Jim Meggelen's presentation at eComm 2008

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Jim Meggelen's presentation at eComm 2008

  1. 1. Dinosaur Telecom Jim Van Meggelen, Core Telecom Innovations - iConverged LLC
  2. 2. “ The Telephone is Dead ” --Lee S. Dryburgh, eComm 2008
  3. 3. How do you embrace the future when everyone says you’re extinct?
  4. 4. What is a SMB? <ul><li>Small To Medium Business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vast majority of businesses are SMBs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different stats state that 90-99% of all businesses are SMBs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>25-250 people (some say 10-500) </li></ul><ul><li>Many (perhaps most?) of these companies have nothing to do with consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of these companies nobody has ever heard of. </li></ul><ul><li>Not generally interested in taking risks </li></ul>
  5. 5. Telecom Challenges of a SMB <ul><li>Small or nonexistent IT department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Boss's Kid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generally not certified </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knows enough to be dangerous </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Network is not going to pass VoIP certification any time soon </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop environment is not suitable for VoIP apps </li></ul><ul><li>Low tolerance for disruption </li></ul><ul><li>No budget for telecom infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often phone system upgrade is done as a necessity, not a strategic initiative (obsolete, move to new premises, startup, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They like this stuff; they “need it”, but they aren’t going to spend much money on it </li></ul>
  6. 6. How do we deliver next-generation telecom to these companies? <ul><li>Do they care? </li></ul><ul><li>PBX seen as infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More like plumbing than IT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Office administrator often handles telecom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Companies still need typical PBX </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Old system is dying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suspicion toward new features … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… but they don't want to be want to be locked out of progress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phased approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing disruptive to start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for a competitive price </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver simple solution well, and the relationship will grow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ It’s a basic PBX, and we’ll throw in the VoIP for free!” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Dinosaur Telecom is not sexy <ul><li>Solving business problems is a cliché, but that is what creates a compelling proposal </li></ul><ul><li>What we are doing is not a panacea </li></ul><ul><li>This is not what we dream of when we’re picturing the future of telecom </li></ul><ul><li>Because of our backgrounds, we often know more about the competitor’s product than they do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The client wants access to our experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The problem is that the only way to scale this is by adding talent that shares these skills </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Why do we bother? <ul><li>$6.7Bn PBX market worldwide in 2007 (that’s just SMBs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average of $20,000 per system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most are still TDM/Proprietary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>85% of all handsets sold are not VoIP </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMBs love the “telecom as a commodity” pitch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Phones that don’t lock them in to one vendor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commoditized platform </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Re-use of Cat 3 cabling </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Unorthodox wiring hacks <ul><li>Re-terminate Cat 3 wiring </li></ul><ul><li>Build out low-cost dedicated LAN for VoIP </li></ul><ul><li>This thing looks pretty much like the old phone system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That’s a good thing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yes, it does PoE (check 802.3af if you don’t believe me) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed 802.3at standard delivers more power, but VoIP phones don’t need it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SMB customers love it </li></ul>
  10. 10. We’re still using PRI or Analog circuits <ul><li>Reliable and proven </li></ul><ul><li>Direct PSTN connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to figure out who’s fault it is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finger-pointing is an unfortunate component of any troubleshooting process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good-old demarcation point is politically simple to understand. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Until there is a simple, reliable VoIP offering, risk-adverse businesses will be slow to accept VoIP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We allow them to get on with their business, but they can test out VoIP in a low-risk way </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Vertical/Industry Focus <ul><li>The only industry that has been widely embraced by traditional PBX manufacturers is Hospitality </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to gain entry to markets </li></ul><ul><li>Massive number of markets to attack </li></ul><ul><li>Crossing the Chasm and The Long Tail </li></ul><ul><li>Focus only on relevant standards for integration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration may be simplified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find key products in that industry -- contact them about integration </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Mobility <ul><li>We dream of integrating our mobile phones with our PBX </li></ul><ul><li>Running apps on mobile networks has too many barriers </li></ul><ul><li>The mobile industry appears to have other dreams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Europe the cost of placing a call from the PSTN to a Mobile network is such that products have emerged to hack around this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In North America the content on the phones is locked down </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kudos to everyone blazing trails and taking risks </li></ul><ul><li>The SMBs are watching </li></ul>
  13. 13. We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. --Benjamin Franklin
  14. 14. Achieving standardization and commoditization <ul><li>Co-opetition </li></ul><ul><li>Separating the noodles from the secret sauce </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a base platform? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantify the value of giving something away </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emerging Telecom industry needs legitimacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need something like W3C, TIA, Linux Foundation, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blending of corporate and community/academic interests </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hats off to the folks at VOIPSA.org </li></ul><ul><li>Carrier-grade calls with VoIP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to demand; not easy to deliver, but as long as this does not happen, it will be difficult to get the majority of businesses to take VoIP seriously </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Products I'd like to see <ul><li>Headset/handset that &quot;just works&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-effective rich terminals </li></ul><ul><li>Effective QoS on PCs </li></ul><ul><li>über-reception phone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wireless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FOP panel or similar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rugged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lightweight </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. An eComm 2008 presentation – http://eCommMedia.com for more

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