Voice over Internet protocol, also known as “VoIP,” and Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert), or “SIP” Trunking are two of the strongest segments poised for growth in the IT industry, a top executive for a Dallas-based managed VoIP services provider told TMCnet in an interview.
According to David Byrd (News - Alert), vice president of marketing for Broadvox, companies are exploring how to build their use of such IP communications to deliver new service and applications. And devices like the Apple iPod and other smartphone are helping fuel the growth.
“The world is changing as a result of these devices,” Byrd told TMC President Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) in an interview (printed in full below). “Their ubiquitous nature is affecting every aspect of our lives. I spend a lot more of my time researching how the twenty-somethings are using technology in order to better understand what new products Broadvox (News - Alert) should be offering and what new relationships may be needed to meet those future needs.”
Byrd, who is participating in a talk during ITEXPO West in September, IP Communications Continues to Evolve, also said that he’s taking a wait-and-see approach regarding the impact of President Barack Obama administration’s on technology markets.
Their full exchange follows.
RT: What has the economic crisis taught you, and how has it changed your customers?
David Byrd (pictured left): The economic crisis has taught Broadvox that the primary value proposition for VoIP/SIP Trunking, reducing your telecom spend, is more relevant than ever. Our customers continue to use our services and enjoy their savings. Where we see the biggest change is in our prospecting activity. Interest is up and sales cycles are shorter.
RT: How is this down economy affecting your decisions to reinvest in your company or market, if at all? Where will you invest?
DB: We are concerned with how we manage our growth during these times. We know that while things look good now, they could turn if the economy does not exhibited its expected growth this fall. In the meantime, we are increasing our R&D of new products, expanding our provisioning organization, adding to our sales efforts and educating our reseller partner organization. We have expanded the number of Webinars, added a section to our Web site called “Broadvox University” and permanently altered the focus of my blog to provide much needed information to our channel. We know if we invest in the channel, both they and we will see growing returns.
RT: What’s the strongest segment in the communications industry?
DB: I can’t speak for the industry as a whole. I am focused on VoIP and SIP Trunking, which is definitely one of the stronger segments. Carriers, cable companies, wireless service providers and other ITSPs are examining how to increase the use of IP communications to deliver new service and applications.
RT: With the rise of smartphones and netbooks, many wireless technologies, such as WiFi, appear to be poised for rapid growth. For example, we’re seeing more and more airlines add in-flight WiFi. In general, how widespread should WiFi be, in your view?
DB: More than it currently is. I recently did a blog on MiFi, the portable and personal WiFi. I see promise for that technology, if the pricing becomes more attractive than getting aircards. Being able to create a WiFi anywhere and anytime is of interest to me and many others.
RT: Which nation or region of the world will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
DB: My sales focus is the U.S. for SIP Trunking. However, Broadvox’s wholesale business does activity in various parts of the world. Lately, I have seen more new products offerings on the wholesale side of our business in South America. South America and Asia both represent growth opportunities.
With regard to SIP Trunking, we just recently, began offering originating service out of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Hopefully, Alaska will be added before the end of the year.
RT: In what ways is President Barack Obama helping or hindering the technology markets? What more can he do?
DB: President Obama has only been in office six months and he has put in place what appear to be strong people as the chairman of the FCC, CIO and CTO. As I have not seen any planning documents generated by these people, I cannot say whether they are helping or hurting. I’ll have a better opinion of his performance in December when each of those areas should be releasing their strategic plans and tactical activity.
RT: What device or devices do you use, and what do you wish you used?
DB: My needs are fairly basic. I have my BlackBerry, laptop, aircard and Bluetooth earpiece. I find that meets my needs. As far as new devices, I am considering an iPod. I know that I am among the few that don’t have one, but that’s the way it is. Also, I would like to get a MiFi device. I think it would be a fun thing to have.
RT: What has the iPhone 3G taught us? I know it’s very new, but what about the Palm Pre? What are we learning from the smartphones based on the open source Google (News - Alert) Android platform?
DB: Their use this summer has been interesting. The way the devices were used to collect and communicate information during the protests in Iran and Michael Jackson’s death are worth noting. The world is changing as a result of these devices. Their ubiquitous nature is affecting every aspect of our lives. I spend a lot more of my time researching how the twenty-somethings are using technology in order to better understand what new products Broadvox should be offering and what new relationships may be needed to meet those future needs.
RT: I understand you are speaking during ITEXPO West, to be held Sept. 1 to 3 in Los Angeles. Describe your talk and tell us what companies or people should attend.
DB: The talk will be about the future of IP and how peering will apply itself to expanding the reach of individual carriers while reducing the cost of IP communications further. The talk will be to discuss near term and long term directions for the IP ecosystem.
Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Amy Tierney