Our friends at Software Advice put together a great infographic highlighting the Life and Death of the Analog Telphone.

This pictorial history takes us through time from the humble telegraph to super-speed Voice over IP and beyond.

Designing the Analog Timeline

Craig Borowski, VoIP and telecommunications researcher at Software Advice shares some background:

The most interesting thing we learned while doing our research is the fact that the telegraph evolved into the telephone. It was fascinating to discover how that evolution took place. For example, as soon as the telegraph was invented, there were people all around the world who immediately started trying to improve it. The inventors kept making improvements in a similar fashion until it made the logical evolution into the telephone, and eventually modern-day VoIP technology.

The trickiest part with designing the timeline was how to conclude it. We felt fairly confident that the current trajectory of analog telephony points to a certain end — analog has been technologically obsolete for many decades. While we could have ended it at the present day, the FCC is showing signs of releasing big national carriers of their obligations to maintain analog systems. We felt the conclusion we chose was fitting — it really is only a matter of time. (Craig Borowski, Software Advice)

VoIP Spreading But People are Hard to Predict

Ben Sayers, CEO and founder of VoIP Supply, shares his experiences with the ongoing switch from analog to VoIP:

Ben Sayers
Ben Sayers, VoIP Supply Founder

Having been involved in telecom since 1994, I’ve seen a lot of the changes over the years.

My experience with VoIP began in 2004 when we launched VoIPSupply.com and began building VoIP solutions and helping others do the same.

Though I can’t predict the future of telecom and certainly wouldn’t put a date on it, VoIP continues to spread throughout the home and business world as it has reached a mainstream adoption phase.

There is little need for copper phone lines anymore, especially factoring in Mobile and all that it has changed over the last two decades.

With Skype and other desktop voice and video solutions having been around for such a long time without yet replacing the phone on most people’s desks, I have to expect that there is still a lot of runway remaining for fixed telecom with mobile integrations. People’s minds, habits and expectations are incredibly hard to change, including how they talk to other people. (Ben Sayers, VoIP Supply)

Here now is the infographic provided by VoIP and telecom review firm Software Advice

Voip supply Green

VoIP Supply is proud to do everything we can to contribute to a sustainable future.

B the Change Facebook cover photo

Our company has taken initiatives to cut back our carbon footprint by allowing employees to work from home one day a week (or occasionally more), recycle all the shipping material we receive, recycle as much trash and paper as we can separate, host our warehouse as a drop-off site for SunnKing’s E-Scrap 4 Camp, and participate in the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper Shoreline Sweep every spring/fall to pull pounds of trash out of one of the many waterways in Western New York. We’ve even made B-Corporation company status through our sustainable efforts. Working to create a better tomorrow is the heart of our company, and with that, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite brands who focus on the same causes as us so we can all make a better educated purchasing decision.

ADTRAN

Adtran is green

VoIP Supply is proud to offer ADTRAN’s series of devices, including the NetVanta series. Many of the NetVanta switches, routers, IP business gateways and IP telephony systems include eco-sustainable features, primarily Power over Ethernet functionality. PoE is one of the most sustainable approaches one can take towards a greener lifestyle: it contributes to decreased energy consumption and increases your cost savings with lower wattage usage. ADTRAN also works to ship their products in the most eco-friendly packaging possible, they comply to worldwide RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substance) and WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) directives, follow the downstream user obligations under the REACH directive, and attained ISO 14001 certification.

Cisco

Cisco is one of the most well known names in the industry; their logo was recognizable to me before I even knew what a gateway was. With that kind of industry dominance, Cisco focuses at being a global leader of sustainable efforts. Their commitment to sustainability has been awarded, recognized by top industry magazines, and comply to environmental standards such as ISO 14001, Global Reporting Initiative, and GHG protocol. Since 2006 Cisco has been working to reduce their energy and greenhouse gas production. All previously set goals have since been reached and now they’re working on lowering it further. In order to meet these new goals, they have to design their own products to emit the lowest waste possible, meaning for every Cisco product you buy, you’re doing likewise.

Jabra

As a leading headset manufacturer, Jabra recognizes that they have a certain example to set. Therefore, Jabra complies with REACH and has obtained ISO 14001 certification in the efforts to reduce their inclusion in the amount of technological waste that is growing in our landfills. They aim to use as little material as possible to reduce plastic consumption, use biodegradable material, and move as many headsets with as little fuel usage and packaging as they can.

MOBOTIX

MOBOTIX green

These unique IP cameras from Germany weren’t originally created to be a green product; they just naturally were. All MOBOTIX cameras are robust, solid, and weatherproof, and more often than not, a MOBOTIX camera will last for up to 9 years or longer. There are no moving parts to wear and tear before the life of the camera gives up. That also accounts for the low wattage the camera uses over Ethernet (PoE). You guessed it: that keeps money in your pocket, energy saved, and electronics out of landfills. Rarely are electronics made to last a decade, but MOBOTIX is.

Netgear Green

NETGEAR

NETGEAR committed itself to the green initiative by creating it’s own level of standards. NETGEAR Green is a verification that the particular product either meets or exceeds
global environment standards. These standards include but are not limited to: RoHS, Energy Star, WEEE, CEC, REACH, and Battery Directive. NETGEAR Green includes a variety of routers, switches (both managed and unmanaged), ProSafe switches, storage devices and Powerline.

Polycom

Much like Cisco, Polycom is too large and influential to let an opportunity like letting a global sustainability initiative pass by. As part of their corporate social responsibility, they launched the Polycom Takeback and Recycle Program and included the ‘Crossed Wheelie Bin Symbol’ on their products to advise customers not to throw Polycom products away in the municipal trash, but to dispose of it as e-waste. With that kind of approach to recycling, it’s probably no surprise to you that they comply to the RoHS, WEEE, and the Battery Directive as well.

Green VIVOTEK

VIVOTEK

In an effort to lower CO2 emissions, VIVOTEK turned their attention to the green cause in 2006 when they were certified for ISO 14001 and IECQ HSPM QC 080000. VIVOTEK also complies with RoHS, EUP, and WEEE directives. Green VIVOTEK is directly aimed at proactively reducing the amount of hazardous materials used in production, storage management, and degradable package consideration. Best part: Green VIVOTEK isn’t just a line; like Cisco and Polycom, they apply these standards to all their products.

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VoIP Supply Refresh

Yup, a shameless plug, but I come by it honestly. At VoIP Supply we’ve been taking gently used VoIP equipment and tested it, vigorously cleaned it, and repackaged it to provide a lower cost alternative to brand name products. Our Refresh line has saved thousands of perfectly good—albeit old—phones, cameras, switches, gateways, and TDM cards from going in the trash and made several people who are more concerned about cost than age very happy. It’s a great department within our company and we all get that warm fuzzy feeling when we watch those hundreds of devices move through our warehouse instead of going in the trash…well, instead of going in the E-Scrap for Camp bin; at VoIP Supply the only thing we tend to throw away are leftovers and Kleenex’s (the business park was against a composite bin).

I hope this blog post helps you look into outfitting your office with equipment you can feel good about.  If you’re looking for a new phone system, consider powering it over the Ethernet as an eco-friendly, cost saving, and future proof method. Call the experts at VoIP Supply at 1.800.398.8647 to help get started on your Green office today!

For more information on the sustainability efforts of these and other IP companies, see the links below.

Aastra Go Green
Adtran Sustainability
AudioCodes Quality, Safety and Environment
AVerGreen
AXIS Environment
Cisco Environment
ClearOne Green Initiative
Jabra CSR and Environment
Konftel Environmental Policy
Logitech Social and Environmental Responsibility
Media5 Quality and Environment
NETGEAR Green
Panasonic Environment
Patton Environment
Polycom Recycle Program
Environmental Protection at Sennheiser
Green-VoIP with snom
Sony Environment
Green VIVOTEK
ZTE Environmental Protection

Research firm IBISWorld released a report today with their predictions for the best performing industries of 2009, and they predict annual revenue growth of 20% for “Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers”.

