Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughts on VoIP at the Top of 2012

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs

It's an interesting quote because back in the days of dial-up and the early days of DSL, ISP's were the leaders. Today, it seems there is too much me-too. There is still for room for profit in verticals.

ZDnet has a post about what they want out of Google. Now that you get SMS, chat, docs, email, voice, transcription, calendar and more with Gmail and chrome, ZDnet suggests that fax come to that platform along with document management. It's not a bad idea. I have thought the same thing. My pal at FaxBetter.com would love to work with service providers to offer an efax solution to customers.

You all know how I feel about Fax over IP. I receive faxes via an efax solution from Astro, but I can't send faxes. When I have to sign a PDF, I have to print, sign, scan and email. Yet this is not always an option, since some agencies - like my credit union - don't give out an email address. I still have a fax machine, but no POTS line to use it on.

Document management wise: I can't believe that with Kodak, Xerox, HP and Polaroid all struggling, not one Engineer and Manager could team up to launch a Doc Mgmt SAAS product that integrates with email. Maybe Microsoft Lync does that with Sharepoint and Exchange all the other 80 boxes and licensing. HyperOffice and Zoho tried to do this. It needs an integrator to put the pieces together I think.

In an article on SearchIT, "As health care organizations update their computing capabilities in order to support electronic health record (EHR) systems, interoperability and standardization, many are considering whether to replace their existing phone system. As with any product purchase, IT executives are looking for real ROI in order to justify the cost." It continues with Ten tips for using VoIP in a clinical setting which include customized voice broadcasts, speech recognition, click-to-dial, CRM (but really patient record) integration, voice-to-text reminders and more. Besides scheduling, what if you could send out health tips to your patient base every week to remind them to get a physical or get diet help or botox. There is money when it isn't about VoIP and the tech but what the tech will allow the business to do.

In other VoIP news:

A article about PSAP's migrating to VoIP details the reasons for the switch: cost savings and flexibility. "With its portability, cost savings and the promise of enhanced functionality, Internet-based telephony is becoming the de facto choice in jurisdictions whose PSAPs are approaching the end of their five- to seven-year life cycle." If PSAP's are going VoIP, shouldn't your customers?

In UC (unified communications, the catch-all new buzz term for all hosted communications - voice, video, chat, text, social), there's a new study showing that potential customers for UC struggle to justify the expense of converting to UC. Maybe they don't believe all of the ROI calculators that are available. The study, written by IDC analyst Rich Costello, is titled IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications Voice Infrastructure 2011-2012 Vendor Analysis. "Educating potential customers is critical to UC sales." The funny part? The study is about premise equipment vendors like Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, NEC, IBM, and ShoreTel. In the case of Cisco, MS and IBM, you would think their sales force is trained to be Consultative. [Are yours?]

No comments: