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HD Voice to be a Major Differentiator: ITEXPO Speaker

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December 09, 2009

HD Voice to be a Major Differentiator: ITEXPO Speaker

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

As the VoIP industry continues growing at a rapid rate, HD Voice is going to be a major differentiator, an official with an Encinitas, Calif.-based hosted VoIP PBX provider told TMCnet in an interview. 

According to Joe Schiavone, director of sales for FreedomVOICE, it won’t be long before companies begin using HD voice as a “pivotal marketing strategy.”
“It’s really a win-win for consumers,” Schiavone told TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview, printed in full below.

Schiavone is also speaking at ITEXPO East 2010 during a session called “Winning the Battle for SMB VoIP.”
During his interview with Tehrani, Schiavone uncovered his thoughts on the current smartphone market, predictions for 2010, and more.
RT: As smartphones continue to rise and find their ways into offices and homes alike. Who will dominate that market and why?
JS: It’s tough to say who will dominate long term. With players like BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone already established, and with new faces like Google’s (News - Alert) Android coming onto the scene, it’s really anyone’s game to win.
I do think a huge determining factor will be their unified communications abilities. What services they work with, what languages they understand, and how accommodating they are to all the major type of media and data, will play a significant role.
RT: We hear more and more about high-definition voice features in IP communications products and services. What is going to drive wideband audio and HD VoIP into the mainstream market? How long will it take?
JS: There has got to be a demand that matches the technologies expense or the expense has to come down. The technology would be ready tomorrow if consumer interest was through the roof. But right now, people like the idea, but they are not demanding it with arms waving. We really need to see that demand rise, and I think it will.
With the VoIP industry growing at such a rapid rate, HD Voice is going to be a major differentiator. We could see companies banking on the technology as a pivotal marketing strategy very soon. It’s really a win-win for consumers. They are going to get it eventually and for a good price. The industry is too competitive not to deliver.
RT: What’s the most innovative product that’s going to hit the market in 2010, from a company other than your own?
JS: There are a lot of products I like. But it’s hard not to keep your eye on major players like Google. They are flooding the technology corridor with new products. Android (News - Alert) looks interesting, as does Google Wave and Google ChromeOS should also be fun to watch.
I’m most excited about new opportunities with softphones from CounterPath and wireless VoIP phones from Unidata.  Unidata is a company with some cutting edge features and design. I also expect Polycom (News - Alert) to come out with some exciting new VoIP phones, and with their past success, I can’t wait to see what they create.
RT: We entered 2009 in a recession and now we’re seeing signs of the economy picking up. How did the slow economy affect demand for your products and services and what are you anticipating in 2010?
JS: Well the economy has been tough for a lot of people. Our hearts go out to everyone without a job and dealing with difficult times.
In regards to our situation, we have been fortunate. Our products, both FreedomVOICE Virtual Office and the FreedomIQ Hosted VoIP PBX, are value driven solutions which actually support companies during trying times. Our demand in 2009 was actually the highest we’ve ever had and our acquisition rate grew 10 fold. We are very happy with the growth our company experienced this year.
As the hosted VoIP industry grows, weaker players are fading away. We are glad that we’ve not only thrived in 2009, but we’ve also finally been recognized for the quality of service, advanced features, and overall “wow” experience that our service and company provides. FreedomVOICE is an honest company with hardworking people and we deliver for our customers. In fact, we do everything it takes to give them the tools they need to succeed. We’ve always had the philosophy that we’ll go the extra mile for the customer, and that is starting to be noticed by consumers.
RT: What are some of the areas of market growth in the next few years?
JS: We expect the hosted VoIP industry to grow by leaps and bounds. It grew by 21 percent during 2009 and we were in a very difficult recession. Now that things are turning around to some extent, we expect there to be even more growth.
RT: I understand you are speaking during ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami, to be held Jan. 20 to 22. Talk to us about your session or sessions. Who should attend and why?
JS: We really feel that we are a company to watch. We’re pushing boundaries in advanced features, call quality, and custom integration. If you’re interested in VoIP, particularly hosted VoIP, and where the future of the technology is headed, you’re going to want to attend this. If you’re looking for an amazing company to partner with, you should come. But overall, anyone with any interest in tech should come, because we have some very exciting things in the works, and some even better industry secrets to pass on.
RT: Please give me one outrageous prediction pertaining to our markets for 2010.
JS: Ten, even twenty years ago there was talk about video phones soon becoming mainstream - that never happened. In 2010, we could realistically see some of these products become reality from cutting edge VoIP providers. Mobile HD voice enabled video phones over WiFi, WiMAX (News - Alert) and LTE are right around the corner. We also predict the hosted VoIP industry is going to grow by at least 35 percent.
Learn more about FreedomVOICE at ITEXPO East 2010, an event with an educational program that teaches resellers, enterprises, SMBs, and government agencies how to select IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications to purchase or resell. ITEXPO will be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami. Listen to Joe Schiavone Director of Sales at FreedomVOICE speak during “Winning the Battle for SMB VoIP” to be held January 21, 2010 from 8:30-9:15am. Don’t wait – register now.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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