IBISWorld Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 30/03/2009
Top 10 Biggest Recession Winners

IBISWorld Announces Industries To Perform Best in 2009

LOS ANGELES – March 30, 2009 – The recession is crippling businesses across the nation, but several industries will remain unscathed by the current economic strife, according to recent Recession Updates published by industry research firm IBISWorld. As one of the nation’s most respected independent publishers of business intelligence research reports, IBISWorld today announced the top 10 industries expected to have the largest revenue growth in 2009:

S.no INDUSTRY REVENUE GROWTH 2009 (percent)
1 Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers (VoIP) 20.1
2 ecommerce & Online Auctions 12.6
3 Biotechnology 10.3
4 Engine, Turbine & Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing 10.0
5 Scheduled Bus Service 9.2
6 Court Reporting Services 7.7
7 Community Housing Services 7.5
8 Search Engines 6.5
9 Family Counseling 6.1
10 Video Games 5.8

*Full research reports for these industries are available upon request

“Emerging industries remain well represented and continue to benefit from technological innovation and cost advantages,” explained George Van Horn, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Unfortunately, the impact of the recession is equally pronounced among sectors directly benefitting from the social and financial stress associated with the downturn.”

While only five percent of all U.S. industries are fortunate enough to be positively impacted by the recession, IBISWorld research estimates that nearly 60 percent of all industries are negatively impacted or worse (depicted in the chart below)

Craigslist hates VoIP

Not sure how I missed this, I like to think of myself as being on top of the industry but I just came across this over the weekend.

Craigslist.org, the popular free classified ad site, has been at war with spammers for some time. According to some reports, 90+% of ads in some categories are generated by spambots. Craigslist has deployed countermeasures including CAPTCHA and other techniques, but spammers have quickly evolved their techniques to sidestep them.

A few months back, Craiglist instituted a telephone verification process that places an automated outbound call to a user placing a classified ad in certain categories. The call delivers a unique code using text to speech, which is then used by the poster to authenticate the ad they are placing.

This is an effective measure for dealing with spam, and a great thing for legitimizing the Craigslist user experience….but not so great if you are a Craigslist user and you also happen to be a VoIP or prepaid cellular user.

The problem is that Craigslist is categorically blocking legitimate VoIP and Pre-paid cellular users from authenticating themselves.

The phone verification process is fairly straight forward. When you place an ad in many categories on Craigslist, you are presented with the form below.

Craigslist blocks most VoIP phone numbers, including those from services like Grand Central and Tossable Digits. This is an apparent broad stroke to counter the use of such services by spammers to game Craigslist’s voice verification.

Craig’s uses a 3rd party service, ReduceFraud.com to screen out VoIP and Pre-paid cellular numbers, and will not deliver an automated verification call to a number that is determined to be such. (Since only SPAMMERS use VoIP and Pre-Paid Cellular!!!) What sophisticated algorithm does ReduceFraud.com use to identify VoIP numbers, you ask? They check the DID number to see who owns the NPA NXX X number block, and if the DID number is owned by Level 3 Communications, they classify it as VoIP of course. Whizbang!

Coincidentally, ReduceFraud.com is owned and operated by a CA firm called Telecentrex, who offers their own hosted VoIP service.

Amazingly, this has created a business opportunity for resourceful entrepreneurs. Literally dozens of services have popped up offering everything from VoIP DID Numbers that Craigslist classifies as Fixed Lines, to pre-authenticated Craigslist user accounts, to full-blown Craigslist Super Spammer Software Packages.

I even found programming requsts on e-Lance, Rentacoder and GetaFreeLanceer.com
offering to pay for workarounds.

I would love to find out which service provider Craigslist is using to delivery their automated outbound verification calls. It would be cost-prohibitive to incure circuit-switched LD charges to deliver all those millions of calls…..VoIPMonitor estimated nearly 24 million VoIP users by 2008 (i.e 24 Million frustrated, would-be Craigslist users)…..I would not be surprised to learn that the provider was leveraging VoIP to send these very same outbound verification calls. Now wouldn’t that be ironic?