When we look back at IP Telephony (or what was called in the ole days – VoIP), we can discern three unique stages. Stage I – the invention and introduction of VoIP services by the likes of Vocaltec, Deltathree etc. Stage II – the launch of Hosted Services by companies like Vonage, Packet 8, Ring Central and of course yours truly. Stage III – is just starting and is truly exciting.
We can define Stage I by calling it the “Pipes Era”, replacing legacy telecom pipes with shiny new VoIP pipes that transport the bits and bytes of our voice from one side of the world to the other at very low cost. Stage II – has become known as the “Cloud Era” where new providers took legacy phone systems and trucked them over to “The Cloud”.
Ok, so we replaced the pipes and removed the boxes from our offices. Bottom line we are talking costs savings and some convenience, but where is the innovation?? Well it is almost here!
Now that we are all connected up and in “The Cloud”, voice is truly just another app. On that same cloud (AKA “The Web”), there are tons of data and applications. The “Phone” (if there is still such a thing), can be tied into and manipulated by all those bits and bytes on the web. Businesses can serve their customers needs with custom recipes. Mix in data, voice, video, chat, real time info etc as the context warrants. The “Contact Us” page on your website will no longer have separate contacts for phone, chat, email – all media will flow on one platform, adapting itself as needed.
Now That is Exciting!