Thursday, June 02, 2005

The speech I should have given

Leonardo Faoro - The VoIP Weblog

I mentioned that I spoke at the Minnesota Telecommunications Association annual meeting last month and the presentation I gave was, well, not what I should have given.

So much conversation is going on about VOIP and how it can save money and how, in my favorite example from Rich Tehrani, it's like sex in high school (thanks to Ted for pointing it to it) - lots of people are talking about it, more people are thinking about it, but how many are actually doing it?

With all this in mind, I think as professionals we need to get down to it and think about applications of the technology in larger ways than "it saves me money on long distance".

With that in mind I think I should have told the people in the audience last month:
VOIP is a transport, not an application (actually I did say that...)
Elevate your thinking from "how?" to "how far can I take it?"
Evaluate your business (and your competitor's business) to see where any issues in streamlining of communications can be improved or "time to money" scenarios shortened and promote it to your customers - make it a competitive advantage
Ed Simnett from Microsoft made a great example of businesses leveraging mulit-modal communications to make another two trades a day because the guy in London can get to the gal in New York before he goes home because he knows she's in the office and available before doing a fire and forget email or lobbing in a call when the time's not right - it adds up quickly and presence speeds it along
Like XML allowed for interchange of data between business partners, think of "pervasive communications" in the same vein - can you leverage the same (or similar) platforms for multi-modal communications across the entire enterprise landscape, not just your enterprise?
EXPAND your horizons and the reach of your business. Distributed teams are part of the equation, but factor in machine-to-machine communications (read Semantic Web) and you're getting closer to the future -- I mean, if I can fire a SOAP request across the network to ping my telecommunication server to act in some way, why can't I get my monitoring software to not send a page but CALL my network tech and TELL him that server 123 is having problems, then ASK him what he wants to do (press 1 to reboot, press 2 to pass this on to the next tech, press 3 to do a conference call among all the techs in an available status, press 4 to call the client, etc. etc. etc)??
We're in baby steps now, I know, but we need to elevate our thinking and get out of the boxes and wires and talk about the top-line business benefits as well. Unless I'm missing something, most of the conversation is about the latest boxes, pundits and/or FCC regulations...

Let's get some creative APPS GOING people!
posted by tim | Link | 0 CommentsFeedback | Posted: 5:46 AM

It's the application, not the infrastructure
There is so much talk about VOIP all over the place. There are blogs and there are news articles. It's showing up in everything from the Wall Street Journal to Ladies Home Journal.

One thing that I think is lost is that VOIP is simply a transport mechanism, an end to a means.

The real power is the applications, not the transport.

Although TCP/IP made communicating between machines easier it was the websites that were built on top of that protocol that built the Internet we enjoy today (dancing hamsters and all).

So when you're reading about VOIP and all the wonderfulness, open your mind to the possibilities it affords, not just in free long distance but in truly converged communications.


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