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Summary:

O’Reilly eTel conference will showcase many of the companies that have been featured here on GigaOM like PhoneGnome. “What’s really happening with IP telephony is the antithesis of what companies like Vonage are saying to consumers,” says Surj Patel, program cochair.

O’Reilly eTel conference will showcase many of the companies that have been featured here on GigaOM like PhoneGnome. “What’s really happening with IP telephony is the antithesis of what companies like Vonage are saying to consumers,” says Surj Patel, program cochair.

  1. What they are really describing is IP CTI, i.e. CTI done on computers’ terms, not telephony’s, without oddball Dialogic hardware or hard to use CTI development environments (or Windows-only ones, which is the same thing…). Why do you think so many call centers ask you to touch-tone your account number, only to have the CSR ask it back from you later? Simply because it is too much of a hassle to integrate the ACD with whatever customer service support systems they may be using.

    Large companies have already negotiated their phone charges so low VoIP does not necessarily make for big cost savings any more. The main driver for VoIP adoption in corporations is the obscenely high cost of PBXes, specially their maintenance contracts. Adding the ability to do stuff either impossible or too hard in practice with traditional (TDM) CTI helps make for a more compelling case.

    That said, the real impact of VoIP is still that it will eviscerate the 200 billion dollars a year racket that is the telephone business. In the words of Joe Nacchio, it is the most lucrative business after selling cocaine. The telcos may be fighting it tooth and nail evey inch, but it is inevitable, just as the decline of long-distance telephony and ultimate disappearance of AT&T was inevitable due to advances in optical transmission technology.

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