those that do aren't making any money. That makes the next loser Broadsoft. Can you call this move by the Firespotter team has made "the Broadsoft disConnection (a pun I came up with after talking to a now former Broadsoft partner.) That's three strikes to the competition all in one pitch.
So for Firespotter founder Craig Walker, who loves to coach his son in Little League skills, the opportunity ahead for him with SWITCH may just end up being his perfect game!