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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[February 23, 2005]

Know Thy Keynoters: Edward Cespedes

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

On Thursday, February 24 th at 9:00 a.m. Edward Cespedes will give his keynote address to ITEXPO.

Edward A. Cespedes has served as the president of since June 2002 and as a director of since 1997.  In 2002, he co-launched its subsidiary, Voiceglo, a VoIP communications company, and currently serves as its president.

“The services that VoiceGlo offers are top quality,” a 2004 review noted, “and geared toward making the clearest connection for local and long-distance calling.

VoiceGlo offers home and business products that include flat rate phone service, allowing customers to use existing phones to enjoy full VoIP service. Their GloPhone was the first developed browser-enabled web phone allowing users to talk to anyone around the world at any time And GloPhone Express connected to other VoiceGlo customers away from your home or office, and away from your laptop computer.

“People love the VoiceGlo products because they are extremely easy to use, which is perfect for the small business owner,” an early review said, noting also the unlimited local and long-distance minutes to customers in the US and Canada, low international rates and free features that include voicemail, voice2email, caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, speed dialing and global portability

Not bad for a company arising out of the ashes of TheGlobe, which a Nov. 17, 2003 – CNET article calls “one the Internet's earliest portals, [which] achieved notoriety after the company's stock soared and then crashed during the stock mania of the late 1990s.”

Speaking to CNET on whether VoiceGlo’s association with TheGlobe was helpful or hamful, in 2003 Cespedes told CNET that TheGlobe “became iconographic of the dot-com bubble burst. It was exacerbated by the fact that we had two young co-CEOs who were a little too enamored of the limelight… It was the stratospheric craziness of the dot-com era. When the dot-com era ended, it was easy to pick on the guy you knew.”

After CNET asked “Michael Robertson, the founders of Kazaa and TheGlobe have all migrated to VoIP. What's the connection?” Cespedes explained “You'll find that those people are entrepreneurial, and entrepreneurs look for the front end of waves. No matter what happens to Voiceglo or others, the point is that VoIP will be huge. It'll be bigger than huge.”

He said that, in late 2003, “about 20 percent of all calls today travel at least a little over the Internet. It's being done by real carriers – the Sprints, the AT&Ts. It's just a better delivery mechanism. VoIP's much cheaper, much more efficient. It's been late to the game. VoIP's like the Internet – around since 1968, but things really didn't get commercialized until 1997.”

In the article he predicted “VoIP will 100 percent displace cellular. You can surf the Net now on your cell phone, but the throughput on even 3G phones [in late 2003] is a joke. It's so slow and so expensive. A Wi-Fi-enabled device surfs at 100 times the speed virtually for free. If Wi-Fi can get ready for voice, as soon as next year, you'll see Wi-Fi-connected phones, and all these Wi-Fi carriers will have roaming agreements. The next thing you know, bye-bye cellular.”

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

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