Our tech support team at VoIP Supply offers great pre- and post-sales support plus provisioning, consultations, configuration, and installation help. We get a lot of VoIP hardware and software questions and would like to share the solutions with everyone.
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.
VoIP Supply: Tell us a little bit about who you are and what your blogs, On RAD’s Radar and NSP Strategist, aim to provide for your audience.
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.
Switchvox Mobile is the free app that allows you to access your Switchvox VoIP network via iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices.
Switchvox iOS 8 Plan
Digium plans on having an updated mobile app available in October 2014 which “will offer much of the feature-set of a Digium desk phone, on your iPhone,” said an announcement from Gayle Magee of Digium.
A new Android Switchvox Mobile app will follow after the Apple iOS 8 version is complete.
You’ve probably seen lots of talk here on the VoIP Insider about HDVoice, Wideband VoIP, G.722 Codec, etc. Lead by VoIP endpoint manufacturers including Polycom, Snom, Audiocodes, Cisco and others, the VoIP industry at large is gearing up to push “High Definition Voice” in a big way.
Industry analysts are also evangelizing wideband audio technology. Jeff Pulver’s HD Communications Summit recently convened on May 21st in NYC, a gathering of like-minded technology vendors and technorati pontificating on the ramifications of wideband audio and telephony.
In my opinion, one factor that currently limits the proliferation of HD communications is the lack of an existing deployed base of of “wideband audio capable” endpoint devices….ie phones. There are currently a nice variety of HD capable IP phones available in the marketplace from the aforementioned vendors, but they have not been available long enough to be widely installed, yet. I have several HD capable phones provisioned in our offices but precious few clients and colleagues with whom to converse in hi def.
With 3G here and 4G coming, the bandwidth is certainly there to support HD calling on mobile devices. Seems all that is currently lacking is a traditional carrier or mobile VoIP provider and a handset manufacturer with a wireless device that supports G.722 or alternative wideband codecs. I wonder if there are existing mobile phone devices with a large deployed base that could be made “HD capable” via firmware update?
If anyone amongst our readership has any particular insight into HD audio and the near term impact on both fixed line and mobile telephony, we’d love to hear from you.
One of the uses of VoIP that excites me the most is Mobile VoIP accessed through dual mode phones, phones capable of making out calls via both the GSM/CDMA network and Wi-Fi network. At the moment, the acceptance and availability is a bit like the short kid at the amusement park who can’t quite go on all of the rides, but knows he’ll have his growth spurt soon. This may seem like a strange analogy to use but it does make sense when you think about it.
Pros – These items put us at the amusement park, walking up to a massive roller coaster named after a comic super hero.
Wi-Fi Hotspots – More and more retail, hospitality and public spaces are offering free or low cost Wi-Fi access to their customers. My local launderette now offers free access
Phones – More and more phones are becoming available with the ability for WLAN connectivity, and it’s not just in the business class of phones.
Data Packages – The pricing on data has been very affordable with most major cell phone providers. Some of the providers are offering unlimited access for as little as $20 a month.
Cons – These put us a couple inches short of the comic book hero’s hand. We are not tall enough to ride the ride-yet.
Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi, although becoming more and more available, it isn’t available everywhere. Once you are on a call, you may be tied down to a certain area depending on signal strength.
Technology – This ties-in with the limitations of Wi-Fi; at the moment if you leave the hotspot, your call will be dropped. There is no automatic transfer from Wi-Fi to cellular currently supported by a major cellular carrier.
Phone Providers – Some of the major cell phone providers don’t allow you to bring unlocked devices. This means people are limited to the selections from the provider. In Europe the cellular providers are more SIM card based allowing for switching and upgrading of phones using unlocked phones.
Where this leaves us is still in the amusement park, but not able to ride all of the rides; however, with a growth spurt this will all change. The growth spurt will be aided as the technologies advance in the features available on cell phones. As more phones come standard with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks and the relatively cheap cost of data packages, interest and use will increase. Also, the growing availability and stability of Wi-Fi signals in public spaces, combined with the advances in phone technology will allow for more stable and reliable connects.
Next: Professor Plum in the Ballroom with the Rope: The Who, Where and How of Mobile VoIP.