Why Mobile VoIP Is Boring, Hosted VoIP Services Should Be Consolidated, and More On Peter Radizeski’s VoIP Radar
In this next installment of our VoIP Blogger Interview Series, we get the perspective of another industry veteran, Peter Radizeski (@radinfo) who has two blogs and runs his own telecom sales and marketing consulting firm, RAD-INFO, Inc.
The bio on his website says, “His honest and direct approach make him a refreshing speaker.”
You’ll find that to be true in this interview too where he doesn’t hold back his opinions on the technology, the players, and what he’d like to see more of.
Peter Radizeski: So I worked for a Novell VAR from 1996 till 1999 doing tech support, building servers, etc. In 1999, a buddy I played volleyball with was closing his GTE telecom agency (due to GTE being acquired by Verizon) and opening a BellSouth agency. I went to work for him selling primarily to ISPs and CLECs. I was full service – router configs, CPE, marketing and sales tips. I figured the more they sold, the more I sold.
This morphed into me doing consulting to service providers in sales, marketing and strategy. My marketing was a weekly newsletter about the industry, books I read, marketing and sales tips, case studies, and what the FCC was up to.
This newsletter morphed to the NSP Strategist in June 2004. In 2007, I was blogging for Virgo as an Advisory Board member when Rich Tehrani asked me to blog for TMC, so in 2008 I started blogging On RAD’s Radar about the channel, telecom, and lots of VoIP. On NSP Strategist I write for service providers about strategy, sales and marketing like my newsletter. My latest blog post Outside the Box in CLEC-Land was about four different service providers and the cool stuff they are doing right out – different from everyone else.
When I say strategy, I mean not just transitioning to Hosted PBX. I do webinars on Goal Setting and Sales Planning every year. I have written (and given presentations) about hiring, culture, change, innovation, motivation and management. The telecom executives who read NSP Strategist are getting valuable information on how to run their business.
On my blog on TMC, On RAD’s Radar, readers get a view of the indirect sales channel, VARs, Agents, sales, marketing and a not so grand view of the world of telecom and the carriers.
I also have columns in Cloud Computing Magazine, Internet Telephony Magazine and ChannelVision Magazine.
VS: How did you get started in VoIP?
PR: In 2003, Broadsoft’s second customer signed me as their first agent. I knew VoIP was going to be an opportunity; I just didn’t know it would take 10 years and many starts-and-stops (and even failures) for that to happen.
For my service provider clients who didn’t want to drop the big bucks on a TDM switch, VoIP seemed like a cost effective alternative.
VS: What are your favorite things about VoIP, or some of the creative ways you’ve seen people use the technology?
PR: Kindle Fire support is probably the best VoIP (WebRTC) use case.
I like click-to-call. I would like to see more widgets that enable voice. For example, on Android the way you can click a phone number in an email or web page to dial. That is how it should work.
I think mobile VoIP is the most boring usage out there. You already HAVE VoIP – that’s what a cellular call is. It’s not like these apps are enabling HD Voice or anything extraordinary. VoIP for some is still just arbitrage. It’s the biggest problem with calling it VoIP – the mainstream equates that with low cost dial-tone replacement. It’s the bane of the industry.
How do you compare a free Android app or a Vonage ATA or MagicJack device with a managed Hosted UC deployment?
VS: What trends are you seeing now and any predictions for the future?
PR: Well with the TDM to IP transition almost every LEC – ILEC, RLCE, CLEC – has a softswitch and is offering some form of hosted VoIP. Many buyers are aware of Hosted PBX and UC – not by that term, but by capabilities like find-me/follow-me, simulring, voicemail to email (my three favorite features). So adoption should speed up in the SMB space.
Lync/Skype for Biz adds an interesting element of competition to the Broadsoft world, who already had to compete/differentiate from the non-Broadsoft/Asterisk switches, Cisco Call Manager and premise based PBX.
I think Hosted UC will allow smaller companies to spin up a 2 to 4 seat call center with enterprise level software easily. If only the salespeople could figure out that functionality, like that is the reason we have the cloud to begin with (Enterprise level applications easily digestible for SMB on a monthly recurring bill.)
Also, consolidation should happen a little more often, since there are 2000+ providers of hosted VoIP in the US. It will be fun to watch which players get taken off the table.
It will be interesting to see who gives 8×8 and Comcast a run for their money in business hosted VoIP. Vonage might do it with the Telesphere acquisition, but then the Vocalocity buy didn’t pan out like they thought either.
VS: Writers read a lot. What’s on your reading list; websites you love or books you’d highly recommend?
PR: Highly recommend Linchpin by Seth Godin or anything by Seth Godin! Endless Referrals by Bob Berg was one of the first sales books I read. Accidental Salesperson is good. Marketing Outrageously. The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. Duct Tape Selling by John Jantsch.
I read Telecom Ramblings, Seth Godin, Rich Tehrani, Nicholas Bates, James Altucher, project Exponential, INC magazine, Forbes, MojoMarketing, ChannelVision Magazine and Channel Partners regularly.
I still check my RSS reader once a month. Blogging has slowed down for many people. My Twitter feed provides too many articles to read in a year – every single day – so my biggest issue is time.
I would suggest that your audience read my latest book, SELLECOM2: Selling Cloud Services available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.