Our next VoIP maven is Ginny Hutchinson of Speakeasy (A Best Buy Company). Hutchinson is Chief Marketing Officer and has been working in the VoIP world for five years now. Now, we are not talking about a saloon or Prohibition here, headquartered in Seattle, Wash., Speakeasy provides broadband and voice service nationwide.

What is it like working as a woman in the VoIP world?

The telecommunications industry is more female-friendly than many other tech areas. I encourage and support women who are interested in making the move to the telecom industry. VoIP is an exciting, fast-paced, growing market with a lot of opportunity for talented employees.

How did you become interested/introduced to VoIP?

I spent over 10 years in the wireless industry. My wireless experience laid the foundation for my move into broadband voice services. It was a natural fit with my background, and I’m proud to be able to offer a product where the features and functionality truly make it a next-generation phone system.

What are some of your networking/marketing methods?

I serve on a number of boards, both business-related and non-profit. This allows me to stay connected professionally and with my community. I also keep on top of industry trends through trade publications both on and off-line.

How is it working with men in VoIP?

I feel that, in telecommunications as with any other industry, the talent and work ethic of my colleagues is most important factor, and gender is not an issue. I enjoy working with a wide variety of folks. At Speakeasy, we hold as one of our core values: ‘respecting individuals and individuality.’ I’m fortunate at Speakeasy to work with a dedicated and talented group of people who inspire me every day.

What do you see for the future of women in VoIP?

I think that more women are claiming their rightful places in technology than ever before. There are many rewarding experiences and opportunities for women in telecommunications both domestically and internationally. Telecommunications is a great place to be!

Up or Down? What’s it going to be?

VoIP market growing in cable sector, yet shows downturn in first quarter subscription lines

Being in VoIP marketing, I read a LOT about the VoIP industry during the day.  One of the things that confuses me is how more households can be utilizing VoIP lines (particularly through cable providers), yet the market seems to claim that VoIP subscriber line orders are shrinking.

I, for one, am confused.  How can an industry growing in homes and businesses across the country be shrinking? Seems kind of contradictory to me.

First, the bad news.

JR over at iLocus wrote a post on May 20, saying that the VoIP subscriber lines market shrank 19 percent in the first quarter.  The post stated:

In 1Q08, vendors shipped a total of about 7.9 million VoIP Subscriber Feature Server licenses for deployment in service provider networks generating $144 million in revenue. The number of lines is down by 19% Q-o-Q. The 3Q07 and 4Q07 quarters however were unusually high growth quarters for VoIP Subscriber Feature Servers.”

Meanwhile, on a day prior, May 19, Om Malik at GigaOm produced a post on VoIP booming in the U.S. thanks to cable service providers like Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Cablevision and Charter.

Despite all the troubles with VoIP service providers such as SunRocket and Vonage, VoIP as a technology seems to be doing quite well in the U.S., according to data from Telegeography. As of the end of March, there were 16.3 million consumer VoIP lines, or about 13.8 percent of U.S. households, and 27 percent of households with broadband lines installed.”

Most of the new customers are coming from RBOC’s (At&T, Verizon and Qwest), with that industry losing 17.3 million residential telephone lines, and VoIP service providers gaining 14.4 million new customers.  According to Om’s post, nearly 80 percent have come from cable companies.

So where does this leave the reader or manager inquiring about the industry?  From the way I comprehend it, people are using their current broadband lines to incorporate VoIP, rather than having to buy new lines.  Considering that half of American homes have broadband Internet, new lines are not necessary.

But the good news is that people are jumping onto VoIP, and will have a need for more VoIP systems and services.  The telecom that could is growing in a big way.