Michael Bibelman’s response to my question – “What do you feel is the strongest segment of the communications space? Technology?” – didn’t surprise me, but it does reinforce something we’ve heard before about the VoIP market.
Bibelman, the chief executive officer of London-based Voiceserve Inc, which includes VoIPSwitch Inc., answered, “Convergence communications: VoIP plus unified messaging plus IPTV (News - Alert).”
VoipSwitch develops VoIP platforms solutions for global telecommunications service providers, helping operators deliver secure, reliable services that are fully interoperable with other IP telephony standards and systems.
Bibelman told me in an interview, printed below, that the United States represents the most fertile market for his company’s products – and that he’s looking, as many of us are – to President-elect Barack Obama for guidance. He also said that he hasn’t changed his development plans for 2009, and that his company’s reasonably priced, complete software for Internet telephony service providers will help lower the barrier to entry – an important factor during a recession.
Interestingly, Bibelman also says that IPTV – and particularly its implementation on mobile devices – is something he’s looking forward to in the future.
Our exchange follows.
Rich Tehrani (News - Alert): Are you generally optimistic, Pessimistic or realistic?
Michael Bibelman: Optimistic.
RT: How many frequent flyer miles have you amassed?
MB: Over 100,000.
RT: How surprised are you at the global financial situation?
MB: Not very, the writing was on the wall.
RT: How is your company changing the way it does business as a result?
MB: Focus on improving offered services and products (increase in efficacy) and reduction in costs, thus sustaining sufficient margins. We’re also exploring possibilities to increase income from our existing sources of revenues.
RT: How have customers reacted to the slowing global markets?
MB: Generally they do not seem much concerned.
RT: Do you see this time as an opportunity or a rough spot to get through quickly?
MB: I am afraid that the times of money spending which we witnessed in last several years are not to be seen in near future. Therefore, instead of going into all kind of risky businesses, companies will have to pick new projects more carefully, and the same applies for the way of conducting business and type of offered services. Which model of ITSP will survive will be verified by the market.
RT: What will companies need to do to survive this downturn?
MB: No more experiments at expense of investors (similar to the situation with Web start-ups in 2000), companies will need to have solid basis and be able to show profits.
RT: How do your company’s products help customers in a slow market?
MB: Reasonably priced, complete software for ITSPs, it helps lower barrier to entry what becomes very important factor in recession times.
RT: What do you feel is the strongest segment of the communications space? Technology?
MB: Convergence communications: VoIP plus unified messaging plus IPTV.
RT: Which would you rather be president of and why? Google, Yahoo, Microsoft (News - Alert), Cisco, the United States.
MB: Microsoft – tremendous potential in VoIP space, IM, video services, mobile software markets.
RT: What does an Obama administration need to do to help communications and technology become more pervasive?
MB: Sort out some kind of financial roadmap.
RT: Will this slowdown present an opportunity to reinvest in your company/market? If so, where will you invest?
MB: We keep our development plans for 2009 unchanged.
RT: Which country will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
MB: United States.
RT: If Nokia (News - Alert), RIM, Google and Apple devices are stranded together on an island, who survives and why?
MB: Google (News - Alert) – the potential behind Google is huge, imagine connecting Google search engine with mobile services, not only voice/video communication but also location, data services and others. for example looking where is your colleague by putting a phrase with his/her phone number or better Gmail nickname in Google search, as results getting the ways of possible means of communication with this user and (if allowed) showing where he/she is now.
RT: I understand you are exhibiting at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. What will you be showing there?
MB: VoIP platform combining softswitch, billing, callback, calling cards, softphones and other elements needed for deployment of various VoIP services.
RT: What sorts of companies/people should come to your exhibit?
MB: ITSPs, ISPs, others interested in offering VoIP.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions – and how do they justify the expense to management?
MB: It is very competitive comparing to other developers, yet very rich in functions and what is the most important very intuitive and user-friendly.
RT: I am a purchasing decision-maker, why do I need to speak with you before I buy?
MB: You don’t need to – all the information is clearly documented on our Web site.
RT: What is your favorite part of your job?
MB: Inventing new functionality for the system.
RT: What do you look forward to in the future and why?
MB: IPTV and its implementation on mobile devices.
Learn more about Voiceserve Group and VoIPSwitch at Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO will take place in Miami, Florida, Feb. 2 to 4, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Visit Voiceserve Group and VoIPSwitch at booth #211 in the exhibit hall. Don’t wait. Register now!
Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world�s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Michael Dinan