By Alok Saboo on November 3rd, 2008
The recent financial crisis has affected each one of us (in some way or the other). One victim within the VoIP industry is Counterpath. Counterpath is probably the number one licensor of soft phone technology. Counterpath announced that it is planning to reduce the headcount by 32%. The company cited integration and the current business climate as the primary reasons for this move. Elsewhere, Ted alluded that this is the sign of shrinking VoIP industry and that the trouble with enterprise customers is affecting VoIP companies.
Although this is true to a large extent, I would argue that it is only a part of the reason. VoIP is a great technology to save significant savings. Hence in these difficult times, there are more reasons to explore VoIP. Softphones, however, are just one of the methods to access VoIP as I argued earlier, and not the most convenient one. Softphones are usually an entry point to explore VoIP. Once people get used to VoIP, they move one to more advanced (read more convenient) options like ATA’s or IP phones. Further, there is an increasing trend to offer VoIP on traditional telephone channels, using access numbers. This method completely eliminates the need of any software or device to access VoIP services (and is obviously the most convenient method).
Thus, the maturity of the technology and availability of better alternatives to access VoIP are important reasons for this fallout. I would love to hear some numbers from VoIP providers to make a more informed decision. Any thoughts….