Since 1999-2000, the technology market has had
zero money-making opportunities. We thought WiFi would be the exception but
there is no money here. The equipment side has zero margins and the service
side is suffering as evidenced by the recent failing of Cometa Networks.
The only shining stars in all of technology (not counting biotech or
nanotech), where there are growth and profits to be made are two subsets of
telecom. The first is VoIP. The number of new entrants in the space is
amazing. The opportunity is huge. To a lesser extent the speech recognition
market holds much promise but less revenue.VC dollars are pouring into the
VoIP market. Here are some reasons why I believe this trend will continue:
Consumer Adoption and Understanding of VoIP
When my high-school friends tell me about VoIP in the supermarket, you know
that the technology has reached mainstream. Soon consumers will not accept
anything but VoIP.
Service Provider Adoption of VoIP
AT&T CallVantage is so good that cable companies, CLECs, and everyone else
is scrambling to keep up. Competition in the service provider market will be
fierce because the opportunity is to enable every person in the world to
make VoIP calls regardless of the network they are on.
Enterprise Adoption of VoIP
Every corporation knows that anything that doesnï¿½t support VoIP is legacy.
No one is even developing legacy products anymore. To not deploy IP
telephony is to be uncompetitive.
The Wireless Opportunity
WiFi and WiMAX are great but to make any money with either, you need
telephony. WiFi telephony and WiMAX telephony will generate real revenue for
tomorrowï¿½s service providers.
A bump in the road may come from the SIP protocolï¿½s lack of security. This
bump will in turn create more opportunity for you, the hard-working, Pepsi
drinking, potato chip munching developer.
There are countless other ways to profit from VoIP. Develop wireless devices
allowing consumers and enterprise users to stay connected wherever WiFi or
WiMAX exist. Develop video kiosks allowing companies to have virtual agents
anywhere. To elaborate on this, allow your customers to reduce costs at
airport terminalsï¿½ Have video-based agents on call 24x7. Enable ATM machines
to have access to video-based agents.
Develop applications for IP PBXs. Do you know that Avaya, Inter-Tel, and
others are looking for developers to augment their systems? Develop a legal
or financial vertical application. The same goes for hosted systems. Develop
a hotel-based application for hosted platforms. Linux telephony, a huge
opportunityï¿½ Develop apps to augment open source telephony.
The opportunities are countless and the market is ready. For the first time,
government, service provider, consumer, and enterprise customers are buying
VoIP products in big numbers. Now is the time to develop a product in the
VoIP space and take advantage of the tsunami that is the VoIP market.
To The July 2004 Table Of Contents ]