Google Voice Will Dominate? 10 Reasons

I already make a post on Google Voice here are some questions [Source]

One number to ring them all
One number to find them
One number to bring them all
And under Google bind them

That Lord of the Rings parody pretty much sums up Google Voice, which used to be known as GrandCentral. I’ve been registered with it for several years, but stopped using because I was waiting for Google to weave its magic. I’d almost forgotten about it until the Google Voice announcement. The Google magic is now woven.

Here’s an 10 point summary of what Google Voice is, what it means and why it changes the game.

  1. It’s a Personal PABX Google Voice is a complete personal PABX which combines voice mail, call recording, call blocking (from people you don’t want calling you), call notification (via email or sms) and allows you to reduce all your phone numbers to a single number that you choose yourself (from an available list) and which will never change. You can add or delte any other numbers including hotel room numbers, or temporary number for when you visit aunt Meg. And by the way, the voice male is transcripted automatically so you can read it as an email. The voice to text translation is not perfect, but it works well enough unless you have a thick accent.
  2. It’s a web based phone service. You’re sitting at your computer and want to phone someone. You got to Google Voice and click on someone’s ID in the address book and it rings them and rings you to complete the call. If you have a web site you can put a button on it and users can click the button enter their phone number and it will do the same thing - i.e set up a call.
  3. Conferencing and Video Phone. Right now it doesn’t offer video calls, but Google does through Gmail. So how long before video phone is part of the service (should you want it)? It can’t be long. And by the way you can do conference calls on Google Voice so say goodbye to that conferencing service you use. No need, instant conferencing through Google Voice.
  4. It’s free by any reasonable definition of  the word. Currently it’s a US only service and it’s free for all calls in the US. It’s not entirely free because international calls cost (about 2 cents per minute for most countries), but that’s less than Skype calls and it’s a lot less (but still about 18 cents per minute) if they go to mobile phones.
  5. Unified Communications - coming soon. You may have noticed that Google already has email and chat (with voice and video.) So get prepared for unified communications through Google. It’s not here yet. Google Voice gives you SMS and Gmail gives you email and chat. Unified communications and more sophisticated collaboration are a few steps away, but not available now.
  6. Google has just one competitor in the UC space. The competitor is Skype with 400 million registered users and millions of active users. Google will not overwhelm Skype any time soon, just as it will not overwhelm Yahoo Mail any time soon. But I hate to say this Mr Skype, Google is gunning for you. There have been rumors that Google would acquire Skype and that might still happen on the basis of “buying the user base.” But if it doesn’t happen then Skype will be the competition. If you’re a telco and believe you can compete with Google, dream on. Google ate your breakfast long ago and even Googled up your lunch. If you think that any other vendors in the UC will be able to compete with Google you’re wrong. Google is not interested in the corporate space right now, so there is still space for other players, but right now it’s between Google and Skype for the consumer market. My money is on Google.
  7. Google is a Telco. Google is already a telco by any reasonable definition of the term. Google has been spending heavily on communications. It has been buying up fiber and getting involved in the US Spectrum Auctions.  It controls more network fiber than any other organization in the world. It isn’t that Google directly own  a vast amount of fiber, just  that they control it through agreements with network operators.
  8. It’s about Integrated Telephony. You can think of Google Voice as a  communications initiative, but it isn’t as divorced from what Google is planning as that. Google is looking to provide a complete cloud-based computing environment for the average Joe. The average Joe accesses the web, has a PC (or netbook), does a few office apps, watches YouTube videos, makes telephone calls and has a mobile phone. Joe, Google. Google, Joe. Google Voice is not about telephony it’s about integrated telephony.
  9. The Google Dynamic is Bottom-up. Google is moving from the bottom upwards. If you think any of Google’s other assets (search, advertising, Google Apps, Chrome, the Android mobile platform, etc.) are unrelated to this, then wrong you are. Google is moving in the direction of: consumer market -> SOHO market -> SMB market  -> the mid market -> the corporate market. Google is unashamedly going for the numbers. As Napoleon once said, “God is on the side of the big battalions.”
  10. Google is the new Microsoft. Just in case you thought it was Apple, it isn’t. It’s Google. There’s a parallel to the time when Microsoft launched Windows 3.0. It quickly became obvious that Microsoft was out there on it’s own and IBM had no means of defending itself against the new power. Watch the rise of Google Voice and Google’s communications business. The same applies.

It has become a web-centric world. Netscape could have done far better than it did by camping out in the cloud and challenging Microsoft to do battle in that terrain. Instead Netscape marched confidently on to the desktop and was slaughtered in short order. Netscape did Google a great service. It convinced Microsoft that it had seen off the threat from the Internet, so as Google rose up, Microsoft never saw the danger.  Now it’s too late.


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