[quote=“dufus”]Ok… This is going to ruffle feathers, but I’m gonna say it anyway…
Don’t be a VOIP service provider. It’s a temporary business at best, and won’t survive if VOIP becomes widely adopted.
Everyone forgets that no one at all NEEDS a VOIP provider to make a VOIP phone call. All we really need them for, is to be a bridge from a VOIP call to the PSTN. If your call’s destination is another VOIP endpoint you can, with just about any VOIP phone, just dial the IP address and call the phone. No VOIP provider necessary, and no monthly charge.
Right now, the VOIP market is trying desperately to look a lot like the PBX/PSTN thing we have today. I’m making an assumption, but I think it’s to help spur adoption by convincing legacy telecom people (like me) that the two methods are basically the same.
However, it wouldn’t take much to wipe it all out. All you’d have to do is migrate the registration services to something like your email system. You wouldn’t dial phone numbers, you’d dial dufus @ somedomain .com. The messaging server would respond, “his registration says his phone is at this IP” and your phone would start to send packets directly to my phone. It might respond “he’s not on the net right now, here’s his voicemail greeting”, or “he says he’s busy, here’s his voicemail greeting”. Either way, VOIP providers are not involved. Just my broadband provider, who hosts my messaging server.
Instead of a client server thing, (like what we’re building today) where the services are provided by a central server, it will probably end up being peer-to-peer. Phones will create their own conferences, play their own mp3 files for music on hold, and only consult servers to find out how to address the packets, or where to store and retrieve the voicemail messages. Phones just need a little proccessor and memory boost to make it all possible.
Big things like IVR and ACD will be their own application servers, but most people don’t need those.
You don’t need Vonage or any other provider to place a VOIP call. You only need them to connect your call to the PSTN. When VOIP becomes more widely adopted, you won’t need them at all, because your call’s endpoint won’t be on the PSTN. It’s a business model that’ll be doomed by it’s own success.[/quote]
To be honest I actually agree with many of the points you made. Wasn’t it Theodore Roosevelt who once said that “no force is as powerful as an idea whose time has come”. Indeed VOIP is that idea and it’s time has definitely come. However the real issue for businesses migrating to VOIP is the interconnection to the PSTN. Without that interconnection VOIP is nothing but a novelty.
My reason for asking about becoming a VOIP service provider is that I’m part of a small company that provides IT services to small and medium sized businesses, and I’m simply trying to find a why to offer our customers VOIP services - be it directly or through a reseller. The issue I guess is which one offers the better revenue stream.