VOIP – – Emerging Experience Model – for Business

April 19, 2004

in Knowledge Innovation, Skype Journal, Strategic Foresight

Crashing around in my blog tonight wondering where to start. Commitments got the better of me last week and sometime a brief pause for reflection is useful. So this posts begins with a few of the things I’d like to see myself blogging on particularly as my thinking tonight is very much how to break traditional “industry” business model thinking and counter with strategies that are “experience” model driven.

Starting Points:

  • How Presence is redefining KM and knowledge innovation.
  • Why Skype type experience space and dialogue functionality will redefine telecoms and more importantly the relationships between consumers and companies.
  • Why this emerging co-creation space and ready capability to conference will generate bot driven demand buddies that will negotiate on behalf of consumercommercial groups.
  • Why Skype’s model is ultimately the eBay of communications. Will Skype facilitate consumer choice on interconnects? Are they a market manager or solution provider?
  • What new “experiences” will further revolutionize the “tele-space”?

    These questions consider how to build future strategic capital in the telecommunications space and thus remain competitive in a networked interconnected world.

    Skype is a demonstration of intelligence residing in the software and not in the hardware or a physical device. This investment in IP is distinctly different to hardware solutions. Concurrently Skype users are no longer passive. A Skype users doesn’t wait for a central exchange to execute a ring. They broadcast their presence and status to their buddies. This involvement is enabling them to co-create additional value within the communications system.

    Strategically what is being missed is the new opportunities that this “always-on” co-creation space creates:.

    Here is a blogged Skype story after being bugged by a caller from Poland. Clearly people are prepared to chase down information. Perhaps a bot / search service could become part of your buddy list.

    Take if further…. Why not just add a travel service buddy to my Skype list. The bot acts like Priceline or Hotwire and simply gets the best price for me. This just illustrates that at the moment we think about Skype in the context of IM and only in a limited way. In fact this type of interface could radically change the way we interact with commercial enterprises. Consider what happens when consumers run commercial profiles and incorporate them as buddies providing some levels of controlled access.

    So far Skype has not sold Expedia the opportunity that enables me to integrate Expedia into my buddy list. What would happen if Expedia or Priceline could actually handle multiple connections, connect the key data with text messaging type searches and links to actual locations and say local hotel proprietors in New Zealand who can sell personally what I am buying? If this is Priceline with their guarantee they potentially have just increased and improved their services. The call connection cost was zero. The experience was enhanced and potentially more revenue is collected.

    The goal of strategy today is to discover new sources of value. What irks me on the Skype thinking front are too many Porterish approaches to competition and value creation. For the most part there isn’t enough thinking on what enhancements are likely to come to the UI to improve the experience. I’m sure there are millions working in telecoms worldwide. The type of question that is not being asked is…. What happens when millions (of consumers) learn to use a system (interconnect /networking product) in which telephony is merely a byproduct and thus set to creating new forms of value together through that interconnectivity. Should Skype enable millions of users to determine how best to monetize value then they may learn that these consumers may just be willing to pay the facilitator a fraction of the transaction cost. On eBay it is done everyday.

    The above was only partially stimulated when I read Rafe’s Always’s On Skype Economics post today. He doesn’t think it will play despite the accolades he gives it for voice quality.

    However, I really don’t see how Skype, as wonderful as it is, can maintain a financial advantage over what is sure to be a brutal fight of pure economics, especially if it connects to other systems. I think the real opportunity in VoIP is in the back ends the interconnection of different VoIP systems and the connection of them to the ordinary telephone network.
    Skype Economics :: AO

    I think the real opportunity is not the interconnection of different VoIP systems but the interconnection of commerce combined with presence. So far we have only seen an emergence of interest in social networking tools with no real connection to real-time voice solutions. Concurrently regulations, spam, privacy, security and encryption are a smokescreen around the telecoms battle to redefine their relevance. Let’s all spend a little more time thinking though the experiences hyperconnectivity is going to allow us.

  • Previous post:

    Next post: