Yesterday the Internet Voice Campaign was launched, which I think is a step in the right direction to help broaden the awareness and undertanding of VoIP in the general public.
The founders of this initiative are Sonus, Google, EarthLink, Skype, Pulver.com, the VON Coalition and USA Datanet.
Pretty interesting mix, and conspicuous by their absence, of course, are the RBOCs. If Ed Whitacre gets his way, I don't see that changing any time soon!
Certainly no surprise seeing Sonus and EarthLink there - they've been in the game from the beginning, and are great examples of companies that are built around IP, and continue to show market leadership and innovative thinking.
Google and Skype are the ones that really catch my eye. Skype is the 800 pound gorilla of VoIP, certainly in terms of their share of VoIP minutes. Monetizing this, of course, is another story. And it's also interesting to see just how quiet it's become on the Skype hype front since the eBay deal. Lots is going on, no doubt, and Jeff Pulver made a great observation the other day about their job posting for an enterprise product manager - a sure sign about where they're looking now. Regardless, if anyone has brand clout in this space, it's Skype. Which raises the burning question - where is Vonage in this mix? If anyone knows about building a VoIP brand it's them. Am sure there's a good reason why they're not in.
And then there's Google. I think it speaks volumes to see them here. A year ago, who was talking about Google in this space? And now they look almost unstoppable in their quest to be the Microsoft of the Internet. They're the one I'd be watching.
Pulling all this together is the VON Coalition, and the press release (see link above) provides contact info if anyone wants to get in touch or become involved.
Unfortunately, there's nothing about this initiative yet on the VON Coalition website, so the press release is the best way to get the story. I hope they get that fixed soon!