BT has bought a company called Ribbit based in Silicon Valley, California. Why is this interesting or significant to the UK business community? Maybe it isn’t.
However there is a chance that in the UK we will see the effects of this acquisition in the next year or two. Ribbit provides the hooks to make voice calls from different applications. In itself this isn’t anything special – Timico could do the same thing using it’s Nortel 5200 platform given the time and inclination.
Ribbit has tried to make it easy for 3rd party developers to do so and as a company whose sole reason for existence seems to have been to do this then one must assume that they would be doing a good job of it.
I think my one observation relates to what BT expects to do with the platform. It seems to me that Ribbit is set up as an applicaton for a wide community. I suspect BT might just use it to develop their own embedded voice applications. This to me would be a lost opportunity. Here BT has the chance to position itself at the centre of a Web2.0/VoIP2.0 world in the UK but it needs to keep Ribbit open to all to do so.
In the world of voice, at least in business voice and Unified Communications, it is also important to keep the activity and platform UK centred when selling to UK parties. This is why I believe that a Webex service with a voice platform based in the USA will never have a huge market reach in the UK. The same applies for the apparent efforts of Microsoft with hosted OCS.
Timico is based in the UK, offers UK services and telephone numbers, and I believe will be going head to head with Microsoft and Cisco in this space. Of course in other areas we will be partnering them. Interesting times…